It helps that Cocotte is adorable. From the dark wood floors to the champagne flute flower vases, everything looks nice in the early evening light flooding in from floor-to-ceiling windows. They nail that rustic farmhouse-chic thing without looking like a Real Simple photo spread. A large window on the back wall frames Liebman and Hackett, dolled up in aprons that would feel at home in such a magazine.
A proper meal at Cocotte begins with baguette and two varieties of compound butter (normally I'd gloss over this part of the meal, but trust me, it warrants mention); one is a salted sweet cream butter, the other, darker in color and speckled with herbs, has a strong truffle-oil flavor. Do not skip the bread course.
I hadn't heard anything, good or bad, about Cocotte's bar, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered the La Nella Moda (rye, Dolin Rouge, Amaro Ramazzotti, and bitters), the kind of drink that, in the wrong hands, could go pretty foul. But the vermouth and Amaro were understated, and let the whiskey sit front and center. It was on par with the better cocktail bars in town.
I'm not ready to say that Cocotte is on par with St. Jack or the better of my experiences at Little Bird, but Liebman and Hackett are doing their own thing, and they're doing it well. Cocotte grew up fast, and I think they'll just keep growing. TONY PEREZ
Happy Hour Info: Sun 9-10pm, $3, $5, $8 Food Menu Specials on house wine, cocktails, draft beer