Dining Review: Cochon Restaurant, New Orleans
Our final meal in New Orleans! In my quest for the best dining in New Orleans, Cochon Restaurant rose to the top and made it onto the short list. I was not planning on coming here due to the intense competition for our limited stomach capacity but my brother got good intel that this place was worth it. Luckily, I had intentionally left our Saturday brunch slot open so I snagged an 11AM reservation at one if their outdoor tables.
It was about a thirty minute walk from our Airbnb to the restaurant, enough time to work off our “Taste of NOLA” breakfast and fit in this meal. Since we were the first reservation time of the day, we were immediately seated and started diving into this menu.
Shout out to our server, Jake as he was amazing – we had one idea of what we were going to order until Jake came around and described some if his highlights and it changed our entire view of the menu. Sometimes it takes a bit of animating the menu to really showcase what there is to offer. We went from each ordering an entree to getting a small plate or two and splitting an entree to going exclusive small plates.
We ordered a round of drinks – my brother got a cocktail, I got a glass of wine, and Kevin got a local craft beer – representing all the beverages today. Then it was time to dig in.
House bread: sweet bread, reminded me of hawaiian rolls. these came out fresh and hot – the butter immediately melted (love that) and were light and fluffy.
Fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise (asked for the chili garlic mayo on the side)
The fried alligator was very good, honestly takes like chicken. we have all had it before and this felt like a good place to try it. The boys really loved the chili garlic mayonnaise and I can understand why the sauce is typically worked into the fried alligator – a sauce of sorts definitely elevated it.
Pickled spanish mackerel with creme fraiche, pickled ramps (apparently very trendy) and fried rye bread
This dish was one we were not even considering until our server described it. And while it sounded amazing, I was still unsure what the heck we ordered. When the plate was placed down, it looked like a work of art! Each piece delicately and thoughtfully placed on the plate. We were instructed to take a piece of the fried rye bread and build the mackerel, creme fraiche, and ramp to get all the flavors together. And it was incredible! I was expecting much more of that pickled, sour sensation since the mackerel and the ramps were pickled but it was actually more of a fresh feeling. Each piece was so delicious and together it worked insanely well – so well, that we ordered a second round of this dish!
Smoked tenderloin with tonnato, shaved fennel, and crushed herbs
After making our selections, we felt like we needed one more dish to round out the meal and this was another one that our server highlighted so we decided to dive into his recommendations and go for it. The tenderloin here was pork and it was prepared, seasoned, and cooked very well. The accompaniments with the tenderloin were very tasty. While it was not our favorite dish on the table, it was still a very good choice.
Crawfish special menu – crawfish vol-au-sents which was described as a crawfish puff pastry with braised leeks
I definitely wanted to order something off of the seasonal crawfish special menu and while we could have ordered every single one, I knew this one was one we had to get so the boys defaulted to my preference on this one. Anything puff pastry is amazing but the filling and the braised leeks were equal participants in the amazingness. The inside was filled with a creamy sauce that showcased the crawfish and the braised leeks on top added an earthy and sweet flavor. After I ate one, I could have easily ate all three of these that came out so I insisted we ordered another one of these it was that good.
Wow, we felt like we hit the jackpot with the meal! While this place looked like a similar dining experience to Gris-Gris and I did not want to duplicate two similar meals, they really could not be more different! One is not better than the other but they offer a different experience so I was glad to have heard my brother out on this one – we based most of our meals on reliable recommendations and this certainly validated that!