Coquine is a tiny spot with about 9 bare wood tables. Located on a street corner, two sides have windows to let in natural light but it’s a bright spot either way. We were there at lunch when they offer a daily lunch special of soup, salad and choice of sandwich or for two people it includes a half bottle of wine and cookies, as well as offering an a la carte menu. The special does get slightly smaller portions than ordering a la carte but it’s the right amount so you don’t leave hungry or stuffed. The wine list is fairly limited at lunch but I understand it’s bigger at dinner. It’s a friendly and casual spot but expect a wait. They have a list when you enter and the tables turned over fairly often. A large bar dominates the room but it is for service not seating.
We started with the marinated beet salad served with dill-yoghurt, toasted walnuts and shaved fennel. The sweet purple beets were combined with yellow golden ones and nice fresh fennel in a yoghurt dressing topped with crunchy nuts and crumbs. Everything blended together really well and was quite delicious.
The soup was tomato with Nicoise olives, salsa verde, spiced sunflower seeds and créme fraïche. It was very creamy fresh tasting. A totally simple yet wonderful soup.
For $6 you could substitute the chicken pot pie for the sandwich, which I did. It was served with a butternut squash cream, roasted maitake mushrooms, autumn vegetables and topped with a thyme pie crust. The crust was thin and totally crisp and buttery and had been cooked separately from the filling. The tender moist chicken chunks were mixed with chunks of celery and squash, but what made this special was the squash cream that was unique and wonderful. A total winner of a dish.
Duck confit was also available to substitute for the sandwich for $7 and also worth the upcharge. The duck confit was served with farro, chanterelle mushrooms, cippolini onions and cress. The duck was savory and the mushrooms quite tasty. The farro was cooked so it still had a nice bite for an equally delicious entree.
Dessert was the Coquine cookie, a magnificent chocolate chip. It was thick and crispy and studded with roasted almonds and maybe butterscotch chips and then topped with grains of salt. It had was amazing in taste and texture. This one is not to be missed.