Reining ourselves in from the clean-plate syndrome, we saved space for eagerly-anticipated desserts ($6), which that evening were Prosecco sabayon with fresh raspberries; bittersweet chocolate tarte, accompanied by a small mint chocolate shake; and rice pudding with Armagnac-soaked prunes. We chose the first two. The tarte was accompanied by coffee, and Bill entered some kind of caffeine-induced euphoria over his dessert, waxing nostalgic over this permutation of a glass of milk with chocolate cake. I enjoyed the smooth lightness of the pudding-like sabayon, but it was simply too sweet for my tastes.

The service at Cook & Brown is first-rate, with waitstaff and host helping each other attend the tables. Despite many queries and requests, they all remained friendly and helpful. The décor is straightforward: lots of windows, only a mirror on one wall; tables with white linens, brown butcher paper, and blue pint Mason jars holding bouquets of yellow mums and rust-colored roses.

Cook & Brown is a restful spot and a welcoming neighborhood hangout. It's succeeding as a "public house" and a European-style bistro.

Johnette Rodriguez can be reached

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