Hidden in Plain View

The "little French place" done right

Lobster tail got the exotic treatment, with basil-infused butter, asparagus spears, and heaps of thick, cilantro-flecked coconut curry risotto. The curry wasn't too pronounced, just a whisper of spice to give complexity to an otherwise sweet dish (thanks to roasted rounds of pineapple and fresh mango chunks).

On the other end of the seasoning spectrum, the Moroccan-style lamb shank was spicy, indeed. At the time, I wished I'd brought a bottle of Zinfandel to drink with it. The well-done meat was fork-tender, paired with fluffy couscous and a chunky, harissa-spiked ragout of figs, apricots, and carrots. This was long known as chef Lionel Geuskens' signature creation, and although he left to open his own restaurant last year (the charming Trente-Cinq 35), the dish remains a house specialty at Coup, too.

What about Coup Des Tartes' namesake dessert? There were seven kinds to choose from, everything from the rich, deep-dish Grand Canyon, with layers of peanut butter and Belgian chocolate mousse in a chocolate crust, to the lighter pear hazelnut, with baked pears, a nutty, flaky crust, vanilla custard, a swirl of caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream. My hands-down favorite was the banana brûlée, with soft, creamy coconut in a chocolate crust. It had two ripe banana slices planted right in the middle, and the whole thing was glazed in smoky-sweet melted sugar.

Mirror, mirror: Chef Jose Hernandez reflects upon his tasty creations.
Jackie Mercandetti
Mirror, mirror: Chef Jose Hernandez reflects upon his tasty creations.

Location Info

Map

Coup Des Tartes

4626 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: East Phoenix

Details

Papas and lox: $12

Taleggio salad: $9

Lamb shank: $23

Pear hazelnut tarte: $9

602-212-1082.
Hours: Opens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

4626 North 16th Street (16th Street and Highland Avenue

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I didn't think I had room to try any tartes, but it's amazing how quickly my appetite rebounded once I had a cup of chamomile tea and a fancy dessert in front of me. And besides, it was a special occasion, right?

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Amy Quint
Amy Quint

I've had several dinners here and I've never had a bad meal or service. It's such a wonderful little find!!!

 
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