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“Delicious and Delightful in the Desert”
Review of Cochineal

Cochineal
Ranked #5 of 31 Restaurants in Marfa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $2 - $36
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Located 4 doors west of the only red light intersection in Marfa . Look for the courtyard with trees lit up in the patio. Across from Roy's automotive.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Delicious and Delightful in the Desert”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

We had a fantastic meal at Cochineal. The sleek decor complemented the sophisticated food. My husband felt that his steak, cooked over a wood fire, was one of the best he'd ever had. My delicious duck breast was served with delicious Brussels sprouts. Our waitress was friendly and made spot-on recommendations for wine to pair with our meals.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    148
    63
    36
    13
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Unique top-quality food”
Reviewed October 28, 2013 via mobile

Modern decor with outdoor dining and high-quality cuisine, plus staff going out of their way to accommodate my gluten-free requirements makes this restaurant one I will frequent on my trips to Marfa. I had the Barramundi with shredded Brussels sprouts topping and fried rice balls in green tea sauce and it was divine. My friend had the quail which was really tasty. Service was pretty good but they were slow with the drinks because it was really busy and they had one bartender.

Helpful?
Thank 1Gypsy-Mama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

The cochineal (named after a beetle used to get dyes) but pronounced Coach-n-l, is what you would expect in downtown NYC. The menu is filled with a rich selection of dishes, and never leave without ordering the bread pudding (ordered before you eat).

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank mebledsoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
48 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Tasty fare in West Texas”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Cochineal. We started with cocktails, and my rhubarb flavored drink was excellent. We shared appetizers and our favorite was some sort of shiitake risotto balls that were really delicious. The endive salad was ok but nothing special. The chilaquiles main dish was excellent, but the salmon was rather bland. We shared three desserts-- the lemon yogurt cake with blueberries and the chocolate souffle were delicious but the best was the date pudding which is not to be missed. In all it was a very nice meal.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CB5598
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Food was great but service not”
Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

The gist of this review will be that we will eat here again if we are back in the area.

We consider ourselves foodies and go out of our way to experience different styles and flavors of food wherever we happen to be. So our gastronomic experience here was very satisfying, regardless of whether the restaurant had been in far west Texas or right in the middle of Houston or New York. From the several appetizers we started with to the main dish we shared to the dessert as well as the various mixed drinks on and off the cocktail menu, they all made our tastebuds happy. So definitely major kudos to the menu and chefs.

The frontline staff, however, could learn a little west Texas hospitality. They responded to requests and got the job done but there was no sense of being welcomed. We walked in without reservations and were given an initial reaction that we should have made them but were then offered any seat we desired, inside or out. We chose to sit at the bar. In hindsight we should have chosen a table because we ate and drank for three hours and the stools were more trendy and artsy and less comfortable for a prolonged meal.

Which leads to the decor. Everyone has their preferences so this is fully subjective. But considering that part of the reason for Marfa being on the current tourism map is due to the art colonies in the area, we expected to find a little more to see besides what we considered sterile decor.

Back to the frontline staff. Every time we tried to engage the staff we received curt responses with only the information we requested with no personal input from the person we asked, let alone asking us about ourselves in order to offer us suggestions to meet our desires. Although the restaurant did get busy it was never full so being "in the weeds" wouldn't explain the staff responses.

Having eaten at other restaurants in the area, speed is apparently not a West Texas restaurant trait. Having read other reviews about this restaurant I can add that its not a negative to be applied only here. When dining at nicer restaurants we usually take a few hours so the time it takes to get our food is not usually a concern to us so taking 20 minutes to get our first appetizer was no big deal.

Our final impression was that the restaurant is ALL about the food and everything else is a means to get great food into your mouth efficiently. The food was great and we would gladly return to taste it again but a more people friendly staff, and sitting at a table with chair backs, would enhance the meal even more.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank jyceHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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