Last Updated on Saturday, 09 July 2011 11:55
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
Boucherie--French for the place where the butcher works--slipped into a hot spot in the local dining continuum. Already legendary for the food its chef had been selling from a truck around town, it tapped into the new local taste for barbecue and Southern cooking. Both of those are different from Creole cooking, but similar enough. But the chef's abilities led him to build upon those basics, resulting in a new gourmet bistro with a unique flavor palette.
WHY IT'S GOOD
Although smoked meats, vegetables, and seafood loom large on the menu, this is not a barbecue house. The menu used the smoked foods as a leitmotif. The plates that come to the table have the complexity of the food in the other bistros, but with strikingly original and different flavor compositions. But if you like barbecue, you'll love this place.
Boucherie grew from a unique seed. Chef Nathaniel Zimet, after working in a number of estimable local restaurant kitchens (Ralph's, Stella!, and Iris among them) found a big purple van and used it to cook highly advanced street food. It had a strong barbecue influence, and became best known for selling its goods outside the music club Tipatina's. When Iris moved to the French Quarter in 2008, its chef advised Zimet to move into its vacated Uptown space on Jeannette Street just off Carrollton. The renovated cottage has hosted numerous previous restaurants, all of which left because of the tight, undersize spaces inside. Zimet and partner James Denio thought it would be perfect for an enhanced version of the purple van's menu. In fact, the chef got ambitious with the menu from the outset, and in concert with a surprisingly low price structure caught on to a cult degree among Uptown diners--particularly at the lower end of the age spectrum.
The cottage has no large spaces at all, but is built so substantially that no tenant has ever knocked walls out wholesale. This results in small tables jammed into some inconvenient corners. And in a seat count much smaller than the number of diners who show up of an evening. Even with a reservation, you may spend some time on the porch or the sidewalk. But enough others are out there that a social scene results.
ESSENTIAL MENU [*=Recommended]
Grilled Caesar salad
Duck confit with blue cheese and grilled beets
Blackened shrimp with grits cake, bacon vinaigrette
Boudin balls with garlic aioli
Peach soup au poivre
Steamed mussels with collard greens
French fries with garlic butter
Hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi with pickled vegetables
Seared foie gras with spicy pecan praline sauce
Smoked scallops with smothered green beans
Jerk chicken with plantains
Heirloom pepper stuffed with pimiento cheese
Pan-seared duck breast with smoked blackeye peas and cracklins
Pulled pork cake with potato confit and purple slaw
Smoked Wagyu beef brisket
Thai chili chocolate chess pie
Krispy Kreme bread pudding
FOR BEST RESULTS
Boucherie is unexpectedly adept at creating cocktails, and you should begin the meal with one of their many originals. Lunch is less densely packed than dinner, although the menus (and prices) are nearly identical.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
As they did for all the previous restaurants here, the shortage of room to move in cramps the style of everything here. Someday, they will have to move.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +2
- Service +1
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine and Bar +1
- Hipness +3
- Local Color +2
- Outdoor tables, drinks only
- Small private room
- Easy, nearby parking
- Reservations recommended
|< Prev||Next >|