Coco’s Bistro. Daytonians love that name. The much-adored spot along Warren Street near downtown exudes class throughout its lowlit interior, from its late-night wine bar where jazz can sometimes be heard, to the private dining areas in the back of the shop where families can enjoy a meal together. And while its eclectic menu evades immediate description, one thing is clear: a lot of thought went into every unique dish that is offered here. Coco’s prides itself as a Dayton original, and I’d contend this spot is easily one of the best in the city.
The carefully-crafted menu is a short list most days, but it’s often changed for the seasons. Coco’s has a few crowd favorites, and here are a few:
- Bistro Burger: This baby doesn’t mess around. It’s an all-beef patty, smothered in a creamy Boursin cheese and some sweet caramelized onions, and all of it topped with bacon. The creamy cheese, the sweet onion, the salty bacon. Put it together with that juicy and slightly smoked beef, and you’ve got a burger crammed with flavor like you’ve never tasted before. The three toppings — they are a perfect balance. Easily, this is one of the best burgers I have ever tasted.
- Bloody Mary BLT: Your typical BLT sandwich with a twist: black pepper bacon and a bloody mary-inspired aioli on toasted pumpernickel. Every bite? Packed with flavor.
- Cuban: Topped with that nice shaved pork and a thick mayo, it’ll knock your socks off!
- Tomato Bisque: The bisque is a much-loved appetizer here at Coco’s. It’s creamy and a little buttery — the acidity of the tomato does shine through a little bit. Coco’s has the option of serving it with a grilled cheese.
- Turkey Reuben: Reubens can tend to be a bit heavy, but thank the turkey and sauerkraut for making this dish memorable. Definitely a good choice if you don’t want to be stuffed all day.
- Salad: The salads here are serious business too. Maybe you like the Asian Ahi Salad, with wasabi BBQ tuna, red bell peppers, and a soy vinagrette, or maybe the Bourbon Street salad with bourbon glazed shrimp, fontine and spicy onion straws. Salads change constantly, but they’re always good.
- Margherita Pizza: Classic Italian style: Mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce and some olive oil. A crispy-thin crust. Perfect.
- Smoked Brisket: This sandwich is served with a smokey brisket topped with cole slaw, a few onion rings and a very light sweet barbecue sauce. Smokey, a bit of gristle on it, and a fantastic summer sandwich.
- Creme brulee: This wonderful dessert is a regular at Coco’s Bistro, especially for Restaurant Week. A perfectly creamy custard topped with that nice caramelized top. Wonderful.
- Old fashioned: This wonderful cocktail has a unique addition: the orange has been lit with a flame to bring out a little bit of that flavor. Bitters and a good whisky round it out nicely.
- Risotto: Very little of the actual rice in this dish. It’s topped with snap peas, yellow onion, red bell peppers, napa cabbage and fried chick peas. Interesting and wonderful!
Coco’s is highly acclaimed around this town for its artisan dinner items, each a little bit different from the other things you can find in town. it’s also known for its very friendly founders, Karen and Jim. All in all, it’s a spot that continue to surprise me. Coco’s Bistro is, absolutely without a doubt, one of the best gems in Dayton.
- Coco’s has some seasonal menus that come and go, but some of those favorites go year-round. Give a try to the different salads, they’re always good.
- The burger here is one of my absolute favorites in Dayton. Creamy cheese, savory onions and salty bacon. It is a must-try. It is absolutely one of the best things to be tried.
- I will address some of the comments online from service. I noticed it was a complaint from several customers in 2012. I can say myself that I have never had said issues, and in fact in the three times I have visited and many more times I’ve seen Coco’s out and about, they have always been top notch.