Tag Archives: new orleans

Adventures: Lüke, New Orleans

As much as I loved the food in New Orleans, after a week of bad coffee I seized on the excellent french presse style caffeine fix offered at Lüke, located in a former historic Masonic temple in the heart of New Orleans CBD.  Self-described as ‘homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans’ this place is sophisticated yet full of homely and historical details. 

Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything you require in between, I loved our breakfast and I loved the coffee.  While utterly unlike coffee I drink at home in Brisbane, it had incredible body and none of the burnt notes the Americans usually favour.  It was decidedly French, and well suited to the fare. 

We sat at a table that gave us a great view of the kitchen, a well oiled machine with a couple of friendly chefs who signalled to us when they’d received our order and seemed proud that we took such an interest in what they were doing.  The kitchen also had one of the most incredible fire control systems I’ve ever seen – regulations in Louisiana must really be something else.

We’d ordered a Croque Madame – sweet grilled ham, emmental and white corn bread sandwich with an organic fried egg on top, served with hand cut frites.  There must have been slices of ham piled on an inch thick.  Along with this, the New Orlean version of a ‘Man Meal’, a traditional Southern breakfast of two fried eggs, twice smoked bacon, biscuit and creamed white corn grits.  I’d happily return at least a dozen more times to work through the amazing breakfast and brunch menu which features buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, buttermilk pancakes with berry cane syrup, omelet with local crab meat, asparagus, fromage blanc and fries.

Lunch and dinner at Lüke look similarly grand, and dinner is served from 4pm to 11pm each day.  That’s right – 11pm.  Featuring the best local oysters, clams, crawfish, crab and ceviche as well as lobsters, shrimp and Prince Edward Island mussels at the raw bar and a sophisticated a la carte menu, next time I’m in New Orleans I’ll be making a dinner reservation at Lüke.

Some excellent photos of the dining room at Lüke and the food can be found on their website.  I was rather too caffeinated to hold the camera straight!

http://www.lukeneworleans.com/

Adventures: Cochon Butcher, New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

Growing up in an area with a rich European migrant heritage, I took for granted the availability of tasty smallgoods.  Finding these salty, meaty treats in Brisbane is somewhat more difficult.

Maybe this is why I fell so hard for Cochon Butcher.  Even though it was around the corner from our hotel in the warehouse district, being busy with conference commitments sadly meant we didn’t try it out right away.  This is a neighbourhood place, the kind of come as you are venue I’d love to see near me.  Located discretely next to Cochon Restaurant, Butcher is a deli come bar come cafe highlighting Donald Link’s cajun background and hence all things from the pig.  ‘Food and sWine’ is the way the concept is neatly described on the menu.   I love it and think of it often.

At its core, Butcher specialises in high quality cuts of fresh meats, cured meats, salumi and sausages made on the premises.  You can drop in and have the Butcher staff package these up to take home or arrange charcutirie platters, dips and amazing Cajun party treats or pull up a stool and enjoy fine wines and food.  You’ll find everything from steak and foie gras to Cajun specialties like Boudin, Andouille and Tasso.

House made salami and sausage at Butcher @ Cochon
Cajun and other delicacies at Butcher @ Cochon

 Once we discovered Butcher we couldn’t stay away.  It think we visited 4 times in 3 days, working our way through the concise but delicious eat in menu.  There’s bar snacks, amazing breakfasts, lunches and a well stocked bar.  We tried the Cochon Muffaletta and a Pulled Pork Sandwich with  potato salad at lunch both of which were served with pickled okra and amazing housemade potato chips.

Cochon the restaurant proper is certainly on the the itinerary for a future visit to New Orleans.  They even have Elderton wines from the Barossa on their list!

Cochon Muffaletta at Butcher @ Cochon
Pulled Pork Sandwich at Butcher @ Cochon

Voodoo BBQ is also worth checking out if you’re visiting New Orleans.  Authentic southern BBQ and amazing Mango Crystal and Mojo sauces, lovely with pulled pork and a frosty Abita ale.