In my rush to find new (to me) restaurants to review, I rarely have the time to go back to previous favorites, so it was a great pleasure to return to Coretta for Sunday lunch recently with friends who make a habit of it.
For that reason, we were given a royal welcome and a complimentary glass of champagne by cheerful chef Beatriz Gonzalez and her charming husband Matthieu Marcant. The sun was pouring in through the big plate-glass windows looking out onto Martin Luther King Park (the restaurant is named after King’s wife, Coretta), illuminating the restaurant’s handsome blond-wood decor and creating a joyful atmosphere.
To stimulate our appetites, we were given small bowls of a lovely soup of marrow squash flavored with coconut and helianthus.
For my first course, I couldn’t resist ordering the daily special, mac and cheese, one of my top-10 comfort foods. This was not just any mac and cheese, however, but a luxury version that was more like baked ziti with foie gras, black truffles and meat juice instead of tomato sauce and ricotta. Tasty but too rich. I would have preferred a simpler version.
One of my friends started her meal with a delightfully fresh salad of gravlax with citrus fruits, radish, tomato and herbs.
Then we got down to serious business. Two of us had the rich, tender pressed venison with wasabi-flavored potatoes, green mango and samphire. Just the thing on a cold winter‘s day.
Our other friend had the quail with almonds, celery and kiwi. It was good, she reported, but it “didn’t make me sing.“ She’s a tough critic.
My friends had the same dessert they always have because it’s so very good: the cinnamon brioche with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Imagine the best cinnamon roll you’ve ever had and multiply by 10. Talk about comfort food!
I tried the refreshing and perhaps slightly less fattening vacherin, a meringue-based dessert, in a fruity, deconstructed version with avocado cream, mango sorbet, passionfruit and pineapple.
Coretta is what the French call a valeur sûre, a restaurant you can count on for an excellent meal, served with a smile, and pleasant, attractive surroundings.