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930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA
Web Site: http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/
One of the restaurants in New Orleans I most wanted to dine at was COCHON, a new, Post-Katrina casual fine dining restaurant that was opened by Donald Link, of Herbsaint fame and 2007 James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef, South (click for previous OTB podcast) who I interviewed during my previous New Orleans trip back in April of 2006. At the time, the finishing touches of COCHON had just been done, and the restaurant was preparing to open only days after I returned home. Now, over a year later, COCHON has become one of New Orleans’ top restaurants, and was nominated as “Best New Restaurant” in the 2007 James Beard Awards.
Best described as “Modern Cajun” COCHON incorporates many elements of traditional Cajun cuisine combined with twists from Europe and Asia. Although the food and the restaurant would easily find itself in New York’s hip SoHo and Greenwich Village or among the top fine dining establishments in Midtown Manhattan, it is most definitely a New Orleans restaurant and one of the city’s finest examples at that.
Exterior, Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans
Is COCHON Hillbilly or Haute? I think it’s a bit of both. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Chef De Cuisine and restaurant Co-Owner Steven Stryjewski was there to create a tasting menu for us. Stryjewski is a CIA grad and comes out of the kitchens at Commander’s Palace.
All numbers of pickled goods are on display at the Chef’s Table at the rear of the restaurant.
The hearth, which is the central element of the restaurant’s kitchen and bakes all the bread in the restaurant.
We really welcomed the freshly baked bread with sweet butter.
While more Alsatian than Cajun, this boucherie/charcuterie plate was outstanding. All the pork used at the restaurant is specially sourced by Donald Link from his own producers in Cajun country, and is brought in as whole pigs and butchered onsite.
They might not be Drago’s, but these chile roasted oysters with a Southeast Asian flavor were outstanding.
Fried Alligator Nuggets with chili garlic aoli. Probably the best gator I’ve ever had.
Corn Calas with cherry tomato salad. I’d describe this as a very, very good Cajun Latke.
Corn Calas alternative view.
Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing. This is a traditional preparation, and its excellent.
Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing closeup.
Fried Boudin Balls.
Boudin Ball Closeup.
The Louisiana Cochon, a slow cooked pork with cabbage, turnips and cracklins, the signature dish of the restaurant. Imagine the best slow cooked Cuban roast pork Lechon you’ve ever had, that would about describe it.
Grilled Hot Sausage with Peaches and Onions.
Hot Sausage closeup.
This is a fish dish destined for another customer, Oven Roasted Gulf Fish, Fisherman’s Style.
Rabbit and Dumplings
Cochon’s greens. A little bit spicy and not at all bitter.
Creamy White Grits, which was some of the best I’ve ever had.
These Habaneros were growing in a pot on the chef’s table.
An outstanding Red Velvet Cake.
A Blueberry Cobbler destined for another customer.
Glad to see you were able to experience Cochon. My wife, sister in law and I ate there back in August on a little two day trip to New Orleans and it was superb. Its a shame you did not partake of the fried chicken livers,mmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)
Thanks for bringing awareness to the revitalized New Orleans restaurant scene that some might not know about.
My father spent a lot of time in New Orleans when he was younger, and I used to think that some of the food he would talk about — alligator, for one — was disgusting. But seeing these things on your blog has changed my mind. I need to try this stuff.
As always, wonderful pictures–even in low lighting. I’m sitting here browsing through all my food blog bookmarks hoping to find something that will make me drool, but most of the other ones haven’t updated all week. This has one been my favorite by far.
Try the oyster and bacon sandwich…unbelievable. And here’s a secret, sit back at the sushi style table fronting the kitchen…you get to watch everything happening in the kitchen and you receive a comp hogshead cheese app compliments of the kitchen! Delicious
Wow, amazing post Jason! I’m kicking myself with both feet for missing Cochon on my last trip, I won’t make the same mistake twice.
Cochon is the best new restaurant in New Orleans! The executive chef, co-owner. Stephen Stryjewski
makes everything from the hot sauce to the ice cream from scratch. The oysters are a must! This chef will follow his partner, Donald Link, as one of the finest chef’s in America.
I told you to eat the damned chicken livers. Steven is the King of Chicken Livers (giving Jack Leonardi, who sautees them for the best dish on the menu at J-amos, a serious run for his money)Now you’ll have to come back. Too bad. We’re just getting the kitchens restocked after you last carpet bombing.
Stephen Stryjewski is extremely good at what he does. The food is outstanding and I have enjoyed each visit. It is hard to pick a favorite. I can’t go in without ordering the Boudin, the oysters, and the alligator. The cochon is my favorite entree (i have tried them all). The desserts don’t disappoint either. The mud pie is the best.
WOW!!! AND YUMMMMY! Anyone who can fix chicken livers like Steven does, has my vote and repeat visits. The food is so beautifully served and the taste is wonderfully TRUE southern that this restaurant is destined for greatness. Fun to see Steven Stryjewski movin’ around the kitchen and serving such delicious food.
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[…] New Orleans Dining: Cochon В« Off The Broiler Sep 23, 2007 … One of the restaurants in New Orleans I most wanted to dine at was COCHON, a new , Post-Katrina … […]