Friday, November 12, 2010

Stephen Stryjewski's Cochon

On our automobile trek last month across the southern US to bring our injured son to our home for convalescence, we stopped in New Orleans.  It had been 4 years since Dr Desert Flower and I had been there, and our son had never visited the city.  We were able to get a relatively inexpensive room at the Hampton Inn downtown near the convention center, but the best part of the hotel location was that it was within walking distance of Cochon.

Cochon (French for "pig") is the creation of chef and owner (and fellow Pole) Stephen Stryjewski.  If you think his last name is pronounced, the street address upon which Cochon is located is "930 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans LA" (504-588-2123, reservations are strongly recommended).  When were last visited this delicious restaurant, co-owner and Chef Donald Link had Just Opened Cochon, 6 months post Katrina.  We ate there on a  week night, and there were perhaps 20 customers total in the whole place.  The delicious fragrance of bacon permeated the venue, and actually drew us in as we walked past the place on the street.  The 2006 meal was delicious, and we knew if we'd ever return to New Orleans, we'd need to eat at Cochon again.

Last month was our 2nd chance, and Cochon did not disappoint.  Dr Desert Flower made reservations via cell phone as we drove through Southern Mississippi on I-10, and it's a good thing we did.  The October 2010 visit had 20 people waiting to get in, with every table inside and on the side walk outside packed with happy diners. A very cajun menu, and a respectable wine list, we heartily enjoyed our meal - check out the recipes on their web page (link here)!  Ad not only was Cochon flourishing, but Stryjewski and Link had expanded to Cochon Butcher behind the restaurant, where they served both FOOD and sWINE.  Link also runs Herbsaint and Calcasieu, which both sound delicious, though we've not personally tried them yet.

If you are visiting New Orleans, and you want to enjoy local, delicious, cajun cuisine, with excellent personal service in downtown New Orleans near the convention center in the Warehouse district, make reservations for a meal at Cochon.  You won't be disappointed.

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