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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by Matias on 01/03/2013
I went to El Cocotero a couple of weeks ago. The food was excellent (I've being buying their fantastic Hallacas for years). The service and presentation, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. Besides my friend and I there were maybe 6 other customers. The service was very—painfully—slow. The dishes the used to serve the food were in horrible condition, faded from repeated scrubbing, chipped and didn't match. Every time I spoke Spanish to our waitress (I'm Venezuelan), for some reason she always answered in English, even though she spoke perfect Venezuelan Spanish to other staffers. Our dinner was definitely not worth the $60 we were charge. I will keep buying my Hallacas from El Cocotero, but I doubt I'll go back to eat there.
Posted by anonymous on 12/05/2012
In a town where chain restaurants have taken over, this small,quaint restaurant is a throw-back to old NYC where food is made to order,fresh, and the owner is on site. It's the perfect place to meet friends for drinks and shared platters or simple stop in for a bite when alone. You always feel welcome and part of the family. I read some ot the other reviews and while service may be slower "Latino-style", the food is worth the wait. Having lived in Venezuela myself, I can assure you this is the most authentic food I have found. Note-also lots of options for vegetarians!
Posted by Anonymous on 09/21/2011
This place is going downhill. First time i went there like 2 yrs ago it was pretty good. I had the chance of going one more time and it will be the last. Waited to long for my food, not authentic venezuelan food, extremely overpriced. Even the Passion Fruit was unappetizing, weak tasting. I would not recommend this place anymore. Before I did it but now I regret coming back there. Believe me making Venezuelan food it is not too complicated. Specially if you are ordering some simple Arepas and Empanadas. By the way I'm Venezuelan.
Posted by TVB3 on 05/25/2011
My first experience at El Cocotero was fantastic. Amazing and authentic home-cooked food, and great drinks. I look forward to trying everything on the menu. I would also recommend calling or stopping by on a Sunday. Sometimes they have special dishes that are not on the menu. I had the best arroz con pollo (Chicken & rice) I've ever had on a Sunday at Cocotero. The owner/manager is professional, personable, and takes his cooking seriously. Check it out!
Posted by JC on 04/14/2011
excellent food. called in an order for pick up and was told it would be ready in 10 mins. It took ONE HOUR for an arepa and an empanada. restaurant was empty, too. worth the wait, but make sure you have the time. also no apology. this place is definately on island time.
Posted by PJ on 03/05/2011
Love everything! The food! The delicious waiters, the special drinks, sangria, arepas... Yuca... Love it all! I come here all the time. :)
Posted by Diana on 02/01/2011
I love El Cocotero!! Their food is delicious and very authentic. I moved to nyc from caracas about 15 years ago and I go here every time I feel homesick. Their Arepas are delicious, authentic but at the same time original. Other yummy treats are tequenos, Cachapas, and pabellon. The ambiance and the service is not only great but warm and very inviting! Lucho, the owner, is always around to share a laugh. Very good !!