February 25, 2013

New Orleans, Part Two: Cochon

I'm continuing on here with a few more posts from the recent trip to New Orleans. The last meal we had during our trip was at Cochon, the award-winning restaurant of Louisiana native and James Beard Award-winning chef, Donald Link. Cochon was also recently named as one of the 20 most important restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit for their commitment to nose-to-tail-Louisiana-style cooking.

We had some very good porky goodness during our visit. Every dish was strong, sans the crawfish pie, which was just okay, slightly doughy and flavorless, and made worse by the large black hair we found in the middle. Some pics of standout dishes:

 Wood-fired oysters with garlic and pepper aioli.

Fried alligator with spicy remoulade. Alligator always seems like a throwaway-novelty item at Cajun restaurants, but this dish was pretty tasty. Tender 'gator and a slamming remoulade helped out.
The boucherie plate featuring hog's head cheese, coppa, country bologna, pork rillette, house pickles, and pickled fennel. Best pork rillette I've ever had and a damn good hog's head cheese here.
Fried boudin. Might not look like much, but this was the dish of the day. Boudin balls with an airy panko crust, fried to perfection so that they maintained a gooey-creamy interior. A brilliant bite with the pickled peppers and house mustard.
Another boudin shot.
Another strong dish: Cane syrup glazed pork cheeks with pickled red onions and potato cake.
The infamous hairy crawfish pie. Spared you a pic of the big black hair we found in the middle. Yum. Our server was gracious and comped us the pie and a couple of drinks after hairgate, which was a nice recovery 'cause shit happens.
The cocktail program at Cochon is strong, though somewhat limited. The Tiger's Tail, a concoction of Dos Lunas Silver Tequila, Merlet de Framboise, agave nectar, basil, and lime juice was quite tasty. As was aptly named Orange Whiskey made with Buffalo Trace, Peychaud's, and OJ.
No complaints from me about Cochon. Nice space (albeit smaller than I expected), attentive staff and tasty food. Some of the dishes were on the sloppy side in presentation but the taste was there, so no worries, I suppose. Fun to stop by Cochon Butcher next door and stock up on boudin and other treats for the ride home.

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