Ok, so it may not have the same broad appeal of, say, National Doughnut Day, but National Escargot Day is this Sunday, May 24, and for lovers of the snail (yes, they're out there) Cocotte Bistro has a special menu planned. Chef/owner Kat LeSueur is offering an "escargot flight" of three preparations: Escargot Pâté with Mustard; Escargot in Hazelnut Tomato Romesco on Grilled Bread; and Classic Cocotte Escargot in Herb Pistou Cream Sauce.
In fact, you can watch her make the latter dish in this video, produced by a new digital food magazine called Chew Portland. It's one of Cocotte's signature dishes and it's so popular she makes about 200 a week. She doesn't go into details on how to clean the buggers, but that's just as well, since you'd be hard-pressed to get your hands on live snails anyway (at least live snails that you'd want to eat). She says except for a small farm in Washington, there's no local purveyor of live snails. Sounds like a niche waiting to be filled. "I guess we should consider the escargot gauntlet thrown," she says.