Faculty Favorites: Brunch at Little Coco’s


Courtesy of Margot Durfee

Margot Durfee

As a previous restaurant owner, Wilson math teacher Patricia Milikin knows how to single out a good restaurant. Like, a really good restaurant. So when she told me one of her favorite DC spots is Little Coco’s, an Italian-style restaurant in Petworth, I knew I had to try it out.

“[Little Coco’s] is always good, the quality is good, the price is not so bad, and they always have good service,” Milkin explained excitedly. “At Little Coco’s everyone is just really friendly and takes care of you.”

Located in a narrow brick building sandwiched between a Metro PCS store and bar on the corner of 14th and Randolph St, Little Coco’s is just a ten minute walk from the Columbia Heights Metro stop. Several tables were set up outside, and a sign in red cursive lettering read “Little Coco’s”. The interior was relatively narrow, extended into the depths of the building, with wooden tables and red chairs lined up against the walls. Other than the red string lights strewn across wooden rafters on the ceiling, the restaurant was dimly lit. Towards the back of the restaurant, where the light was dimmest, were several nooks and booths with rustic wooden partitions.

The combination of a shining red neon sign reading “hot pizza and cold beer” hanging on a brick wall and the upbeat rock music playing in the background gave the impression of a sports bar. The opposite long marble counter with ornate white-gold espresso machines resembled a coffee shop. Hanging above one of the wooden tables was a painting of a baby floating underwater, gazing at a suspended slice of pizza.

As the restaurant is only open after 5 p.m. on weekdays, I decided to go for brunch, offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 3 p.m. Just as eclectic as their interior design, their brunch menu offered an array of delicious breakfast foods, from the classic breakfast with eggs, potatoes, and bacon to more unique twists on brunch meals, like the fall spiced pancakes topped with whipped ricotta and apple compote. While their menu is not enormous — with just 10 dishes on the brunch menu, all between $10 to $17, the unique twists on ordinary dishes and frequent menu changes add to the excitement of ordering.

I ordered the eggs benedetto ($14), which consisted of two crispy semolina biscuits (similar to english muffins) topped with poached eggs, arugula, prosciutto, and choron sauce (a creamy tomato and egg yolk based sauce). The eggs were rich and slightly sweet, the yolk oozed out when I cut into it, and complemented the saltiness of the prosciutto and crispiness of the biscuits. The strong flavor of the arugula added a sharpness to the dish, undercutting the richness of the eggs and choron sauce. While at first I was skeptical whether the portion size would be large enough (I’d just come from crew practice and was starving), it proved to be a fulfilling and delicious meal.

My friend ordered the lemon poppy seed brioche french toast ($12) — two slices of brioche bread pan-fried in an egg mixture with lemon and vanilla topped with candied pistachios, strawberry slices, pirouettes of lemon cream, and a slight sprinkle of powdered sugar. The toast was crispy yet fluffy, and had a slight lemon flavor, while the strawberries added a cold freshness to the otherwise comfortingly warm meal.

Just as Milikin had mentioned, the service was extremely efficient and attentive — there was barely any wait to order, and our food came within ten minutes. If you are looking for a delicious and good quality meal that is not outrageously expensive, I would recommend trying their brunch selection. I had a great experience at Little Coco’s and am eager to go back and try another one of their unique dishes.