On Friday night we were invited to the launch of Coco Rogue Chocolate Lounge’s new dinner menu. Before the launch of the new menu, Coco Rogue’s focus was on artisan chocolates made by master chocolatier Bruce Tanton. In their new endeavor, Coco Rogue is making Belgian food with an elegant twist and serving it with some very special Belgian beer and delicious cocktails.
I didn’t have my DSLR with me that night, so I’m posting a few cell phone photos.
The new beer menu at Coco Rogue sounds very exciting. They’ve teamed up with Ryan from The Monk’s Table with his expert knowledge of Belgian beer. They are going to be featuring at least one very hard-to-find Belgian brew: De Struisse’s Pannepot. If you don’t know about Pannepot, you can read my short love note about it here. It’s next to impossible to find in bars in Toronto, and the fact that Coco Rogue will soon be carrying it is reason enough for me to return for another dinner!
On the night of the menu launch the new beer menu wasn’t quite ready to roll out, so I ordered a classic chocolate martini. It was perfectly sweet and dangerously drinkable. The garnish on the top was a single origin chocolate exclusive to Coco Rogue. The also had an extensive list of other martinis including a few other chocolate ones, and a very nice list of scotches.
We tried just about everything on their menu. My favourite dishes of the night were the mussels in marinara sauce, the carbonnades flamandes (traditional Belgian beef stew brewed in Trappist ale) and the pensen sausage (venison sausage with sweet potato mash).
Their sweet potato frites were so amazing that they deserve their own paragraph. They were battered, crispy, salty and just an absolutely perfect snack. When I come back for my bottle of Pannepot, I am definitely going to order a bowl of these frites to go with it.
Richard and I spent some time in Belgium last summer and we quickly discovered that Belgian cuisine, when done properly, can be comforting and delicious. But it can also easily be bland and unexciting. Coco Rogue did an excellent job of capturing the best elements of Belgian cuisine and elevating them to a new level. Yonge & Eglinton is a bit of a wasteland when it comes to good restaurants and I think that the young singles in the area will be very glad to have such a perfect date spot in the neighbourhood. On the weekends there’s live piano music after 10pm and when we were there, Casablanca was being projected on a wall upstairs. Very romantic!
Coco Rogue Chocolate Lounge
2097 Yonge St.