Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coy Latin Offerings Peeking Out at Coquette

Adam Erace's review of the bistro Coquette left me a bit puzzled about what I could expect to find on the bar menu at this traditionally French establishment.

We had been deliberately avoiding the place after I heard rumors about the inconsistencies in the food coming out of the kitchen since they had acquired a new chef...the French-Thai fusion was a manageable combination that apparently wasn't producing any meaningful results.

However, when I saw this story about the new new chef and the addition of some latin-focused cuisine, I figured that it couldn't hurt to try out some small bites and test the waters.

On a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon we grabbed a table outside and ordered up a few dishes outside the French spectrum.

Elizabeth ordered the Gazpacho with Shrimp; this huge bowl, at $4, was a perfect savory selection to cool down with.

The chilled tomato broth was slightly spiced and the chilled, chopped shrimp helped give a refreshing sea-breeze character to the soup. The crispy fried strips of tortilla and diced pineapple bits helped to give a crunchy & crisp character to the soup that complimented the latin spices hanging around the edges of the gazpacho's flavor profile.

The Mexican Albondigas were the fire to the Shrimp Gazpacho's $2.50, these were great snacks, packed with heat and very filling. The sauce contained a noticeable amount of adobo these meatballs a one-two punch of smoky heat. The meat itself was mixed with rice and some diced veg & herbs. If it hadn't been for the fact that I was drinking a French lager I would've thought we were eating at a latin tapas bar.

OK, this is what hooked me...the PW article had a photo highlight of the roasted, spiced corn. Served with a spicy mayonnaise, cheese and lemon, the corn was a perfect summer snack. It wasn't as 'grilled' as the PW picture suggested, but my spice-stained fingers were proof enough that the new latin approach to Coquette's bar snacks is a welcome addition to the happy hour offerings around South St.


  1. SOooo delicious, what a fantastic recipe you had and shared. A very big thanks to you and I will always take track on your blog for useful recipes.

  2. Coquette's been one of my favorites for the last few years, so I've been concerned about the many different permutations their menu has taken on over the last little while.

    That being said, it sounds like they've started to settle down and focus things a bit; as long as the French dishes remain and they still have dollar oysters, I'll be happy!

  3. Coquette's been one of my favorite Philly destinations for the last few years, so I've been concerned about the various menu changes in the recent past.

    That being said, it sounds like things have started to settle down and focus, and goodness knows good "home-style" Latin food has always been sorely lacking in this town.

    Sounds promising -- as long as the French dishes and dollar oysters remain, I'll be happy!

  4. Burning,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Yeah, I think a settled focus would be a good description.

    I haven't tried the oysters in a while because those other apps have been luring me, but I recall the happy hour had some good deals.