Friday, August 19, 2016

Coco Pazzo • Chicago

When you are told that a restaurant specialty is having a whole grilled fish brought to your table and filleted next to you, you can't not order it. Amiright?

One of my favourite cuisines is Italian. I absolutely love and crave Italian food regardless of where I am in the world. Coco Pazzo (@cocopazzochicago) opened its doors in 1992 (when I was born, holla) by Jack Weiss. I had the pleasure of meeting Jack during my visit in Chicago. He told me some background information about Coco Pazzo, including the fact that they are actually located in a 100 year old building. The beams have been kept since the building was built, and the velvet drapes really enhances the ambiance of Coco Pazzo. If you're looking for a fine dining Italian spot, you'll find that here.

I already knew before walking into the restaurant that I would be ordering a pasta. But what kind of pasta - that was the question. Besides having a selection of very delicious sounding appetizers, we decided to forego them and go with another ambitious plan. With our hearts set on two pastas, we decided to get both in addition to Coco Pazzo's specialty - a whole grilled sea bream. Could we do it?! I'll tell you now that we did, and I even got dessert at the end. We're crazy, I know - but it was so worth it.

We started off with some bread and a cocktail. We also got a complimentary bite from the chef, which was like a mini zucchini cheese panini.

As for our pastas, we went with one that is on their regular menu and one that was a daily special. The one on their regular menu was the Chitarrine Nere - housemade squid ink spachetti alla chitarra, fruitti di mare, tomotoes, peperoncino, and rapini. I'm always intrigued by squid ink pastas even though I don't think they taste any different. This pasta was delish - the sauce and the seafood as well! The other pasta was a seafood rosé pasta, and the best part of this pasta is that there's crab meat mixed IN the sauce, coating each pasta noodle. It was probably one of the best pastas I've had!

And the showstopper of the night: Branzino al Forno. A whole Mediterranean Sea Bass that is grilled in their wood oven that is filleted right next to your table. It comes with the most delicious potatoes and veggies, topped with a drizzle of olive oil. I've never had fish presented to me like this before, and it was definitely a 'wow' moment when it came out to our table. As we already devoured our pastas, we were both very full already. However, I had to finish this fish because it was so good (and I did hehe). It was grilled very simply, with just salt, pepper, and a slice of lemon. So simple, yet so good!

As you can see from this post, we had a lot of food already. I almost said no to dessert but I really couldn't pass it up. Coco Pazzo gave us a plate of little desserts, but I decided to go with a scoop of refreshing raspberry sorbet - such a good way to end the meal.

I had a really good time here, and couldn't have asked for a better Italian meal during my trip to Chicago. Thanks for having me, Coco Pazzo!

Coco Pazzo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

To check out where else I went in Chicago, click here.

*This meal was complimentary, however, please note that all my opinions made are my own.*
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