Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cuchon

Colin and I just got off on Spring break on Friday. We have decided that there is no better way to spend part of the week we have off then to go to Cajun country on a short holiday. On Wednesday we will be leaving for a few days to visit some of the more famous Cajun heritage sites in Louisiana.

To start off our Cajun week, we decided to go to Cochon, an Acadian restaurant and boucherie. I had been planning on patronizing this restaurant for quite some time, but my decision was reinforced by the recent New York Times review. Cochon was noted recently as one of the "Intriguing new restaurants outside of New York" by food writer Frank Bruni, in a coast-to-coast ranking of 10 of the country's top new restaurants. Cochon received third place. I have to say I think it deserves that (if not better) as it was an utterly amazing meal.


We had:

Cocktails: I had a Sazerac (creole shrub, Herbsaint, bitters and a lemon peel twist) and Colin had a Birddog (Louisiana grapefruit juice, sparkling wine and creole shrub). Then for dessert we had Carolina Catdaddy Moonshine which was surprisingly smooth and delicious considering it is called moonshine.

Appetizers: We split the wood fried oyster roast plate. This was a plate of five oysters on a bed of rock salt cooked in a wood burning oven and topped with a garlic, butter and hot pepper sauce.

Salad: We split the shaved mushroom and onion salad with fried beef jerky and lemon. This was one of the more unique salads I have ever had in my life, because the salad was composed primarily of mushrooms, while the onion, parsley, and fried jerky pieces served as garnishes.

Main: I actually had two smaller plates for my main, I had the spicy grilled pork ribs with watermelon pickles, and the hot sausage with grits, roasted peppers and creole cream cheese.
Both of these were excelent. The ribs were coated in a vinger based sauce which, with the pickles helped to cut the fat of the ribs. The hot sausage was perfectly spicy and combined beautifully with the grits and creamy creole cream cheese sauce. Colin had the saddleback pork special, which was the loin of the pork wrapped in the stomach fat, with greens and a few crayfish tails for garnish.

Dessert: I had the strawberry and peach cobbler with ginger biscuits, Colin had the red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing of all was the fact that the restaurant is small and cozy, and we could see and smell what the tables to our right and left had ordered. This enabled a near communal dining experience where we could discuss across the dining room, with complete strangers, what we were eating and trade thoughts and recommendations. Based on the delicious smells that were surrounding us I know that we could go back again and easily have several more incredible meals.


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