Food & Drink

Readers offer more favorite restaurant dishes

On Nov. 2, I wrote about Triangle restaurants’ signature dishes: the stories behind these menu items, how much diners love them and what it takes to keep up with the demand.

Within hours of that Sunday’s newspaper landing in people’s driveways, readers were sending me emails, posting on Facebook, leaving me voicemail messages and even tweeting about dishes that I had overlooked.

One of my favorite phone calls came from Ned Gardner of Apex who was happy that I included Coquette’s coq au vin on the list but chastised me for omitting his favorite.

“Coquette’s quiche,” Gardner said. “...It’s huge and creamy and rich. It’s completely unlike any other quiche I’ve ever eaten. I can’t quit ordering it when I go by there about every two weeks or so.”

Gardner and his wife, Susan, are not only huge fans of that quiche, but also many other dishes at the Raleigh restaurant. When I returned Gardner’s call, Susan Gardner noted that they are frequent customers but her husband dines there even more often than she. “My husband sneaks out on me,” she said, noting that he always seems to schedule his chiropractic appointments – located two blocks from Coquette – around lunchtime.

Coquette’s chef Beth Littlejohn said the quiche is so popular that they make between 36 and 50 a week. Customers often ask her how she gets the quiche so high and fluffy.

The secret, Littlejohn said, is cooking the quiche low and slow in springform pans. Beyond that, she said, it’s a basic pate brise dough and a batter made with cream, eggs, salt and pepper. She happily shares the recipes with customers.

Without further ado, here are the dishes that readers say I overlooked.