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One of the unconventional paella-inspired dishes on the menu: shrimp and cured pork tossed with vermicelli pasta. Image courtesy of Franky Frankeny.
Picture this: You’re sitting in a rich leather chair that rests on a bull hide, sipping a glass of sangria made with Manzanilla sherry, about to dig in to some patatas bravas flecked with jamon.
No, you aren’t on a Spanish holiday. You are at Coqueta, Michael Chiarello’s new restaurant on Pier 5. It’s the Napa-based chef’s first venture in SF, and he really went all out in the creation of this thoroughly authentic tapas spot.
The cocktail list stars “gintonics” (that’s Spanish for “gin and tonics”), which put a fresh twist on the drink by using an acorn and apricot tonic, berry shrub and lime ($12). For bigger groups, try the sherry-based party pitchers called porrons ($17).
On to the tapas: Start with a selection of skewers stacked with chorizo, piquillo peppers and other bite-size delights ($2.50 per item, $7 for three), then follow them up with the smooth white gazpacho drizzled with a Syrah reduction ($6). Next, order the tortilla Andres ($6), an unusually light version of the Spanish omelet. Round things out with the sunny-side-up egg topped with tangy shrimp and crispy potato shreds ($12). Finish your feast with the mini chocolate-covered Manchego cheesecakes ($4 for two).
Taking a post-meal siesta is completely acceptable (hey, when in Spain…).
Pier 5, The Embarcadero; 415-704-8866 or coquetasf.com
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