NOLA - Restaurant Patois, dinner, 3/30/2016

With my wife in New Orleans for an annual conference, and hit the ground running by starting out our culinary adventures with dinner at Restaurant Patois.

In the interests of full disclosure, Restaurant Patois opened in 2007, and we’ve been coming here almost since they started. Indeed, we’ve dined here 11 times since November 2008. (Considering we live in California, that’s a lot!) Over these seven and a half years, we’ve become friends with Co-Owners (and Executive Chef) Aaron Burgau and Leon Touzet, so feel free to take the following with whatever grains of salt you deem appropriate . . .

Restaurant Patois is in an old house, located in the middle of a residential neighborhood way Uptown. As the setting would suggest, it feels like old home week whenever you walk in – not just us, but everyone. The staff is warm and welcoming, and makes their patrons feel right at, well, home. The four of us arrived for our 8:30 reservation, and were warmly greeted by all the staff, not just those we’ve met before from our previous visits, and shown to our table.

We began with a round of appetizers: potato gnocchi (served with crawfish tails, English peas, green garlic and mascarpone), the crispy 5 spice duck confit salad, grilled octopus, and the housemade charcuterie plate (boudin, pork rillettes, hog’s head cheese, paté, whole grain mustard, kumquat moustarda), and the grilled romaine & fried oyster salad. All superb, as always.

For our entrées, two of us opted for the Louisiana Wild Boar (thick-cut chops, served with charred cabbage, black-eyed peas, and corn bread), while the others had a Gulf fish almondine (in this case, black drum), and rabbit with roasted fennel and polenta.

The wine list is small and somewhat eclectic, but in fact is well thought out and affordable.

All I can say is this remains our favorite restaurant in New Orleans, and the one place we always go.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold