Soon after arriving in New Orleans, we had eaten dinner at Donald Link’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Herbsaint. While the experience was great for our first evening in town, we were much more looking forward to our lunch the next day at his other award-winning restaurant, Cochon.
Here’s how the restaurant is described on its website:
AT COCHON, CHEF DONALD LINK HAS RECONNECTED WITH HIS CULINARY ROOTS, SERVING THE TRADITIONAL CAJUN SOUTHERN DISHES HE GREW UP WITH. CHEF LINK AND CHEF/CO-OWNER STEPHEN STRYJEWSKI ARE WORKING WITH LOCALLY SOURCED PORK, FRESH PRODUCE AND SEAFOOD, FOCUSING ON TRADITIONAL METHODS, CREATING AUTHENTIC FLAVORS OF CAJUN COUNTRY. THE RESTAURANT IS SET IN A RUSTIC, YET CONTEMPORARY INTERIOR OF A RENOVATED NEW ORLEANS WAREHOUSE.
Honestly, the restaurant is located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. While there’s been significant gentrification of the neighborhood, there’s still a gritty feel to the area.
Once inside the restaurant, there’s a different vibe. Craftsman chairs and an open kitchen create a casual space.
The menu is also very simple. Cochon means pig in French and there is definitely plenty of pork on the menu. However, there are plenty of other dishes on the obviously meat-centric menu.
I started with an order of the fried boudin. In other words, fried sausage balls.
Sharon tried to pretend she was going to be healthy and ordered the cucumber and herbs in vinegar.
To be honest, it was a tasty plate of cucumbers.
We were traveling with our friend Norm, for whom visiting Cochon was a “bucket list” restaurant. He wasted no time getting to the pork dishes and ordered the slow-roasted pork belly with pepper jelly and herb salad.
Once we got started, it was time for the main dishes. I felt adventurous and ordered the rabbit and dumplings. The is only the second time I’ve had rabbit and it was fantastic.
Norm ordered the smoked pork chop special dish served over black-eyed peas and vinegar. The picture doesn’t convey the size of this pork chop.
We can’t remember what Sharon had for lunch but for sure it was something fried. 🙂 (Note from Sharon: It was the “special” of the day. Maybe chicken fried pork?)
After lunch, they allowed us to poke around and look at the kitchen where we got to see the smoker and the wood they used.
After the meal, all we could do was get back to our car and drive back to our Airbnb.
Skip that, we did manage to walk around the corner and check out Cochon Butcher and we may have picked up some bacon pralines while we were there.
Once back home, we sat on the comfortable couches for a few hours watching Yellowstone and digesting a once-in-a-lifetime meal. Eventually, we were able to get up and head out that evening to see some amazing jazz music at a local club.
While I didn’t consider Cochon the BEST meal I had in New Orleans, I consider eating there an experience I’ll probably never have again.
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