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Nov 22, 2006 05:07 AM

coupage (SEA)

Described as French-Korean but not sure it can be easily pigeonholed as either. Mushroom canneloni with Chinese sausage were delicate and had just a touch of smokiness, the best of the dishes that we tried. Short rib was perfect although the chestnut and kimchi were not really integrated into the dish and the portion was a bit small. The shrimp inside the shrimp agnolotti w/ edamame cream was like a terrine in texture and lacked flavor definition, but made a nice amuse. Blackened squid was described in Asian terms but with the overtones of black bean and olive tapenaude seemed almost Mediterranean. Arctic char sashimi unexceptional, desserts need work. Spotted other hounds there (hlodesign, ling, others). Chairs a bit uncomfortable. Will return to try other dishes.

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  1. Barleywino, I think it would be good form when reviewing restaurants that aren't actually open to the public yet to mention that fact. I was a bit chagrined this evening to walk in and find that they were having a soft opening for friends and family, not officially open until Friday. If I had known, I wouldn't have trekked all the way over to Madrona. Luckily, they were quite gracious and fed me anyway, and apparently at the friends and family rate.

    The arctic char didn't quite come together for me either, pickled mushrooms a bit too sweet, and daikon a bit too funky (the nature of the beast, but overpowering for the fish). The branzino was a lovely piece of fish, I liked the spicy preserved lemon even if the pith was a touch bitter and it could have cured longer. The puree underneath, presumably the caramelized zucchini was also bitter, too much so. The rice pudding dessert seemed like an afterthought. Not bad, but not special. Nice kumquats, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts

      Babette, my apologies. We met the owner by chance in Union last week and he invited us to come so we made a reservation. When we got there, though, they didn't even ask for our names, but just asked how many we were and showed us to a table, so it seemed they were pretty loose about letting walk-ins come in. Anyway, glad you weren't turned away.

      1. re: babette feasts

        i was curious about those liquor-soaked kumquats, was going to ask them for a bowl of just those. The desserts we tried (fried apple pie and chevre cheesecake) were about the quality of what one might expect from a McDonald's (!), except smaller and much pricier. They really need a new pastry chef. Next time i want dessert I'll run over to Licorous for their hazelnut brown butter financier...

      2. The menu claimed sake poached kumquats, but I could not detect any significant sake, and due to the heaviness of the syrup and degree of cooking, I would have called them candied rather than poached. Still, candied kumquats are one of my favorite things. I was a little envious at how orange they were, as I've been asking my produce rep for weeks when kumquats will arrive, and when he finally brought me a sample last week they were all green and mealy and lacking flavor. Do they have a pastry chef? I've heard that good ones are hard to find 'round here.

        1. i tried their "crispy pork belly" but between their version, the one at Union and the one at Cremant, Cremant's is still the crispiest and tastiest imo. (Still searching for really caramelized pork belly like i used to get back east.) I liked their lemongrass vichyssoise with crab cake.

          4 Replies
          1. re: barleywino

            Thanks for your reports, Barleywino. I'll be trying Coupage on 11/30
            and will report the experience. I am also on the quest for the best pork belly, having had it at Union, Lark and Cremant, I'd say Cremant
            was best as well.

            1. re: itsonlyfood

              In your quest for pork belly, try Boat Street's as well. It's awesome!

              1. re: Lauren

                Thanks for the tip, Lauren! Went there but they did not have pork belly on the menu. The black cod w/ butternut squash was decent, though, and the Meyer lemon tart was good.

                1. re: barleywino

                  Dang! We'll have to beg Renee to bring it back.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. We dined at Coupage this evening. The staff was very good and the owner gave attention to each table. Between the three of us we ordered smoked char (good); lemongrass vichyssoise (for me, outstanding, for another in our party, "too rich;" squid and mussels (good); mac and cheese---wonderful; side of creamed chard--very good; side of pine vines--too tree-like for me; short ribs--very good; sea bass--very good. We aimed for the Korean influenced dishes, which were much more French than Korean. I'd like to taste a heavily Korean hand. Wine list was pretty good and reaosnably priced. I saw several bottles I knew offered for about 25% less than other places. This is a good thing! Deserts: black pepper brulee (no one cared for it) and a gouda cheese on toast ith sweet cherries--so, so. I think they are doing good work and offer an interesting dining experience. We will go back.