the driving sheets of rain forced me to diverge from my plan to try out Red Maple on the west bank, so we used one of our restaurant.com coupons at Coquette. ive been there a couple of times and enjoyed it, but last nite they really knocked it outta the park.
we ate at the bar because we like the bartender and have always enjoyed bar dining in bistros. to begin they gave us an amuse bouche of fried oyster. then they set down the bread...their bread is amazing. i hear the preparation varies, but the rustic sliced loaf last nite was incredible, and the sea salted butter addicting.
for apps we had two: the green curry scallops w/ coconut foam and small noodles (usually a main), and foie gras ravioloi w/ fat grated parm and a type of butter sauce. both of these were very good ($11-12). next we had the boston bibb salad ($7), no complaints. for the main we ordered a single black drum w/ gnocchi and kale w/ an oyster cream sauce; this dish was very good. my minor complaint at Coqutte has been the entree is almost naked on the plate since they arent big on sides, but this dish w/ the kale and gnocchi was more to my liking. the fish was a thin, crispy, skin-on preparation and i think perhaps parm crusted.
for dessert, the "chocolate beignets" -- air-like dollups of fried love served w/ a cup of the best mocha-y chocolate pudding topped w/ a dense whipped cream. you dip or coat the beignets w/ this awesome concoction and sit back. perfect.
she also had two sazeracs, which we agreed were the best we've ever had, and quite reasonable at $6.50 (how the Sazerac bar can charge $12+ is beyond me...)
the big thing theyve improved on from our early visits is the service. the bartender is great, and the serving staff that assisted were friendly & gracious. they split our shared items w/o charging (at ordering i had said it was unnecessary since we dont mind sharing a plate) and generally seemed happy to be there. that is how you do it, folks.
this was a classic and perfect bistro dining experience. no complaints, pleasantly surprised.
2800 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115