Last year, we rolled our “Rising Star” dice on a modestly ambitious restaurant on a dead-end street. We win! Katy Millard (trained in multiple star-spangled kitchens in France) and her wine-geek husband, Ksandek Podbielski, have polished Portland’s best “everyday” restaurant, and one of the best overall. Any neighborhood in the country would be happy to have it. Behold the revelations of a year of eating at Coquine.
A new definition of neighborhood dining
Cops, nose-ringed moms, seniors on dates, and food lovers supreme find common ground: something really good to eat, morning, noon, and night.
The ultimate corner breakfast café
The mini morning menu embraces beautiful buckwheat biscuits, fresh jam, homemade butter, dialed-in coffee, artistic granola, and some very rocking berry-drenched rye pancakes—in short, what you wish Mom had made.
A lunch-only porchetta sandwich to make grown men weep
It includes luscious meat, crackly pig skin, and the brilliant idea to hollow out—and toast—a ciabatta roll, leaving only the crispy shell.
Dinners you could eat every night
You’ll find no Grecian pillar of marrow bone planted in corn chowder here. The Coquine mode is, dare we say, healthy: light and naturalistic, farm fresh, and backed by ironclad technique. Millard’s chicken liver mousse on crackling pecan-raisin toast should be in some hall of fame. Carrot purée bordered by clumps of sweet Dungeness crab was as good as any soup I can remember. The pasta dishes exert a growing pull. Fish—often the blandest moment of a menu—is delicate, surprising.
The wine list
Throw a dart. It’s that good.