Pig cheeks and alligator pieces

It was a sunny and unseasonably warm March evening, the sun at that particular, late-spring slant that makes everything look a little more interesting.

We walked from a few blocks away to the restaurant, situated in the middle of old warehouses and car repair places.

At 5 p.m., it was already booked solid and we were early. Asked if we could maybe, possibly have a table now instead of waiting another hour for our reserved time, one of managers complied, seating us immediately.

Cochon, or French for pig, is a relatively new restaurant in New Orleans that has been getting a lot of attention lately. In a town known for seafood, the specialty here is pork. Named by Bon Apetit last month as one of the most important restaurants in America, Cochon has quickly gained that importance with dishes like pork tongue with charred radishes and fava beans. Or the smoked pork ribs, smoked ham hock with herb spatzle, Brussels sprouts and mustard cream, or fried livers with pepper jelly and toast.


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