By Dina Avila
It was a blustery autumnal night. The rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was blowing bright orange and red leaves like chaotic confetti all over the city. Wrapped in scarves and winter coats we stumble into Cocotte dripping with rain…and anticipation.
We have the whole place to ourselves. Twenty-three Portlanders hungry for some of the best food our fair city offers. Candles are lit. French music playing softly, the bartender working on cocktails, and Kat and Zoe in the kitchen bringing food together in what appears to be French inflected alchemy, but really, they are just bad ass cooks.
This was Wednesday night.
Cocotte (pronounced Co-cot…or co-coat…depending on your mood) means many things. Among the list Kat shared with us, my favorites are “feisty hen” and “lady of the night”. After Wednesday night, I may add one more definition to the list. Amazing. Delightful. Ambrosial. Ok that’s three, but I just can’t help myself.
Cocotte was my fifth Portland Food Adventures and like the four before her, I was surprised and captivated by the night. Levi, part owner, and our bartender extraordinaire for the night started us off with an aperitif called Mere – Doubonnet Rouge, Gin, Lemon. If we weren’t relaxed before that drink, we certainly were after.
For those of you not familiar with Portland Food Adventures, let me tell you a little about it. PFA is the brainchild of Chris Angeles and the idea is simple (and brilliant!). Take a peak at the PFA website and see what dinners are coming up, by the way, breakfast at Broder on New Years Day and dinner Aviary on 1/17 are on the agenda-not to be missed! You sign up, give Chris a bit of money (gratuity included), arrive the night of the dinner, be prepared to have your mind and palate blown, and walk away with a more than contented belly and a stack of gift certificates to some of the chef de la nuit favorite eateries (Yakuza, DOC, Grain & Gristle were among those on Wednesday) in Portland. Not a bad deal, eh?
Seven courses. That is what Kat and Zoe and their wonderful sous chef, Katherine, created for us on Tuesday night. Paired perfectly with French and Northwest wines and book ended with an aperitif and digestif. And let me tell you, these ladies went all out for us.
I don’t think these pictures do their dishes justice….so I think you should just visit Kat and Zoe at Cocotte and experience it for yourself 🙂
PS Thank you, Chris for inviting Adam! We can’t think of a nicer and more generous engagement gift!
Amuse Bouche~ Salmon Quenelle w/ Mornay, Preserved Lemons, Capers, Pistou & Baguette Croute. Too be eaten in one swift bite!
The beautiful Zoe Hacket and Amuse Guele~Yam Winter Squash Puree Soup w/ Chevre & Roasted Mushrooms. I have not stopped thinking about this soup. So much so, that I have to beg for the recipe…
Adam enjoying a delicious ’09 Bourgogne and Charcuterie~ Chicken Liver Mousse, Duck Rillettes en Croute & Duck Gelee w/ Radicchio Marmalade, Apple Mourtarde, Pickled Breakfast Radish & Shallots, House-Made Brioche
Entree ~ Clafoutis w/ Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, Arugala Salad & Radishes
The Lady Kat
Plat Principal~ Poulet en Cocotte w/ Farro Risotto, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Breakfast Radishes, Savoy Cabbage, Soft Poached Egg, & Demi-Glace. So. Delicious.
The adorable couple who sat across from us celebrating their first year together.
Fromage~ Bucheron w/ Blueberry Chutney, Ossau-Iraty w/ Apple Quince Puree, Bleu d’Auvergne w/ Onion Currant Jam, Shortbread
Dessert~ Warm Brown Sugar Gateau w/ Salthe Calvados Caramel Sauce, Caramelized Apple & White Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream