I have searched for years trying to find a suburban french restaurant comparable to the very best in new york city. This week I discovered La Coquille, a gaelic culinary gem, on northern boulevard in Manhasset. This stunning venue is located in a small strip mall with a modest store front signage and display window. Upon entering the restaurant you are magically transported to the elegance of a parisian restaurant. The restaurant is diminutive, and beautifully decorated with custom chandeliers, beautiful white table cloth tables and comfortable chairs. The custom made ceiling is decorated with an intricate design and graphics.
We were greeted by our elegantly attired waiter Giovanni, who led us to a table by the front window. He quickly brought out from the kitchen a basket of thick cut french bread, and a saucer filled with olive oil, and eggplant caponata. Absolutely delicious and a great way to begin our dining experience.
The chef sent us out a small plate of french cheese toast made with grated gruyere, fresh herbs and spices melted on toast points. Superb!
We began our meal with french onion soup, a rich blend of darkly rich onion soup with a thick draping of gruyere cheese gratin.
We chose an assortment of appetizers: tiny crab cakes- bite size jumbo lump crab cakes with dijonaise sauce.
A fabulous plate of beautifully arranged individual artichoke leaves gratin. Among the best artichoke dishes we have ever eaten. Each leaf was baked with a layer of gruyere cheese and bread crumbs.
Prior to our entrees we shared a colorful and tasty salad of arugula, endive, walnuts , apple and blue cheese with dijon dressing.
For our entrees we chose a plate of short ribs in a rich dark gravy with mashed potatoes and string beans; and a plate of grilled wild king salmon with a clementine citrus glaze, accompanied by yukon potatoes and string beans. Both entrees were visually splendid, and exquisitely delicious. Since La Coquille is noted for its pom frites (french fried potatoes) we ordered a serving. The french fries were amazing and came in a paper cone which gave it an authentic gaelic touch.
We took a few minutes before ordering one of the "sinfully" delicious desserts from the cart nearby our table. We had a rich, smooth and creamy "napoleon" with a side of chocolate souffle. A perfectly sweet ending to a wonderful french feast.
We left fully satiated, and knowing that we had discovered an outstanding french restaurant within minutes of our home. Congratulations and Kudos to Michael Miller the owner of La Coquille
La Coquille, call for reservations, 516-365-8422