Along with Cafe des Artistes, we have been going to Cocina de Autor for 10 years. It was actually our first meal at chef Thierry Blouet's restaurants. I am a huge fan of Thierry's theory of food. He is able to raise even the simplest of ingredients to an art form. Starting with the frestest of local ingredients he transforms what could be an incongruous or prosaic mess in less competant hands, into visual and gastronomic art. You almost don't want to eat the beautifully composed dishes. But don't stop, the taste combinations are sublime. Some favorites on our last trip are the ravioli "rockefeller" that raises spinach ravioli to the highest level, a tuna cube with an exquisitely smoked tomato sauce that brought out the best qualities of the fresh dense fish, the house-made velvety salmon gravlax served with classic garnishes but still latin in flair and a succulent filet mignon stuffed with oxtail in a rich red wine sauce. The wine pairings could not be more perfect. I have become an enormous fan of South American wines because of this restaurant, but they always pick the best wines for the dish regardless of nationality and they are always able to suggest wines that accomodate the individual's taste. I have come to trust their taste implicitly, but the extensive wine list will have something for every taste. Lastly, the house-made deserts are not to be missed no matter how much you have eaten. The stellar souffles, rich chocolate, creamy pastries and super ripe fuit requires a naughty indulgence be had by all.
The staff is incredibly knowledgable, professional and gracious. As with Cafe des Artistes, is it not at all stuffy. We have come to know Thierry who is incredibly gracious and charming. The Maitre d', Polo, is an absolute treasure. They are able to balance what few resaurants can - top notch service without being overly solicitous and in your way. You never feel that you are being rushed or that anyone is hovering over you. We are always treated like friends and family, not just patrons.
The interiors were recently remodelled and have incorporated part of the garden with wall-to-wall glass doors. They have included a rock wall fountain that provides subtle and relaxing water sounds during dinner. The artistic eye of Thierry Blouet is in every detail and it is a contemporary masterpiece - comfortable, warm and inviting. The garden area sits under a flowering tree that towers over the tables and gracefully drops the occasional bloom nearby. Stunning bay views and gorgeous sunsets make any meal a sensory feast. The tables are generously spaced but there is always that pleasant buzz that energizes a room.
There are not enough desciptives in the Engish language to explain how much I love this restaurant. It is a restaurant we will always go to when we are in town. For a World Class evening - this is not to be missed.
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