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Melanie Wong | Aug 30, 201803:41 PM     3

From our snack at Pok Pok Wing https://www.chowhound.com/post/pok-po... , we proceeded to Coquine, a teensy bistro at the top of Mount Tabor for our "real" lunch.

The three of us cozied up at a table next to the windows.

The natural wood setting, Heath look-a-like dinnerware, casual vibe and Provençal-inflected farm-to-table offerings brought to mind Berkeley's Chez Panisse Cafe.

We indulged our Southern France fantasies with a pastis aperitif. Coquine served the anise-flavored Ricard in a small glass with a pitcher of ice cold water for the customer to create the louche at the table.

We shared three dishes, starting with Bologna on white bread, $3. Trimmed of crusts, the bread was light but on the dry side. Good quality Fontina mortadella imported from italy, however, way too thick a layer of powerful mustard overwhelmed the sandwich.

Filet beans and pickled cherries, $10, tossed the snappy, thin green beans with a lavish amount of zippy herbed buttermilk dressing. Abundant toasted pecans added more richness and crunch, the pickled cherries punctuated with bursts of tart-sweet juiciness, and crisp Little Gems lettuce served as a pedestal. This was my favorite dish.

Chickpea socca, $14, was summer on a plate with charred sweet peppers and roasted Sungold tomatoes that exploded with warm, sweet juices on the palate. A scatter of creamy, mild feta cheese, bright green Italian parsley and an egg over easy crowned the plate. The socca pancake itself was done so well, griddled to a golden brown, still tender in the middle, and tasting like pois chiches.

Overall, a delightful meal and that's quite a testament considering how non-hungry we were. I'd love to return for a more extensive dinner. Coquine has a very nice bottle list of Champagnes and ciders to explore another time.

6839 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 384-2483


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