Thursday, March 29, 2012

Le Coq Rogue, Boise

I was looking for some place a bit special to take my wife on our 32nd anniversary (today), and several co-workers recommended Le Coq Rouge, a French restaurant in a very unassuming neighborhood in South Boise, on Maple Grove.  This is a very small restaurant--perhaps fifteen tables at most.  Their menu changes frequently, so don't expect to find what we had six months from now.  Plan on making reservations, or you are likely to be disappointed.  They have live music, but fortunately, not so loud as to overpower our conversation. (And yes, even after 32 years of marriage, we have a lot to talk about.)

One nice aspect was that when I explained that my wife was gluten-intolerant, they said that they would have a gluten-free menu for her.  And they did.  Or rather, they had gone through their regular menu, and highlighted in yellow everything that could be prepared gluten-free, in many cases, simply by replacing the potato gratin with rice.  Only a few items could not be provided gluten-free.  Very nice that there were so many options, and very nice that they were prepared to put some work into figuring out how to solve this problem.

My first reaction was: gee, it's a bit pricey, but then again, it's a French restaurant.  Had I realized how large the servings were, however, my wife and I would have split one dinner, and been more than satisfied with the size of our meal, and its cost-effectiveness.  Unless you are running marathons on a regular basis, ordering off the $49 meal menu (which includes a first course, an entree, and a dessert), would be completely insane.

What I ordered had first course of ravoli aux truffles in a sage and butter sauce.  Awesome, but subtle.  There was French bread on the table, and this was quite decent, although not quite so dramatically different from what you get in a number of more pedestrian restaurants.

The entree that I ordered was schweizerschnitzel (okay, I understand the the owner is French, but her husband the chef is German).  This was a wonderfully subtle and flavorful dish, with carrots and Brussels sprouts that were just cooked enough to not be crunchy, but not cooked to the point of mushiness--just about as flawless as vegetables can be.

My wife's first course was petite coquille, a broiled scallops dish with (I think) Gruyere cheese, and her entree was filet d'Agneau, a lamb dish.  I was traumatized by a fish at a young age, so I have to take her word for how yummy the scallops were, but the fillet d'Agneau was quite good.

Dessert was probably the least astonishing part of the meal; as good as you would get in many good restaurants around here, but not the standout sensation of the rest of the meal.  The lemon meringue pie was very profoundly lemony, but I have had equivalent or at least very similar elsewhere.  The cream puff was a bit disappointing, perhaps because I was expecting something a bit more of a standout compared to what you get in some high-end donut shops.

All in all, a fine place if you don't plan to eat there every day (or even every month).  Split a meal here, and you should be able to get out the door for $65 - $70.

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