Nose-to-tail eatery Le Petit Cochon has a new nickname and concept. An updated menu from chef/owner Derek Ronspies launched Friday, August 14, and although the signage isn't going to be updated, Ronspies tells Eater that he's now calling his Fremont restaurant Cochon. The reason behind the changes? An intro printed on the new menu says it best:
We are not quiet or reserved. It's ok to be rowdy, gaudy and sexy because we are serving dishes and ambiance to stir behavior you might not have experienced before.
We are not here for the grim, pretentious diner who is seeking perfection. There are plenty of those places around Seattle. We are here to have fun, cook badass food and listen to great music. To honor the beast that's within us all.
Eater asked Ronspies about what's new with his food and why he's shifting away from the 'fine dining' label.
How is the menu different from before?
We're doing more gastro pub-style food—similar to what we've been doing but a little more accessible. We'll be changing things up weekly with some mainstays like the burger with bone marrow, fried oysters from Jones Farm, and the Phat Ass pork chop from our previous menu. We also have a new happy hour menu.
Why did you change things up?
When I originally opened this place I wanted it to be a gastro pub. As we got going I started listening to feedback and Le Petit Cochon turned into more of a 'fine dining' restaurant—which I wasn't comfortable with. We kind of got typecast as a French restaurant (which we are not) or 'fine dining' or 'too adventurous' and that was not my intent. So, I re-assessed, checked myself and went back to my original concept which is more in line with my cooking style. We're also now going simply by 'Cochon'. Word of mouth at the tables has been great. I constantly hear 'these flavors are amazing' and 'it's the best (insert dish) here that I have ever had.' I want people to come here to try the food, share plates and to get down and eat. I want them to talk about the food, their lives, to each other and to put down their cell phones and all that.
What are some of the menu highlights?
We'll be doing a lot of plays on childhood favorites like chicken and waffles, fish and chips, nachos, and such. We'll still focus on local meat and produce, too. There's an awesome burger on the menu made from 45% brisket, 45% short rib, and 10% marrow. It's worth coming here for.
Also—there will always be a bit of offal on the menu though it won't be dominant. It's what I like doing and I enjoy educating people about that type of food.
Why is happy hour happier here?
Because we have $3 drafts, $5 punch, $8 house cocktails, and 50 cent duck feet. And the bartenders kick ass. Come on in for a burger, a duck foot, and some bad ass music in the Fremont treehouse!
Fun fact: That "ocho"on the front of the menu is underlined because (of course) it's the number of tentacles on an octopus; the octopus is also tattooed on the arm of Ronspies.