By David Minsky
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Other dishes seemed more New Orleanian than strictly French, including an entrée of blackened mahi-mahi with green applemango salsa and an appetizer of spicy shrimp served over fried leeks. The latter item comprised four large shrimp rather than the jumbos to which the menu attested, and for $10.95 we should have seen a few more of them. Still, the shrimp were expertly grilled, and a Cajun lemon-ginger seasoning was affirming.
But given the range of recipes -- from Wiener schnitzel topped with a fried egg, anchovies, and capers to roasted rack of lamb with rosemary-cranberry sauce -- the cuisine is hard to pin down. The tag "New Continental," which Gawad uses in his advertisements, works as well as any. Whether you order the maple-glazed duck breast with mango salsa or the veal scaloppini française with ginger, white wine, and lemon-basil butter for dinner, you can count on the dishes to reflect the current global trend in cooking.
You can also expect top-quality meat and expert rendering. Filet mignon Diane was phenomenal: prime beef cooked to specifications, glistening with a wonderfully sublime mushroom-cognac sauce. Roasted salmon encrusted with almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans maintained a crisp edge and moist interior, dabbed with citrus-herb butter rather than awash in sauce. Linguini pescatora, an assortment of seafood and mahi-mahi served over pasta woven with chopped tomatoes and washed with olive oil and garlic, provided some of the sweetest scallops I've eaten in some time.
What you can't depend upon are menu descriptions. Though some plates were supposed to be served with mashed sweet potatoes, all main courses came with sautéed leaf spinach, quartered roasted potatoes, and a melange of squash and zucchini. Coho Grill also needs a more inspired wine list. A few good California chardonnays like Cambria are available for less than $30, but nothing on the list surprises. And one warning: Prices may rise and fall -- our prix fixe was $17.95 one week, $18.95 another -- so if the check doesn't look right, be sure to ask for a recount. Then, if you skip dessert, you'll know just how to vote for this promising young candidate.