Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cocotte

2930 NE Killingsworth Avenue
Happy Hour: 9 - close, Tuesday through Saturday
ALL Night Happy Hour: 5 - close, Sundays and Mondays
cocottepdx.com

When I first moved to Portland as a freshman in college, I knew three neighborhoods: Ladd's Addition (where my oldest sister lived), PSU (where my other sister lived, worked, and went to school), and Concordia (where I would spend the next four years of my life). The Concordia Neighborhood wasn't as established as it is now and it certainly didn't have all that much to offer. Back then, the closest grocery store was Food Villa (more commonly referred to as Foodzilla), the Kennedy School was a piece of condemned property, and there was a boarded up building that probably hadn't been used for years in the space that now houses New Seasons. Concordia University has grown a lot since I first started--building a new library, an athletic complex, and a number of dorms and apartments--but the neighborhood has grown even more.


While waiting for the doors to open at Cocotte earlier this week, I made the rounds to all of the restaurants that line the streets at the intersection of Killingsworth and NE 30th. It took less than a minute to add six restaurants to my official "to do" list. I can barely believe that there are so many notable spots in a space that used to house so little. I'm excited to continue exploring a neighborhood that I once knew so well.


Cocotte is so charming, it's almost unbearable. I love the lighting, the windows, the fancy cocktails, and the cheese board. I love that they offer fancy butter with their bread and that the servers are beyond exceptional. (I don't love rillettes or chicken liver mousse, but I'm a vegetarian so it makes complete sense.) And I love that the bill comes accompanied by soft and deliciously satisfying cookies. Without spending a fortune, though, I'm afraid that I will have to remember Cocotte as a place to merely taste deliciousness--and not a place where happy hour can replace a full-sized meal.


The cocktail menu at Cocotte includes many traditional gin and whiskey drinks along with a number of their own original recipes. Each drink is marked with its place of origin and the year it was created. I opted for one of Cocotte's original cocktails and am so glad I did. Made with Plymouth Gin, egg whites, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and orange bitters, the Pommes Bascule is something that I will order again and again.



To sample the menu, we ordered the daily cheese selection ($5), the caesar salad ($5), and the crepes ($8). There is so much more available on the regular dinner menu that I hope to return in the near future. I might have to save up or wait for a special occasion, but I will be back.



The caesar salad was lightly dressed bib lettuce with an abundance of croutons.


Served with pickled white asparagus and mushrooms, the crepes were folded and topped with a mushroom ragout.


I was most impressed by the presentation of the daily cheese selection. Offered on a traditional bread board, the wedge of cheese--made in Madras, Oregon--was accompanied by fruit preserves and additional baguette slices.


Although the cookie was a sweet surprise and could easily finish the meal, the dessert menu at Cocotte is quite tempting. Both the butterscotch pudding and the carrot cake--made with chestnuts and salted caramel--sound delicious. I guess I'll just have to order both.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets

-b

Cocotte on Urbanspoon

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