Carolyn Wright Lafayette, Chef Donald Link, Chef Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon Lafayette, Food Blogger in Lafayette, Food Blogger Louisiana, Food in Acadiana, Food in Lafayette, Food in South Louisiana, Louisiana, Louisiana Food blogger, River Ranch Lafayette
Since last Saturday night’s adventure to Cochon, I just couldn’t get this place off of my mind! Maybe it was all of those fabulous flavors that kept running through my head….or was it because everywhere I went people were talking about this new and interesting restaurant? I think it was the memories of those wild popping flavors that persuaded me to call for a Friday lunch reservation. I gathered three other food lovers (my husband, oldest daughter and co-worker/daughter’s best friend!) and went on down to see if it was really as good as I remembered Saturday Night. Well, I am telling you now….if possible, it is even better! And a big “hats off” to our waiters! We had a team of two waiters that were incredible…charming, attentive and knowledgable. That works every time!
We decided to share a variety from their “small plates” (or appetizers)…Don’t want to miss anything!
Fried Chicken Livers with Pepper Jelly Toast: My favorite. I tasted and loved it Saturday night… repeated the incredible experience…consistent…Yes!
Wood-Fire Oyster Roast: I had missed this, but now I learned what all of the talk was about….Plump, briny oysters, lightly roasted under a real wood fire with an awesome aioli sauce that knocked our socks off!
Charred Spring Onion Hushpuppies & Pickled Chile Mayo: Everyone loved this version of the traditional hushpuppy…
Smoked Boudin with pickled peppers: Again, consistant with what was served on my previous visit….dissapeared from the platter quickly! Fabulous!
Braised Pork Cheeks with Spoon Bread, Soybeans & Crushed Herbs: If you are not familiar with “pork cheeks”, then just trust me on this one…melts in your mouth tender! The most tender pork I have ever eaten. Then to serve with spoon bread? Crazy good!
As if we had not had enough, we went on to order Entrees….
Catfish Courtboullion: My husband’s favorite…and he has had plenty of courtboullion experiences in his life! Fresh, sweet, tender catfish swimming in a bowl of tomato based sauce with just a hint of roux. We all had to try some, not only because it was so appealing, but because he kept going on and on about the delicious flavors…he was right!
Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Aioli & Fresh Herbs: My co-worker’s entree…she loved it! The batter was perfectly seasoned and had just the right amount of crunchiness that coated the fresh, tender pieces of alligator. She paired this a side order of creamy grits, that were indeed creamy! Perfect.
Chicken Salad on a Bed of Mixed Greens: My daughter’s selection (one of the specials of the day)…Light, creamy and beautifully seasoned! She loved her dish.
Saved mine for last, because it was a “to die for dish”….
Rabbit & Dumplings: This was so good, that I don’t know how I could possibly go back and not order it over and over. Reminiscent of an old-time pot pie that someone’s grandmother might have made, using dumplings instead of pie dough! The presentation was almost as beautiful as the flavors. It appeared in a small rustic cast iron skillet, still bubbling from the oven. But, when I slid my spoon in and had the first bite, my brain almost exploded! Deep, rich flavors from the creamy stock with tender pieces of rabbit, carrots, potatoes and turnips embedded under plump savory dumplings! Combining all of this into that small black skillet is genius!!! I will dream of this dish….On a cold winter day? This will be on my mind.
Dessert…who had room for dessert? No one, but we pressed forward! We had a plan..try it all!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Pineapple Sorbet… An individual small cake encrusted with caramelized pineapple sauce and a slice of pineapple. Wow! But, when you add the light, bright flavors of the pineapple sorbet along with a bite of the cake?! It was another highlight and favorite of mine…Loved it.
Great food working in our wonderful city of Lafayette, Louisiana… We are lucky folks! Come to think of it, we have been eating pretty well for a long, long time.