Delicious But Inconsistent!
One of the first restaurants I visited upon arriving in New Orleans was Cochon, a place I had heard of before even being in the city. I had great expectations, and yes, some of them were met, but some were most definitely not. This New American style restaurant specializes in pork, as their name suggests. Wooden interiors with a half open kitchen reminds me of the architecture of many restaurants in California and makes me just a bit homesick...
For the most part, their flavors are innovative and remind me quite a bit of restaurants in Berkeley and their philosophy on food. Most of their dishes are best had tapas style, which is another reason why I initially fell in love with this spot. Growing up in Taiwan, sharing many dishes of food is just too natural to me! My favorite was their fried alligator with chili garlic mayo (10), which was a battered alligator with a delicious and warm mayo served with parsley. I must say though, the second time I ordered this dish, I got mostly batter, and the mayo didn't taste the same. The braised pork cheeks (11) erred on the salty side, and wasn't spectacular. The pork and black eyed pea gumbo (7) was quite delicious, especially with the kale, but again, was a bit salty.
My first experience was not bad, but the second time I visited, my whole table had a bit of the stomach flu (4 for 4). The service was great the first and terrible the second, and so I wonder at the inconsistency. My biggest pet peeve of a restaurant is inconsistency, and Cochon was exactly that.
#BourbonTasting cochon_nola: my fav of the three was the Jefferson's Ocean Voyager 3 which "spent 8 months at sea" ( though I'm not entirely sure what being at sea actually does to bourbon). Learned a lot from a colleague though about how to taste bourbon and visual cues to quality / flavor (viscosity / 'skinny legs' signifies better distillation..less sugar content?)
Wood-fired oysters with chili garlic butter cochon_nola were some of the best cooked oysters I've ever had, and I usually prefer oysters pure / raw. #NOLAeats
Fried alligator with chili garlic mayo #NOLAeats
Steaming hot crawfish pie. Love at first bite. #NOLAeats
This Smoked Drum (fish) with grilled green beans, raisins and curry mayo is a surprising combo of savory smokey sweet spicy luscious crunchy juicy - instantly one of my favorite salads ever. And one I'd fly back to NOLA for. #NOLAeats cochon_nola
I eat livers all the time. Intestines (of most poultry and even seafood) are an essential part of the Vietnamese cuisine. But hardly do we ever batter and fry livers. Nevertheless, eat them with jelly pepper on toast. But now I think Imma go home and try frying livers. Because Cochon gave me a totally new experience, like I never knew how exactly do livers taste like. The outside was crispy yet the inside was still soft (well-cooked ofcourse) The pepper jelly had a sour and savory taste. The toast gave the buttery aroma to the combination. And the mint harmonized the dish, gave it a fresher taste when combined with the liver.
nykeiko eats: First eats in New Orleans at Cochon Restaurant [New Orleans]
Our first meal in New Orleans was at Cochon Restaurant and it was a good one. I picked it during our layover in Atlanta as I saw that it was only a ten minute walk from our hotel in New Orleans. It's also a highly recommended restaurant amongst all the people who have been before so it was a no-brainer. I immediately called for an early 6 p.m. reservation from the airport. When we showed up at 5:30 p.m., we got seated right away.
Being our first meal in New Orleans, we went all out with ordering all the good stuff. In the end, we finished everything, so stuffed it hurt but didn't regret it. Nothing a long walk back to the hotel couldn't fix.
We started with some wood-fired oysters with garlic chili oil and fried alligator with spicy mayo. Knowing we will be ordering mostly meat, I ordered a side of pickled cucumber to pair with the meal. Everything is pretty salty but I can say that about pretty much everything we ate in New Orleans. I would suggest ordering a side of salad or rice to balance your palette out. Drinking a lot of water is good too. Other than saltiness, you will get plenty of flavors and spice. There is so much flavor in each bite, it's pretty awesome. We continued with some chili braised pork cheeks, smoked ham hock and rabbit with dumplings (pretty much just cornbread). There was no space for dessert...
Wood fired oysters
Chili braised pork cheeks
Smoked ham hock
Rabbit and dumplings (cornbread)
OK Food For a Quick Stop
I visted here for lunch.It was in a popular area.The workers never made eye contact with you.I ordered the catfish,which was extremely spicy.I also expected bigger for that price.I left still hungry and had heartburn.The people were friendly of course.It was a little wait for my meal,but thats good,that means it wass cooked fresh.The interior was plain,simple and had a little life to it.I don't think I would eat there again.
Amazing, But Pricey
Everything at Cochon is delicious. The cocktails are weird and perfect, the food is to die for, and they have excellent southern appetizers. I had pork belly, and it was possibly the most succulent thing my mouth has every experienced. The only complaint I have is that it was extremely pricey, I had two drinks and an entree and my bill ended up being in excess of $40.
Cochon: New Orleans, LA
In the words of a good friend: “You had me at Pig”.
I am so glad I had reservations because at about 5:30 – this place was filled to the brim. I still chose a seat at the bar as I was waiting for my friend, but they have full service and Hanna and Miles are quite entertaining. I hope they liked us as much as we liked them.
I saw a few plates of the oysters come out, and knew they were the first thing I was ordering. The NOLA style seems to be wood-fired. These were outrageous; beautifully cleaned shells with large large large oysters grilled and covered in a balanced chili sauce. I am sure the butter helped temper the heat from the chilis, but they had some kick. Full disclosure, I did sop up every last bit of that sauce with their warmed french bread.
Next, we tried the boudin – which is a New Orleans style pork and rice sausage. Cochon removes the casings, rolls it in a little ball and deep-fried it. Then, they serve it with spicy brown mustard and pickled peppers. I loved these; if you are nervous about boudin – try it here first.
I was intrigued by the ribs because– well this place is called PIG. And, because of the pickled watermelon rinds. I liked these. The bbq sauce was a little thicker and sweeter than I was expecting, but the pickled melon helped cut it. These were fine. Well, more than fine since we quickly devoured them. I probably wouldn’t order them again. It wasn’t my favorite dish of the night; that award goes easily to the oysters.
I wasn’t feeling many of the desserts – but we couldn’t pass up the house made ice cream of the day – sour cream and brownie.
The sour cream ice cream was incredibly creamy and had natural tartness that complemented the rich dark chocolate brownie chunks; almost an adult version of cookies and cream. Now for real, look at that adorable pig cookie. It was a thin crisp cookie smothered with cinnamon and sugar. I loved this cookie – it easily broke apart, but it wasn’t super crumbly. It reminded me of a ginger snap or graham cracker consistency.
There are a ton of places in this amazing city to try – and we didn’t get to many of the celebrity chef ones – but I’ll definitely go back here on my next trip.