Cochon in French means pork, and there was plenty of it to go around at this charming corner spot on East Passyunk Avenue in Philly. I met with two old friends from high school, along with my husband and daughter. We came prepared with two bottles of red wine to enjoy with our meal, which also went well with sharing stories and catching up after many years.
The menu is short, but nowhere near simple, and it also changes often, with specials not listed on the menu and also different from the website. Warm bread is served individually, slice by slice, and when we asked for more, the server would give it to us, slice by slice again. Finally, my friend just asked for a whole bunch, since the bread was good for dunking in the broth and sauces of the dishes that followed.
We started with mussels and chicken livers, both special items. The mussels were large and plump, in a milky fennel broth. The chicken livers were done medium, and was a surprise hit at the table.
Two of us ordered Trio of Pork as a main entree, which included a piece of sausage, short rib, and cheek. It had a heaping of sauerkraut on top liberally seasoned with mustard seeds, with fingerling potatoes and bacon bits in the sauce. My husband ordered a pork shoulder dish, served with two large pieces of meat, over bacon rice pilaf. My friend ordered a crispy pork chop served over prosciutto mashed potatoes, with grilled brussel sprouts. The meat fell right off the short rib bone, and the breading of the chop was excellent.
All the offerings were definitely fun and sophisticated at once. Our only complaint was it got too salty at times.
|Pork shoulder over bacon rice pilaf|
|Trio of Pork|
Oh, and it's even in the dessert! There's a bread pudding dessert served with bacon ice cream on top. I wasn't crazy about it, as the bacon flavor came as a foamy aftertaste. We also had a more normal chocolate cake with fruit and nuts in it, as well as a fun dessert that was recently concocted: rice pudding rolled in corn flakes, then fried. The rice pudding also had fruit and nuts in it, and this was my favorite.
Cochon definitely provided a memorable dining experience. If you love pork, this is a great place to go to. You will delight in all the different ways that pork is used in the dishes, and the way it is cooked. You will also enjoy all the pigs in their decor, from chalkboard drawings to large figurines.
|Corn-flake encrusted rice pudding|