First night in New Orleans and I now know the true meaning of the phrase “Swamp Crotch!” Yup, it’s muggy here. It wasn’t until we landed and started talking to locals—in what sometimes sounds like a completely different language—about how New Orleans should never have been developed where it is….that I really understood what 100% humidity could feel like. Imagine someone steam cleaning your face. Not only is New Orleans prone to flooding (Katrina, case in point) but it’s humid as all hell and the earth is less than solid. But what’s done is done, right?
That being said, we braved a three-mile walk through atmospheric-armpit down Magazine Street from Canal Street to Uptown, just in time for our reservation at Boucherie—Chef Nathanial Zimet’s homage to locally sourced, house-cured cuisine inspired by the Crescent city’s mash-up of French, Spanish, Southern, Creole, Cajun, barbeque, etc. cuisine.
This is the meal that set the bar high for the rest of our New Orleans food tour, and place I highly recommend you add to your list!
Boucherie in Uptown New Orleans
Boucherie is a restaurant built into what used to be a small bungalow-style home. Tables for groups from 2-8 people are arranged inside two rooms and on the front porch. It’s humble, welcoming, warm, and smells like heaven. And with the sweat still pilling from my brow, I needed a cocktail or two. So we ordered a round. We had their Dark & Stormy, Pimm’s Cup, and the official state cocktail of Louisiana the Sazerac. All of which were delicious and hit the spot!
Then they started our palette’s journey with a beet potato salad with pickled mustard seeds. And boy was my bouche amused!
Started with a few small plates.
One of the specials was the fried oyster salad with shaved golden beets and mixed greens over a red beet puree. The salad was tossed in a warm parmesan and horseradish dressing. This was amazing!
Then we had the foie gras biscuit with tasso (New Orleans-style cured ham), over a milk gravy with strawberry jam. The moment our waitress told us these biscuits were baked to order and that instead of using butter in the batter, they substituted foie gras—SOLD!
Steamed mussels with collard green and crispy grit crackers. The crispy grits crackers were perfect for sopping up the collard greens and mussels broth, although they’re not as soggy and spongy as bread. The mussels were small and the real star of this dish was the collard greens. Some of the best I’ve had—ever!
Crispy skin duck confit with a candied fennel tomale, refried fava beans and roasted red pepper vinaigrette. I’m assuming this was Boucherie’s take on a Franco-Mexican dish kicked up a notch. The tomale was served in the open corn husk, and the duck leg was full—both leg and thigh. The refried fava beans almost looked like guacamole, but tasted like a pinto bean puree. Delicious!
For the main course we shared a few entrees.
We had the smoked Wagyu beef brisket with garlicky Parmesan fries. This was delicious in all its umami glory. Not for those of you on a light and fresh kick by any means. The meet was tender and sweet, and the fries were salty and full of garlic.
Applewood smoked scallops with cut corn, marinated green tomatoes, grilled red onions and a fried arugula coulis. The green tomatoes were a cross between an undercooked potato and a pickled radish….ultimately, crunchy and refreshing with the rich buttery flavor of the scallops.
And for dessert….well….we went with the most talked about choice that’s been on the menu for awhile now—the Krispy Kreme bread pudding. Yeah, I said “Krispy Kreme bread pudding!” It was light and fluffy yet creamy and custard-like in all the right ways. And to top it all off, they drizzled a light floral maple syrup on top for some extra depth. This is the only dessert you’ll need and you’ll only need a bite or two it’s so rich and sweet. But totally worth it!
Do yourself and favor when you’re in New Orleans and make a reservation at Boucherie. It’s one of those meals you never forget.