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Coco-colored glasses

Antonia Padilla
Savory rack of lamb from Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro.

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

Address:18402 Hwy 281 North
San Antonio, TX 78259
This ultra-romantic dessert and drinks lounge is a Cupid Gone Wild video, complete with red decor and chocolate overload. Coco seduces with Champagne and chocolate, but cements the relationship with a serious menu featuring the likes of cassoulet and rack of lamb with orange-chocolate chutney -- Johnston Farrow (10/08), Ron Bechtol (12/08)

More on Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro.


If St. Valentine lived in the Texas suburbs, Coco would be the type of bar hed open. Almost every recipe, and many of the drink options, is made with chocolate as a main ingredient. Its a legal opium den for middle-aged, middle-class women, or a good place to lull a date into submission.

Walking through the door, youre immediately assaulted by RED. Coco is covered in the stuff sorry, chocolate is reserved for the food and beverages with red roses adorning countertops, red-hued paint on the walls, and red furniture. The only respites from this Cupid Gone Wild video are bright chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, a finished-wood bar, and a wine rack with a great selection.

The decent-sized lounge doubles as both bar and restaurant, with fine-dining tables and shell-shaped booths on one side of the room, a more intimate pillow-and-love-seat area (seriously), and an outside patio.

Drinks are moderate to expensive, but worth it. Coco offers a wide assortment of champagne and specialty martinis, including an entire page devoted to chocolate martinis. My female friend tries the aptly named Sexual martini ($7), a drink so exquisitely spicy and smooth, the need to find a soulmate is immediately quashed, as long as they do these to go. I stick with Cocos Signature ($9), a martini that should come with a spoon; its close to liquefied mousse. A third friend tries a Moulin Rouge champagne mixer ($14), a so-so Kir Royale anyplace else.

My friends and I are here on a Friday night. The place is packed at 10 p.m. but is mostly dead by the time midnight rolls around. The waiter tells us that, with the bar closing at 1 a.m. on weekends, Coco is usually a pre-party destination, with other bars such as Swig North getting the business later on. Either that, or the clientele are at home making dentist appointments.

While the drinks are the stars here, the food menu provides plenty of options and a to-die-for dessert selection prepared by a master pastry chef. The big complaint comes every hour or so, when the music starts to repeat itself. A person can only take so much jazzy house in one night. Overall, Coco is a great place for ladies craving chocolate overload or a great tool for a man out to impress. Just make sure to prepare your wallet first.

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