My trip to Coqueta

Let’s begin in The little city by the bay.

Coqueta………A delicious piece of Spain on the Embarcadero waterfront in San Francisco.

Spanish for the word “flirt”, Chef Michael Chiarello’s restaurant overlooking the Bay Bridge on Pier 5 not just flirts with your taste buds, but hits a home run with them.

Upon entering Coqueta and being greeted graciously,  you immediately feel as though you have been transplanted into the Basque countryside.  The restaurants bar, (bar 5), with its great waterfront views and outside seating area mixes up an interesting array of gin &tonics, specialty cocktails and sangrias along with an in depth offering of imported Spanish wines.

The “Galleon” incorporates Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, acorn and apricot tonic, berry schrub and lime into one of the most interesting and deliciously refreshing G&T’s I have ever sampled.   Another favorite cocktail sampled was “The Castro” shaken not stirred with Espolon Tequilla Blanco, curaçao, fino sherry, Fresno pepper and lime.

The main dining room with its hip tapas tasting bar, wood burning grill, Spanish tile floor and goat leather banquettes creates a relaxed atmosphere that transports diners into an ongoing multi course journey of Spanish cuisine.

My guests and I began with Grilled Razor Clams garnished with wild ramps and Meyer lemon, followed by Chicken and English Pea Croquettes with cured cara-cara orange.  Next was Crispy Shrimp with chickpea flour pancake and saffron aioli.  Grilled Albondigas which was a delicious crock of duck and pork meatballs with tart cherry and tempranillo puree garnished with crisp shallots.  And personally always longing for Sea Urchin when visiting the Golden State we concluded our feast with  Mar y montana “sea and mountain”  Iberico Lardo gently melted over sea urchin with Jamon iberico de bellota.  Presentations and flavors all exceeded expectations, many served on specialty designed plate ware that were created specifically for Chef Chiarello’s.

Time may not allow a culinary trip to Spain this summer, however, if you find yourself on the west coast of the United States I would highly recommend noshing at Coqueta.  Pop in early for a seat at the bar or reservations at