Five members of the Thrifty Gourmets Meetup Group and I field-tested this restaurant on Tuesday, July 8th, at 7:45 PM. There was no host on duty, but the one waiter who was busily working the floor greeted me in a friendly manner and with a warm smile. Our reservation for 8 PM had been held and our table was available about 10 minutes beforehand. The waiter, although a bit harried, was courteous and professional as he took our order. All but two of our dishes were delivered promptly and correctly. I ordered the cheese stick as an appetizer. It was thick, soft and chewy, with a light crust and a subtle, herby flavor. I also ordered the arepa with stewed flank steak as my entree. Its filling was moist, hearty and richly flavorful. I also enjoyed a potent drink made with dark rum and passionfruit and mango juices. I was still somewhat hungry after finishing my initial order. Had one of my fellow diners not shared her entree with me, I would have selected another arepa. I commend El Cocotero?s managers on the attention that they pay to the restaurant?s interior design. Unlike those found in many smaller, inexpensive restaurants, the bathroom here was clean and decorated in a style consistent with the restaurant's Latin theme. An exposed standpipe was thoughtfully enclosed in a glass box and decorated with greenery and photographs.
Pros: Friendly, efficient service; attractive design; relaxing atmosphere
Cons: Limited staff