PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston March 2024

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Page 39 of 131

O nce you've reached the pinnacle of career and personal success, not to mention financial freedom and the luxury of time to devote yourself to a new endeavor, what does one do? If you're Edwin Bosso and his stylish wife, Edith, you open a restaurant. Their labor of love, Cocody Restaurant and Bar, is no prosaic eatery. The glittering fine-dining enclave in River Oaks Shopping Center is named for the tony suburb of Abidjan on Africa's Ivory Coast, where the Bossos spent their childhood. Armed with a graduate degree THE NEW COCODY RESTAURANT & BAR By Laurann Claridge. Photography Michael Zibi. Above: Cocody Restaurant & Bar. Below: Philadelphia lemon cheesecake mille feuille at Cocody. from Rice University, Edwin — the founder of Myrtle Consulting Group — has traversed the globe, residing in countries from Mexico to The Netherlands, Brazil, and Burkina Faso before settling down in Houston. Edith, who obtained her degree from ESMOD in Paris, was very involved in the design of the restaurant. The Bossos hired Winn Wittman Architects of Austin to build out the space, which is 7,000 square feet and 2,000 more in the courtyard. Houston-based Nina Magon Studio fashioned its interiors, which give a subtle nod to the center's Art Deco era. By day, sheer-covered windows diffuse the natural light in the dining room, where you can sink into a plush ivory-hued chair or a curvaceous rose-colored banquette. After dark, the marble-topped, gold-edged tables are cloaked with crisp white cloths, and the dining room glistens with hundreds of crystal lights that look like lotus pads shimmering beneath a copper-clad tray ceiling. Although it's barely visible to customers, I was awed by the spectacular kitchen designed by French-born and -trained co-chefs Lionel Debon and David Denis. Nearly every inch is clad in stainless steel (save for underfoot), with state-of-the-art commercial-grade induction cooktops of the sort that Michelin-starred establishments in Europe have used for years. These wonders utilize electromagnets to efficiently and swiftly heat cookware without the pollution of fossil fuels; induction cooking also helps to keep the temperature-controlled kitchen cooler. Chef Denis is joined at Cocody by his brother, Sylvain Denis, who serves as sommelier and operations manager. If these names sound familiar, you might have dined at their former eatery, Le Mistral, or perhaps their current Bistro 555, Rouge Wine Bar, or Artisans Cuisine & Savoir-Faire. Chef Debon earned the proverbial pleats on his toque by working in some of Europe's Michelin-starred eateries before joining the Denis brothers at Le Mistral. While the kitchen is clearly grounded in French technique, the menu offers a globally inspired array of dishes that the chefs spent the better part of a year tweaking. Offerings are the same at lunch and dinner. Light starters include thin slices of organic beets simmered in orange juice to bring out their sweetness, served with bright dots of yellow beet purée, orbs of Montchevre goat's cheese, and toasted hazelnuts and frisée tossed in a hazelnut vinaigrette ($18). Playing up the A LABOR LOVE of (Continued on page 121) 38

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