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CODA in the South End

Last night, I headed out in the snow (yet again...) and made my way over to CODA in the South End with a posse including Sebastian, Michelle, Maeve, and Sebastian's boyfriend, let's call him "Jake." Luckily, CODA is right around the corner from the Back Bay T stop, so the trudging through the snow dunes was kept to a minimum.

The restaurant was very inviting, especially on such a snowy night. Long and narrow, one side of the restaurant is high table, two-tops, the other, a lengthy bar. Our table was all the way in the back, in a dark corner that would be great for a date when you're in that stage where the darker, the better. But in this case, it just meant I couldn't read the menu and needed the light of my cell phone to figure out what to order. Wow, what a Dish Dad moment ;)

We started off with a round of cocktails. The drink list was awesome-- Maeve and Michelle started off with the Winter Sangria - which was a traditional sangria with a hint of cozy, log-cabin wintertime in the form of a cinnamon stick. While they embraced winter, I got ready for my trip to Miami with the "Poor Tom," which was basically a mojito, with lemon instead of lime, lots of fresh mint, and St. Germain. I also was considering getting a Strongbow (cider from England) which I looooved while abroad. Maeve also later tried the "raspberry lime rickey", a throwback to childhood days with Stoli Razberi and lemon-lime soda.

When it came time for meal time, we decided to do it "Toro-style" i.e. tapas-style, ordering just from the appetizer part of the menu, and sharing everything. My favorite was unexpected: the Asian beef skewers with udon noodles. While not the most beautiful of things (see photo), these were tender and in a delicious marinade.
Photos by Jake's blackberry (need to start remembering my camera!!!)

Another hit was the stuffed portobello mushrooms with goat cheese and asparagus. These were HUGE, a veritable goat cheese bonanza. Again, not the most pleasant thing to look at, but it tasted good.
We also got some "Asian-style" calamari; this was my least favorite of the appetizers. While the plate and marinara dipping sauce was massive (see picture below), it contained not that much calamari (most was filler greens, as you can see). The calamari that it did contain did not taste at all like "Asian" calamari. Plus, why would marinara sauce go with an Asian calamari anyway?

We also got crostini topped with pulled chicken and brie. These were not great, and not bad. The final appetizer was chicken wings with a cilantro sour cream dipping sauce. These were yummy, and seemed like they'd be easy to make at home. But of course, I am a cilantro-a-holic.

All in all, I would recommend CODA for a night out with friends where alcohol is the main priority. Their affordable and delicious drink menu and fun atmosphere makes for a great night out, as it was in our case. However, for foodies, I'd say you can find a better bar menu (can't speak to entrees as we only had apps) elsewhere, like The Franklin.

Or, instead of doing "Toro-style" you could always just head to Toro ;)

Coda Bar & Kitchen. on Urbanspoon

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