Monday, April 27, 2015

Coquette changing things up

Chef Thien Ngo, who "retired" when he left Old City's Fork, has surfaced at Coquette at Fifth and Bainbridge.

Coquette changing things up

Thien Ngo, during his time at Fork.
Thien Ngo, during his time at Fork. MICHAEL PEREZ

Old City's Fork made a big deal in January about the departure of chef Thien Ngo after seven years, announcing that he was bound for retirement in Vietnam.

Terence Feury took over the kitchen Feb. 1 to much initial praise.

Well, guess who's cooking at Coquette, the bistro at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets. Owner Cary Neff, who employed Ngo in the late 1990s at his old Center City place Cary Restaurant, says Ngo got bored and wanted to get back to work.

His menu comes online at Coquette on Friday night, and the results will not be true French. Expect touches of Vietnam and Thailand, and lower prices (entrees under $18). Ngo also has dreamed up a line of budget-priced bar snacks. "With all the French bistros/bistrots/brasseries opening in Philly, especially within a few blocks of me, it may be time to separate myself from the pack," Neff says.

Weekend brunch starts Saturday.
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
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