Experience pays off

There’s a new restaurant in Danville, Cocina Hermanas.  It’s casual dining with upscale Mexican food.

Cocina Hermanas is in the building Basil Tree formerly occupied, across the street from Danville Harvest.  That’s important because the same man, Darren Matte, owns both (as well as Per Diem in the financial district of the City).  The restaurant is named for his 3 daughters.

This place works.  Food and service are excellent, prices are reasonable and the experience was all around pleasant.

The chef, Timothy Humphrey, is in charge of both restaurants, maintaining the quality the area demands on both sides of the street.

I didn’t notice much physical change from Basil Tree.  The place is still casual and open, with a large deck fronting Hartz Avenue.  Everything is clean and airy, and the bar highlights a large selection of tequilas.

I had the enchilada de pollo con papas y queso, chicken enchilada with potatoes and cheese.  Not only was it incredible, but the presentation was spectacular.  I’ve never seen an enchilada that looks this good:

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That’s two humungous enchiladas on a bed of poblano rice with beans, cotija cheese and smoked crema Oaxaqueña.  It tastes as good as it looks, with a smoky complexity generally lacking in less ably created Mexican food.

Gail love pozole, so that’s what she had.  A soup of hominy, cabbage and pork, it’s rich and filling.  Hominy is a rare ingredient in Anglo diets, but somehow Gail is a big fan.  It’s a corn product, and it’s what grits are made of.

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She liked the soup but thought it needed more hominy.

Some years ago, we crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II, as classy a big cruise ship as you can find.   I ordered iced tea, as usual, and then had to badger them to bring me an iced tea spoon with which to stir.  So that’s part of my standard for excellent service, and look at what I got in Danville;

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I wouldn’t dream of quibbling over the size of the spoon, I’m just impressed that I got one.  Good for them.

And there is one more important test to pass.  Cocina Hermanas gets the Claudia seal of approval.

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