Last night, Lauren and I planned to have a low-key night of home cooking and play around with my new toy. But at around 7:30 I got a call from Mike, asking "do you want to go out to a nice dinner tonight?" It’s a rare treat to have Mike and Erin free for an evening sans children, so we instantly updated our evening plans and quickly scored a reservation at Coupage for 8:30. Thank you OpenTable 🙂
I had been meaning to come back to Coupage since our fantastic inaugural meal this past spring. It’s located on the main drag of Madrona (34th Ave), right across the street from the Madrona Ale House. While waiting for our table we hung out at the bar with Kevin, the friendly bartender who offered us a variety of wines to sample. He also updated us on the latest changes to the menu (which is slightly different then what you’ll find online). At his recommendation we started with the arugula salad that was served with golden and red beets, and a toasted sesame goat cheese that I am still savoring the memory of. If you go to Coupage before the menu changes again, this is a fantastic opener. Mike and Erin’s buttered lettuce salad with toasted hazelnuts and pecorino cheese was also quite tasty, but I preferred our choice 🙂
For the main course, I got to sample four entrees (the joy of having friends that embrace roving forks). Actually, it was five dishes in total, since the waiter misheard "scallop" for Mike’s porkchop. The chef/owner, Thomas Hurley, came by to apologize for the mishap and insisted that Mike enjoy the extra scallops on the house while they prepared his pork so that he wouldn’t be left without a plate of food in front of him. Thomas is very, very nice and genuinely cares not only about his food preparations, but also about his diners’ enjoyment. And he does a great job satisfying both of those goals.
The seared sea scallops were thick and crispy on top just as I love them prepared, and given the bonus order on the table I got to enjoy more than my fair share of buttery shellfish goodness.
The halibut was another solid offering, cooked perfectly to a silky texture and seared lightly on top. Served atop a simple, yet surprisingly delightful mix of mushrooms, corn, and peas.
The Coupage burger. It has foie gras. It is $28 and worth every penny. It’s made from ground short ribs, which means that you can get a burger that’s a little crispy on the outside, and super juicy and bright red on the inside. It may be the best burger in Seattle (though Mike argues that the foie gras gives it an unfair advantage). It’s so good that even Gio, who normally eats muy rapido, savors every single bite. If you are not a vegetarian/aquatarian/chickitarian then you have to try this burger. It will blow you away.
Mike’s porkchop arrived about halfway through our main course. According to Kevin, the pigs come from Idaho, are over 350 pounds, and I quote "I’ve had a lot of pork in my day, and this is the best pork chop I’ve ever had." And it didn’t disappoint. Even though we had filled up on scallops and burgers and halibut, we still picked the porkchop clean.
All in all Coupage is one of my favorite new restaurants in Seattle, an east of Madison alternative to Zoe and Eva.
UPDATE (August, 2008): Unfortunately Coupage has recently closed. However, the original chefs (and supposed inventors of the foie gras burger) Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have opened Joule in Wallingford which I’ll be checking out soon.
1404 34th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98112
Daily: 5:00PM-late (Dinner)
Sun: 10:00AM-2:00PM (Brunch)