Une soirée à Cocotte

Cocotte must be one of the most underrated restaurants in Portland. This adorable bistro and bar at the corner of NE Killingsworth and 30th sits adjacent to a plethora of fine Portland dining establishments- namely Beast, Expatriate, Yakuza, DOC and Autentica.

When Heather Jones invited me to a Blogger Dinner at Cocotte, I immediately RSVP’d anticipating another fantastic multi-course dining experience amongst Portland’s top food bloggers. And as has always been the case with the Blogger Dinners that Heather has hosted- it did not disappoint. Chef Kat LeSueur sure curated for us a fantastic itinerary for the night as you can see below:

The menu for the night

The menu for the night

As usual, blogger dinners are an estrogen-fest

As usual, blogger dinners are an estrogen-fest

There were around 12 or so bloggers in attendance; most of who I have met at prior events. As one would imagine, Cocotte got a whole lot of Instagram lovin’ on Tuesday night.

Upon arrival, we were all served some delectable little snacks along with some sparkling wine:

As expected, all the hors d’oeuvres were delicious. The carrot soup had a tinge of smokiness in it (which we later figured out was from bacon) and the pistachio butter on the crostini is something I would be happy to substitute every other nut butter with for the rest of my life. Plus, bubbly…I mean you know how much I <3 bubbly.

The second course was a steelhead salad; it was light and tasty though a little bit too salty for my liking (between the olives and smoked nature of the fish).

Nevor Shellfish Farm Clams, White Miso, Nori, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms, Chilli Flake

Nevor Shellfish Farm Clams, White Miso, Nori, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms, Chilli Flake

Clams paired with Domaine des Dorices, Muscadet Loire 2011

Clams paired with Domaine des Dorices, Muscadet Loire 2011

I fully admit that I would never order clams off a menu; something about little goobers of meat inside a shell has always been off-putting for me. However, these clams may have been my favourite dish of the night- it was absolutely delicious! Though the description sounds like it has Asian-influenced flavours, it was actually rather subtle. The broth was the perfect balance of spicy and umami to dip the crostini in and the baby shiitakes were to DIE for. This is precisely why I love food events since it provides the opportunity to taste dishes I would never think to order on my own- and thus become pleasantly surprised.

All I’m going to say about this course is that you can’t go wrong with a hunk of high calibre goat cheese with wine. A+.

This was an interesting dish to say the least; and perhaps the most widely analysed one of the night. So, let’s start with the pros: The rabbit was deliciously cooked, nice lean chunks of white meat. The broth and ragout were also on point. As for the other side of the equation: I personally found the chocolate gnocchi to be a bit of a bizarre choice, the flavour of the cocoa was subtle but it still tasted a tad anticlimactic in my opinion. The mousse in contrast was a bit too pungent for my liking, so I ended up leaving a dollop of it on my plate. Definitely an innovative dish however; I think with a couple of tweaks this could be a fantastic rabbit entree.

Oh my Lord, this duck. Duck is another one of those proteins I typically shun due to it’s typically fatty composition. This however, may have been some of the best duck I’ve tasted- and as small as it looks, it was in reality an extremely generous portion. The breast itself was lean and cooked to perfection topped with a layer of fat for some flavour. Plus the fusion of sweetness from the plum mixed with the slightly salty tang from the mustard seed sauce blended beautifully.

Orange Scented Chocolate Cake, Black Pepper Vanilla Whipped Cream, Praline Sauce, Gold Leaf

Orange Scented Chocolate Cake, Black Pepper Vanilla Whipped Cream, Praline Sauce, Gold Leaf

Paired with Lustau Anada 1997 Vintage Sherry

Paired with Lustau Anada 1997 Vintage Sherry

And finally, dessert. Chef Kat, you absolutely killed it with this cake. I’ve been on a rampant sweet tooth these past two weeks and this ridiculously moist melt-in-your mouth cake was euphoria on a plate. Think the texture of a slightlly undercooked gooey brownie and complimented with a light dollop of whipped cream, fusion of nutty and plum-infused sauces then topped with a gold flake for a little #glam. The perfect way to end an impeccable four hours supper.

Chef Kat herself telling us about Cocotte

Chef Kat herself telling us about Cocotte

Portland Food Bloggers! Photo Credit: Heather Jones

Portland Food Bloggers! Photo Credit: Heather Jones

Merci Beaucoup to Chef Kat and the staff at Cocotte for an incredible dining experience; and of course a huge thanks to Heather Jones for hosting another fun, delicious and social-media filled blogger dinner. Already can’t wait for the next one!

So there you go, folks, if you’re looking for a cute French bistro and bar to take a client, non-platonic date, platonic date or group of girlfriends to then Cocotte is your spot!

Cocotte on Urbanspoon

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