Entre's John Perkins Discusses Pop-Up Chicken Restaurant Le Coq and Future Plans

Categories: Restaurant News

"I think chicken tends to get short-shrift," says John Perkins, the formerly anonymous chef behind the caterer-mobile kitchen-underground restaurant Entre. "This is a chance to rehabilitae its image -- or at least for us to try to do that."

The "this" of which Perkins speaks is Le Coq, the chicken-centric pop-up restaurant that Entre will operate during the month of January in its new event space at 360 North Boyle Avenue in the Central West End.

See Also:
- "Chef's Choice: Chef John of Entre: Underground (Part 1)"
- "Chef's Choice: Chef John of Entre: Underground (Part 2)"

Beginning on Thursday, January 3, Le Coq will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. Diners have three prix-fixe options: three courses for $35, five courses for $55 or a family-style meal of a whole roasted chicken served in a cast-iron skillet with fingerling potatoes, two sides and dessert for $160. (The last option feeds four and must be pre-ordered.)

You can make reservations -- and Perkins soon hopes to have reservations available online -- but he also plans to keep the seating split between reservations and walk-ins. In addition, he's considering a less expensive to-go option for the whole roasted chicken meal.

The menu, which you can view on Entre's website, features dishes with chicken as the main component (chicken roulade with grits, egg-yolk sauce and apples) as well as a supporting player (chicken-skin-wrapped scallops or Brussels sprouts with smoked chicken stock, Korean chile flakes, white beans and apple butter).

"This is an idea I had three years ago," Perkins explains. "I was really compelled by the notion of serving a whole-roasted chicken on a cast-iron skillet. You don't really see that or hear about that [much].

"There are very tew things better than a whole roasted chicken."

(Riverfront Times is well aware of Perkins' love for chicken. In 2010, he assisted us -- by which we mean saved our butts from ruining multiple birds -- with our Association of Food Journalists award-winning project "Tastes Like Chicken".)

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"A whole roasted chicken served in a cast-iron skillet with two sides and dessert for $160."After looking at the menu and this little nugget above, I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.  It's not that St. Louis doesn't have the market and money for good food, but there are limits to pretension.  40 bucks a head for a quarter of chicken, potatoes with sides and dessert (doughnuts?!?).  Costing it out, a chicken and ingredients 20 bucks tops (if it's organic free-range it will be a smaller bird to boot), your sides and potatoes for four top out at maybe 30, and doughnuts are not even 5.  I'm being extremely generous on the prices.  So you make over 100 bucks a cover.  I'll throw in 20 bucks in labor so you double your money on something that isn't even all that inspired (everything on your menu can be prepped in mass so labor is low item for item).    I've eaten in Michelin star restaurants in France and Italy and they wouldn't have the balls to ask for this.Clearly broken, delusional, cynical and absolutely shameless.  Barramundi crudo?  Why not just put Tuna tartar on the menu and pretend it's 2006 if you're going to be lazy.

jcthelilly topcommenter

"A whole roasted chicken served in a cast-iron skillet with two sides and dessert for $160."???  HA! HA! HA!  You must think very highly of yourself.  Sheeple will come.  Good luck. 

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