Cocotte French Restaurant is Closing

Before the final day of dinner November 22, chef Kat LeSueur is requesting fan favorites.

Concordia French restaurant Cocotte is closing November 22—and chef Kat LeSueur says there are no firm plans for another venture.

Cocotte was home to this author's favorite dish of 2014—an escargot dish described as the "most balanced and unlikely treatments of escargot I've had" with "the low richness of lentil, eggplant and thankfully tender escargot play against the crisp sharpness of radish and leek, all swimming in the near-sunshine of a garlic-basil pistou. God help me: I now dream of snails."

Photo: Thomas Teal SNAILS! Photo: Thomas Teal

It has been home to talented bartenders who knew not only the history of gin and tonic, but the history of streetcars in Portland. And more than that, it struck a lightheartedness of place combined with delicacy of cuisine that most restaurateurs find elusive.

Cocotte chef Zoe Hackett and bar manager Levi Hackett had already departed Cocotte to form a new Bajan-Mexican restaurant called Ballena—this, too, looks unlikely to materialize soon.

So: fare thee well, Cocotte. Kat LeSueur says she'll be cooking up fan favorite dishes until November 22. E-mail her at with requests. For our own part, we suggest the escargot?

Here's the note from LeSueur:

"With mixed emotions, and after endless consideration, I am announcing the closure of Cocotte Bistro. After nearly five years of cooking, laughing, learning, and growing, the time has come to bow out. I could not be prouder of our accomplishments, and am closing this chapter without regret.

Though this was a difficult decision to make, my husband and I are heartened and excited about new opportunities. In the short term we are making no firm plans for a next business venture, though I hope to provide food, drink, and hospitality in some way in the future. For now, Henry and I are excited to travel more and spend time with our families, to continue discovering and learning, and to grow as individuals and as a family.

My heart swells with nostalgia reflecting on the past five years. We have been very fortunate to form genuine and lasting relationships by way of our bistro, for which we are so grateful. To our wonderful regulars, thank you so much for your undying support and friendship. I hope to stay in contact with you and feed you again in the future. To our amazing suppliers and purveyors, thank you for years of consistently reliable, personalized, above-and-beyond service. To our staff, past and present; there is no way to put into words the gratitude, pride, and respect I have for you. Thank you a million times over for giving a piece of yourself to my dream.

Our last day of regular dinner service will be Sunday November 22nd, 2015. Please come dine with us at least one more time before Cocotte is gone. Let's make as many more happy memories as we can in the final weeks; help us finish on the highest note. And please, come use those gift certificates you've been holding onto while you still can.

For the final menus, I'll be taking requests for fan favorites. Please email them to, subject: "fan favorite", with as many details as you remember about the dish, and I will do my best to work them into menus and specials. If your request makes it onto a menu, I'll be sure to email you and let you know.

The past five years have defined me as a person and as a chef. Thank you for indulging me."

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