Located in the heart of the design district, Coco Pazzo fits right in with its surroundings. The bright, airy dining area's high ceilings, midnight blue drapes, track lighting and softly glowing candles provide patrons with a gorgeous atmosphere. The food contributes to the visual splendor, beginning with the colorful, enticing antipasti spread that greets you. The mix of foccacia and ciabatta breads is served in an oblong silver dish along with a smooth olive oil, and far from being mere filler, it's one of the highlights of the meal.
Standouts on the menu include the polenta with wild boar ragu, beef carpaccio with pecorino cheese, gnocchi in marinara sauce and the parfait di Tre Sapori, which consists of vanilla and chocolate mascarpone mousse layered with raspberry, chocolate cookies and whipped cream. Every evening, there are specials in each category, including two fish dishes and a risotto of the day.
At any given hour, several generations and different sizes of groups (from young professionals dining solo to parties of six or more) can be seen in Coco Pazzo. Servers can be distracted, but will always apologize if they keep you waiting. If you come for lunch, schedule a couple of hours for it. The stylish, unpretentious, calm environment and memorable food will entice you to linger.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Abigail Derecho