Waterfront Dining in Deltaville, Va.,
Now Has a Laid-Back, Caribbean Flair.

by Jane Meneely, May 2008

CoCoMo's is the happening place in Deltaville, Va., which needed a waterfront watering hole and finally got one a few years back when Barry Miller put up a neo-funky restaurant near the mouth of Broad Creek. He gave it a beach cottage paint job, filled it with pink flamingos, old name boards and other nautiques, set up a bar and grill and began serving (among other things) pork barbecue, fried oysters, steamed crabs and good beer. Since then the little enterprise has attracted a following among locals and visiting boaters alike, who settle into the informal atmosphere like Old Bay on a crab claw. It's a comfortable sort of place, where it's easy to linger over a hot Irish coffee--and that is just what Paul and I did last spring as Tropical Storm Barry raged up the Bay.

The friendly hostess sat us in the last empty table, and within moments a smiling server was fetching us those spiked coffees as we perused the menu. This is a place for fun dining, not fine dining. You can get a hamburger any which way. You can get some chicken salad or a pound of steamed shrimp. And you can order a hearty helping or stay on the lighter side. We decided on an order of bacon-wrapped scallops (one of the appetizers), along with a fried-oyster sandwich and a helping of pork barbecue (I chose the tomato base over the vinegar). The scallops were nicely done--juice dripped down the little skewers and the bacon was good and crisp. Paul's oysters were plump and clean (no grit), and he seemed particularly happy with the french fries, even suggesting that I would get a fork through my wrist should I attempt to steal one. (He's that kind of guy. But I showed him--I ate all the extra coleslaw I'd gotten in lieu of fries.) My barbecue was well seasoned, though not particularly spicy; I could actually taste the meat. We were also able to sample the crabcake while we were there, and it was honest enough: chunks of backfin laced with more breading than I like. For dessert we got a slice of creamsicle cheesecake and a slab of chocolate brownie drizzled with fudge sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. All around, the helpings were generous, but not overwhelming. When all was done we felt well and substantially fed, although I'll admit I had to sit for a bit to let those brownies settle in along my thighs before I could stand up.

CoCoMo's is located on Broad Creek (off the Rappahannock River) across from Norview Marina and just downstream from Norton's. Free dockage for diners, first-come-first-served (6-foot MLW). Boaters staying in Deltaville marinas will not have any trouble getting there; courtesy cars and free lifts abound (Deltaville is that sort of place), and the restaurant is happy to pick up or drop off. CoCoMo's is open daily in season for dinner; lunch is served on weekends (after Labor Day the restaurant is closed on Monday). Sandwiches and burgers $7Ã.‚¬"$10; appetizers $7Ã.‚¬"$10; entrees $17Ã.‚¬"$22. 804-776-8822. Major credit cards accepted.

[05.08 issue]