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  • Coquina Restaurant

  • Coquina has received four- and five-star reviews from customers around the country since the restaurant opened in early 2011 in Ashland's Railroad District.
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    • Word of Mouth
      Dining out with
      the Mail Tribune
      Coquina
      542 A St.
      Ashland
      541-488-0521
      www.coquinarestaurant.com
      Open from 5 p.m. to closing
      Closed Sundays and Mondays;
      open Tuesdays ...
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      Word of Mouth
      Dining out with

      the Mail Tribune

      Coquina

      542 A St.

      Ashland

      541-488-0521

      www.coquinarestaurant.com

      Open from 5 p.m. to closing

      Closed Sundays and Mondays;

      open Tuesdays through

      Sundays in August
  • Coquina has received four- and five-star reviews from customers around the country since the restaurant opened in early 2011 in Ashland's Railroad District.
    My first visit was just a couple of weeks after husband-and-wife team Lynn and Daniel Flattley opened their doors.
    That night, there was none of the confusion that is sometimes inherent at a newly opened dining spot.
    A glass of 2008 red from Mannina Cellars in Washington state, a starter of puréed carrot soup and an entree of handmade ravioli stuffed with chestnuts and mascarpone were effortlessly delivered to my table in a timely manner and were delicious.
    The Flattleys each attended the Western Culinary Institute in downtown Portland, and they worked in fine dining restaurants around the country until opening their own place.
    "I worked as a chef until I met Lynn," Daniel Flattley says. "I can replicate fine dishes, but Lynn has a natural ability and passion to create."
    Lynn Flattley's focus is on fresh, seasonal ingredients from the region. The result is distinctive Northwest cuisine with a delicate flair.
    My second visit to Coquina was this summer when a girlfriend and I treated ourselves to an evening out. I was curious to see what the Flattleys' seasonal offerings would be. I also wondered whether the quality of food, service and milieu had wavered in the three years the restaurant has been in action.
    The latter wasn't at all remiss. We'd made a reservation for patio seating — new since my initial visit — and were seated immediately. Menus were presented, appetizers and entrees explained, and suggestions were made for the right wine.
    We started with the cheese tart ($10), a puff pastry topped with creamy Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese, caramelized onions, thin slices of a red-skinned apple and microgreens. A well-executed drizzle of aged Villa Monodori balsamic garnished the appetizer.
    From there, we shared bites of fresh, pistachio-encrusted, Alaskan halibut ($35), served on top of romano beans — something between a green bean and a pea pod — and a cake of risotto, along with maitake mushroom and mascarpone lasagna ($24) cooked in white truffle béchamel sauce and topped with fresh arugula.
    The herbaceous pistachio crust on the halibut was thick and rich, as was the lasagna. Though the latter looked like a moderate serving, it was plenty to sate our appetites.
    The wine — an organic chardonnay from Evesham Wood Vineyard near Salem in the Willamette Valley — was the perfect complement to the rich dishes we selected. We polished the meal off by sharing a dessert of clean and crisp cantaloupe sorbet.
    Coquina is on the spendy side — nothing wrong with our taste — but prices aside, I will recommend it to anyone looking for a fine dining experience.
    The restaurant is at 542 A. St. Hours are 5 p.m. to closing. The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays, but will be open Tuesdays through Sundays in August. Reservations are recommended, but not necessary. I'd call for any party larger than four or five. The number is 541-488-0521.
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