I have to admit that we ended up in Coquette randomly as we were looking for a BBQ place that we never found...We finally did not regret and went twice for lunch and then dinner.
The main room of the restaurant has a French restaurant feel, but know that nor the owner, neither the Chef are French! The Chef graduated from the Cordon Bleu school and has been classically trained in French cuisine. Besides the restaurant, they give cooking classes every Tuesday evenings for $59 per class.
They serve typical French dishes such as the Escargots de Bourgogne (snails), duck confit, Coq au vin (chicken instead of rooster) or Flammekueche (I would call it Alsatian Pizza!).
The escargots were perfect! You would think that just adding butter, parsley and garlic is not complicated? Well, I can tell you that I had surprises in the past! Cafe D'Alsace in NYC, on the Upper East Side, used to propose them and it was terrible! Apparently they removed them from the menu: Thank God! Even Whole food has better ones! The beauty of that dish is that if you do not like snails, you can enjoy the sauce...That's why they serve them with bread!
Their leg of Duck confit was delicious! Usually, it tends to be salty, but this was fine. It was served with a very refreshing salad, made of frisee salad, brandied blackberries, honey clove pistachios, drizzled with a grapefruit vinaigrette. To serve it with a salad made the dish light and the colors of the plate made the dish very appetizing! I would go back to Coquette just for this...and the snails!
Now, don't be freaked out, they have more common dishes! For instance, they have a nice cheese platter served with toasts, walnuts, grapes and some kind of chutney. We got:
- Semi soft Gruyere
- Bucherolle (goat cheese aged 4 months)
- Ossau-Iraty (firm sheep milk cheese)
- Explorateur (triple cream...no comment!)
- Fourme d'Ambert (blue cheese)
All of these cheeses were delicious and pairing them with a chutney enhances the taste! If you do not like strong cheeses, you can put some butter on the bread: it will help making it taste less strong.
Cheese is still not your thing? They also have homemade caramelized onions and goat cheese ravioli served with toasted pine nuts, sweet peas, tomato concasse, oyster mushrooms, Grana padano cheese (popular italian cheese), and basil oil. That was a great dish! The ravioli were perfectly cooked (I hate when they are over cooked!) and when you bite on it, you can really taste the caramelized onions and the goat cheese that paired deliciously!
We also tried:
- The Grilled shrimp with patty pan squash, sweet and sour swiss chard, basmati rice and...white truffle herb butter. My choice was driven by the latter. It was a mistake....Although the grilled shrimps were good, the swiss chard was really sour and there was not enough sauce. Too bad!
- The chilled mozzarella soup served with a tomato compote and a balsamic vinegar reduction. Pretty interesting...I liked it but only when eating all the elements together (otherwise, I found eating only the mozzarella bland). Perfect on a hot day!
Last, the most important part of the meal: dessert! They do have a nice dessert menu. Their key lime pie with meringue looked delicious according to the drunk old ladies that were sitting behind us... We tried the Oeufs a la neige / Ile Flottante (snow eggs or floating island) that are a very light meringue on vanilla custard, a classic French dessert. This was pretty good and light after a pretty complete meal!
I definitely enjoyed my meals at Coquette and would go back! If you are in Milwaukee, check it out: it is worth it!
Enjoy (I did)!