2800 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA, USA
Coquette New Orleans Reviews
Charming Atmosphere and Creative Dishes Oct 23, 2009
Had heard some mixed reviews about this restaurant on the corner of Magazine and Washington, but wanted to check them out and form my own opinion. Although it's a great, convenient location, this property has a history of a high turn over for eateries. After lunching there, I hope this one sticks around for quite some time.
The property itself is a beautifully refurbished historic building. The downstairs dining room is open and has lots of natural lighting during the day and many mirrors to reflect that light, and dim lighting during dinner. The bar is large and remains open all day. Chandeliers hang throughout the first floor. A mix of music plays, latin flavoured - flamenco, guitar, french, italian, jazz. I think that it's a great relaxed yet elegant setting. There is also an upstairs dining room and sidewalk seating/dining is an option, too.
Since I had heard mixed reviews on this place, I decided lunch might be better to check out than dinner. I received great service, however I was the only patron there. My waitress/bar tender was great; I asked questions and she had thoughtful, informed responses. I went alone for a late lunch, a few minutes before they were scheduled to close. Although I arrived so close to closing time, attitudes were friendly and I didn't get the impression that the wait staff just wanted to get me out of there. I was able to have a very relaxed, quiet lunch. The kitchen did a great job!
I think that this restaurant is classified as French. I would disagree in part because they draw on different cultural and regional ingredients not inherently traditional to French cuisine. Although the primary influence might be French, as with most restaurants in New Orleans, I think that this is more fusion cooking. I think that the menu is pretty creative.
I ordered two courses and a glass of pinot grig. For lunch it is a bit pricey, roughly $40 including tip (just myself). The first course was a pasta dish, capelleti. It seemed a seasonal dish, great for falll. The filling was sweet potato and it was delicious. As the entree I decided on the redfish with risotto, shiitake mushrooms and caponota. The redfish was excellently prepared - light and moist, very mild (as it should be). I was pleased with my choices, but wondered how some of the other options might have been presented and how they tasted. I want to and will return to try other dishes.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience dining here and would like to return to try other dishes. I would recommend this restaurant to someone that would like to have a nice, relaxed lunch in muted elegance. However, this is not a good dining option for a traveller on a budget.
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