Av and I had lunch last week at Coquette on Magazine. The interior is so pretty — tons of wood and glass plus those big chandeliers.
We had the three-course lunch. Av started with the Gulf shrimp with chorizo, Anson Mills grits, and fennel pollen
I started with the pork country pate, with celeste figs and a blueberry mustard
I had to be a grownup to learn to enjoy figs. Before, they were associated with fig newtons, which I haven’t had since they appeared in my peers’ school lunch boxes years ago, and all that dry gummy flavor turned me off to the whole thing. Told myself I don’t like figs because I don’t like fig newtons. And then I ordered something that had them a few years ago and it was like some weird realization. Of course fig newtons don’t taste like fresh figs. How does that even happen? This is a fig. And they are fabulous.
Av had the beef brisket sausage with summer sausage and crab roe aioli
porchetta sandwich with figs, whole grain mustard, cheddar sauce, rapini
And fries, and I’m not even crazy about fries, but they served them with mayonnaise, which changes everything. It’s like they know me.
Oooooh yeah. I look at this sandwich and there’s no way I’m eating all that bread. Most of the time when I order a sandwich, the bread gets pulled off and I just eat all the wonderfulness between the slices. But see that bottom piece of bread, that has all the juice from all the awesomeness above, and it’s all smushed but still buttery and crispy on the outside? Oh yeah, I totally took care of that.
So the third course: for Av, the pb and j — peanut butter pot de creme, blueberry jam, shortbread cookies
And because I’m not done with figs (and neither is Coquette, seemingly), this is a fig blondie with cherry compote and whipped yoghurt.
Every bit as good as it looks.
Every single thing was just perfect.
Chef Michael Stoltzfus is from Maryland and never attended culinary school (his mother opened a bakery and he got hooked), and got his New Orleans start at August before opening Coquette (there was also a short-lived place he had at The Saint). Again this year, Michael was a semifinalist for James Beard Best Chef: South.
Starting June 28, Coquette is going to be doing no-menu Tuesdays with five courses for supper. See you there.