Cochon is French for my favorite animal in the world and its menu–and decor–had my name all over it, but sadly, I too have my limits when it comes to fatty foods.
We had a couple of martinis at the bar while we waited to be seated. It’s a huge space but uncomfortably humid. By the time we started eating, we had stripped down to the T-shirts we wore under our light sweaters. The service is very brisk, and a few times, our waitress spilled water on our table and on the floor while refilling our glasses and of those around us. Busboys served the dishes without a word and no one ever came back to remind us of what we ordered. The entire time we were there, we chuckled at how the service is up to par with a trendy New York City restaurant on death watch.
The Louisiana cochon is a large chunk of pulled pork stewed with turnips and cabbage. I wish the taste of the stewed vegetables penetrated the meat a little bit more inside. A piece of crackling sat on top and was fought over and eventually split between the Dr. and I. The gumbo was absolute perfection with a little bit of tang and spice. It was made the way I like it: watery and a little light on the rice and heavy-handed on the okra stubs. I could not say the same about the boring alligator meat that, not surprisingly, tasted like chicken. It was a little gamier than regular white meat, but without the chili garlic aioli, it would have been just a chewy and bland beer food.
I made a huge mistake by booking our table at Cochon during our last night together in New Orleans. I was up to here with rich and buttery stews so I feel like I didn’t appreciate Cochon as much as I normally would. If there is a reason to return to New Orleans, mine would be to eat again at Cochon to do it some justice.
Cochon is at 930 Tchoupitoulas Street. Call 504/588.2123 for reservations and get ready to be engulfed by smoke and heat from the kitchen.
Cochon photos on Flickr