Cuckoo for cocoa tagliatelle
There’s no need to wait until dessert for the chocolate course at Bin 26 Enoteca. The house-made tagliatelle dough contains a generous sprinkling of cocoa powder. On the plate, each noodle in cocoa tagliatelle (pictured, $18) tastes more earthy than sweet. The cocoa is an accent rather than the dominant flavor and provides the backbone for the garlicky wild mushroom sauce, says co-owner Babak Bina. The finishing touch comes from parsley; nepitella, a Tuscan herb akin to oregano and mint, is used in season. This is likely to win over a sweetheart well before profiteroles and chocolate mousse arrive. Bin 26 Enoteca, 26 Charles St., Boston, 617-723-5939, www.bin26.com.