Many consider Coco to be the standout star in the string of Puerto Rican restaurants that form Humboldt Park's Paseo Boricua. Start the meal off with a pina coloda, expertly whipped up from Coco's extensive rum selection, and you'll see why.
Appetizers include coconut-crusted shrimp and plantain stuffed with crabmeat, but go for the bandeja de coco (house sampler) to taste a little bit of everything. Entrees are divided into classic and modern entrees; the former category offers up mofongo (plantain stuffed with shrimp, chicken or veggies) and asopaos, a traditional Puerto Rican stew made with or without meat. Modern dishes include San Juan Filet Mignon, seasoned with a demi-glace of aged rum; lamb chops in papaya sauce and mahi-mahi in a lobster bisque sauce.
Desserts make it clear why the joint is called coco: Coffee is roasted with coconut and coconut ice cream and flan are offered. The Caribbean vibe remains upbeat with oak floors, exposed brick walls and vibrant murals by local artist Martin Soto, and live music further jazzes up the scene Thursday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. and from 6-10 p.m. Sunday nights. Expect meals to cost about $20 a person...unless the rum takes a hold of you.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg