When I first saw the name of this restaurant, my mind scrambled it and the word, coquette, came to mind – suggestive, eyelash-batting flirting. But no, it’s cocotte, which is French for (among other things) an individual casserole baking dish. Personally, the flirting is more apt because their libations and pork confit hash were flirting with me the entire time! French press coffee, Bloody Mary with candied bacon and an exquisite Pork Confit Hash – ooh la la, monsieur!
Also flirting with culinary nirvana were veterans from prior hashcapades, Mary and Cory, plus two newbies, Nick and Andy. As it turns out, Andy is an über accomplished globetrotter, inspiring our table to recount trips, dishes and misadventures while abroad – gypsy pickpockets in Cologne, walking around Edinburgh, and Stroopwafel from The Netherlands. And here we were in little old Portland, eagerly awaiting oeufs en cocotte (eggs in cocotte) and pork confit hash!
But first, we have to talk about the Bloody Mary. I was the only one at the table to order a breakfast cocktail. When it arrived, we collectively zeroed in on the candied bacon that shamelessly caused us to ogle the amazing presentation. Honestly, the drink could have been colored blue with prickly pear cactus and it wouldn’t have mattered – seriously!! Coincidentally, the rest of the crew ordered a side of the brown sugar bacon with their entrées.
When the pork confit hash arrived, Cocotte’s presentation was simply stunning – pork confit, rainbow chard stems, mustard, roasted brussels sprouts, crème fraîche, and a sunny-side egg. Are you kidding me? Hovering over the food, I stole a glance at my compatriots who were equally enthralled with their selections and proceeded to dig in. Impressive. Sublime. I could go on, but this was truly one of the best potato hashes I’ve ever had! Who knew brussels sprouts could complement a potato hash so well – great texture and slightly sweet counterpoint to the softer chard and roasted potatoes. Très bon!
We could have easily spent another hour talking about food, travel and social media, but the cozy restaurant was bursting at the seams. We had to let Cocotte flirt with new patrons and lure them with candied bacon and libations – santé!