One of my favorite parts about the holidays is going out to eat with family and friends. There’s nothing quite like holing yourself up in a cozy restaurant somewhere, drinking wine and enjoying great food with the ones you love. ‘Tis the season for giving thanks and I am certainly thankful for all the wonderful restaurants that make the city of New Orleans so very special.
Patois is definitely one of those restaurants that we should all be thankful for. Chef Aaron Burgau’s ever-evolving menu nods to traditional flavors but remains inventive enough to stand out amongst similar restaurants. The atmosphere is cozy chic–a nice blend of fancy French bistro and casual neighborhood cafe. Ladies, feel free to wear flats and guys, lose the tie.
My parents and I joined some out of town relatives for dinner last week and were stoked when we were able to snag a table for seven at the last minute. Friend and Sous Chef Marcus Woodham was in the kitchen that night, so I knew we were guaranteed a stellar meal. And wow, nothing short of stellar is what we got. Our meal began with two complimentary bowls of Moules Frites in smoky tomato broth and saffron aioli (thanks, Marcus!), which were absolutely fantastic and perfect for sharing.
For my appetizer I ordered the Charred Baby Octopus with Chorizo and Fregola and a citrus dressing. I really enjoyed this combination of flavors and textures, with the open-flame flavor of the octopus, smoky Chorizo, freshness of herbs, and the sudden burst of citrus. The fregola, which is similar to Israeli cous cous, was also very good and fun to eat. A winning appetizer in my book.
When it came to entrees I had already chosen my fate before even setting foot in the restaurant (gotta love those online menus). The Paneed Rabbit with Rabbit Confit Farro, Creamed Collard Greens, and Rabbit Jus had my name written all over it and what an excellent choice it was. Tender rabbit meat coated in a crunchy breading sat atop a bed of farro mixed with rabit confit, creamy greens, and a savory sauce made from the drippings. I enjoyed this only slightly more than La Petite Grocery’s version.
Four out of the seven people in our dinner party ordered the Almond Crusted Gulf Fish with roasted potato galettes, buttered green beans & a Satsuma menieure. The gulf fish featured on this particular night was Tripletail and everyone raved about how beautifully it was cooked. The kitchen was even able to prepare this dish gluten free for one of our dinner party guests and she said her version certainly wasn’t skimping on flavor.
This was the first time I had been to Patois for dinner and I must say that I was seriously impressed. Not just by the knowledge and attentiveness of the restaurant staff (especially regarding our relative’s dietary needs), but the food was out-of-this-world good. I look forward to having many more amazing meals at this quaint and charming restaurant in 2012. Merry Christmas!
Patois, 6078 Laurel Street, 504.895.9441. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Brunch offered on Sundays only.