Lecosho is tucked half way up the Harbor Steps. It sits right at the place on your trek up when you think, “Is there really another flight?” Their entrance is humble – a simple sign, adorned by a pig. Don’t be fooled. Their menu is a far cry from slop. It is simplistic elegance and bold flavors.
The kitchen is open to diners. From nearly every seat you can see prep-boards, stovetops, and busy chefs. If you want to take full advantage of their peak-a-boo view of Puget Sound, ask to sit at a table. I enjoy sitting at the bar and chatting with the friendly bartenders. The lunch and dinner menus are not exorbitantly priced, but I suggest going for Happy Hour and trying a few different small plates.
Their Happy Hour menu ranges anywhere $3 to $7, with the outlier of $14 Oregon Natural Meats Petite Sirloin Steak. The Spaetzle is okay. It’s the kind of comfort food you want to eat sitting on a couch under a blanket. But there is no couch or blanket, so I’d skip it. The House Green Salad on the other hand, is tossed in a tangy vinaigrette and adorned by a soft boiled egg. The rich, oozing yolk is like the secret pleasure of a velvet-lined coat.
If you’re in the mood for spice, check out the Steamed Clams Piri Piri. The chile-beer broth is heavy on chile and light on beer. I suggest ordering them with the Columbia City Bakery Baguette. Add a touch of the house olive relish to a slice of the rustic baguette, and top it with a warm clam. It may not be your most refined dinning moment, but it’ll be one of the best open-faced sandwiches you’ve ever had. Don’t be afraid to lick your fingers. I’m sure the cooks take it as a compliment.
For meat lovers, I recommend the Beef Short Ribs. The stella espresso rub adds another depth to the braising flavor and the addition of acid from the pickled beets makes the sweetness of the meat sing.
I saved the best for last because I wouldn’t recommend ordering it first. You might not order anything else. Before coming to Lecosho, the review I’d read of the Grilled Sardine Tartine was less than complimentary. However, after visiting them several times and eating the sardines on every occasion, I’d have to say the reviewer had an unfortunately bad night. The Grilled Sardine Tartine combines three texture layers in a salty bite which makes you hold onto the bar for a moment. They are served on a thinly sliced, toasted baguette which crunches against your teeth. It is slathered with a generous helping of house made aioli. It’s rich. It’s smooth. It makes you breathe a little heavy.
Could you share these sardines? Yes. Will you? Maybe. Would I? No. You’d have to order your own.
If you want a drink, they have Happy Hour drink deals too. Make sure to ask what the cocktail special is for the night. You never know if it’s going to be a traditional Manhattan or unnamed concoction of tequila, ginger beer, and black pepper.
Grilled Sardine Tartine: $5
Oregon Natural Meats Petite Sirloin Steak: $14
Steamed Clams Piri Piri: $6
Beef Short Ribs: $7
House Green Salad: $5
Columbia City Bakery Baguette: $3
Red, White, & Rose wine Specials: $4
Tap Beer Special: $3
Cocktail Special: $5