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Anyone been to Cochon? How is it?

Hi all!

Long time lurker, first time poster. ;)

I'm thinking of taking my fiance' to Cochon as a late birthday gift next week. We're going to be in Nola for the holidays visiting family. I've read reviews, seen the Andrew Zimmern thing and heard about Cochon for awhile. The real question is..Is it worth it? How is the food? What did you think?

Any advice appreciated! If it's going to be a pain in the butt, I think we'll just stick with our usual haunts.



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  1. It is easy to find; on Tchopitoulas, not far from the convention center, in the warehouse district, and it is easy to like, if you appreciate the pig in all its splendor. Wood-grilled fish is nice, ham hocks n greens very good. Ask for extra pickles; damn, those are good pickles. It's open for lunch, so if you want to check it out with less investment, it is possible.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Oh yes..fan of the pig for sure! I went ahead and made a reservation for next Wed. night. I can't wait to check it out! Thanks for the heads up on the pickles!

    2. Cochon is wonderful. Their wood-fired oysters are a must as well as the boucherie plate. The cochon de lait is also very good. Very good atmosphere with cool hip music. You'll be wowed by pretty much any dish there.

      1. IMHO, Cochon is greatly overrated. T he best offerings are the appetizers which would make a very good lunch. As for dinner, you would fare better at the chef''s other venue, Herbsaint. Nicer ambiance and much more condusive to a lovely evening with your fiance. The food at Herbsaint sublime. The short rib appetizer and the pork belly are outstanding. Gumbo and shrimp and grits are also very good as are the lamb and the ribeye/frites. If they have the salad with goat cheese beignets, forget the salad and order a plate of beignets (they are that good).

        1. The food is very good, as is the service. I loved the "down-home" aspect of the menu, and would return in a heartbeat. The pricing is fair and the wine list, while not extensive is very interesting and well-suited for the fare at realistic prices.

          Now, the only possible down-side is the ambiance. Cochon is about "casual" atmosphere. This might well be seen as a plus by some, though a bit of a let-down, for a special occasion, by others. For me, the food more than made up for this aspect. It is very comfortable, though, and I stress, it is casual. This is not meant to be seen as a negative, just an observation.

          If one likes the menu, great food, excellent service, and they are not looking for a formal setting, I'd highly recommend it. Plus, it's just fun!


          1 Reply
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            I think we will be comfortable with something more casual for this outing, so it should work out well! I'm saving Herbsaint for a dinner prior to our nuptials in Nola in June, and we have way too many formal dinners coming up, so I think this will be just fine! Thanks for all the advice and recommendations!

          2. Great idea. Soso execution.
            Just thinking about the Andrew Zimmerman segment makes me laugh out loud:
            They don't show Brett Anderson's face (our food critic), but they let you hear his Kooky laugh. It always reminds me of how the NY restaurants had the picture of the Times food critic, well here there is an audio recording in the servers station that has a sign "if you hear this laugh please let the kitchen know, thanks."

            1 Reply
            1. re: iknowwhatitmeans

              My sis and I went there about a couple weekends ago and had a FABULOUS meal. The prices didn't really faze me one bit... I live in downtown Chicago, lol... we started off with the chicken liver appetizer which was pretty good, only complaint, not a huge caraway fan and the toasts are loaded w/ them... sis had the Catfish Courtbouillion which was fabulous, but I think you have to like that sort of thing to really enjoy the dish... and I had the oven roasted redfish which was incredible. Probably the best piece of fish I've had in a while and the absolute best piece I had during the trip. We shared the broccoli, pecan and rice side dish, it was very rich and just the right amount, in fact, we didn't quite finish it. We both had iced tea to drink and our bill w/ tip was around $70.00.

              It was easy to find and the service was great...nice and casual, servers attentive and friendly...

            2. I love Cochon, and recommend it to just about anyone. You can't go wrong with anything there! The boudin balls are tasty, and the abita root beer float is my fave! Have fun!

              1. The food is excellent, and the price/quality balance make it a bargain. It has quickly become one of my favorite spots in town.

                Make sure you get the crispy pig ear and pork tongue salad - one of the best salads I've ever had.

                And while I love the cochon, the ham hock is pretty fantastic too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Burgoober

                  I want that salad so bad but haven't had a chance to get back over there!

                2. Ate there last night--it was a very enjoyable meal, but nothing fabulous. The wood-fired oyster appetizer was the star--worth a trip just for that. Nice, relaxed/casual atmosphere and a good local crowd. The boudin balls were very good. I had the sausage appetizer as my main course and it was also very good. My wife really liked her gulf fish and the eggplant and shrimp side dish was also very good. They make a very nice cocktail too, though the wine list is limited in quality.

                  1. First time at Cochon today for lunch. How incredibly overpriced. $64 for lunch without alcohol?? Had the cochon and dining partner had fish--a la carte for $20. Food was ok--service indifferent, seating uncomfortable. What a let-down. I am a true pork lover and had been looking forward to it. Won't go back :(

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: travelbuff

                      Fully agree with you. overpriced, , teeny, tiny portions ( a bony thigh only for the smothered chicken ENTREE, with a watery sauce), nothing great. The rest of meal was passable but definitely not memorable. Service was nice but indifferent and seating uncomfortable. Yes a true let-down. Won't go back either. Don't understand when there are so many great restaurants in NO.

                    2. I found it to be quite pig-o-licious, my spouse has returned/strayed several times since our 1st visit together. He "tries" to be careful not to tell me this, but always manages to let it slip out to see if he can invoke my ire over it, which he usually does. I thought the prices were about average for a NOLA fine dining experience. The atmosphere is quite casual though, which is fine by me but it has a cold industrial warehouse feel to it that passes for hipness in some circles. I also thought the tables were too close together, something you wouldn't expect for a seemingly large space. Speaking of space, I don't particularly like having mine invaded when I've paid enough money to not have to rub elbows with my fellow diners. However, I am more than happy to do so when it is an expected/important part of the dining experience. I just didn't expect it here. Otherwise, oink on out at Cochon

                      1. Ok, we're back from holidays in Nola. We LOVED Cochon. But I have to agree with FelixTheCat, the tables are way too close together for my taste. I didn't mind the casual atmosphere and all in all, it was a great experience. We started with the Chicken Livers (HEAVEN) and the Oysters. I liked the chicken livers better, my better half did as well. The oysters are good, but I probably will opt for something different next time. We then went straight to entrees. I had the Cochon with Turnips, my fiance' had the Oven Roasted Gulf Fish, which was redfish. Both were excellent, however, he thinks his redfish was better. We shared the Eggplant and Shrimp Dressing which was a little too watery IMO, but some people like it that way. We also shared Smothered Turnip Greens. Which were some of the best I've ever tasted (sorry Mamaw). We ended with Pineapple Upside Down Cake which was heavenly. We both had a shot of Catdaddy moonshine with it, which was perfect actually. It has a hint of nutmeg to it..hard to describe and 180 proof! Goes down so smooth though, hard to believe it's 180 proof. All in all, it was a great meal. We'll go back for sure, but probably ask to sit at a bigger table instead of the 2 topppers on the wall.

                        1. My partner and I ate at Cochon last Friday (3.21) for an early dinner. The food was good, even quite good, but not outstanding. We had a mushroom-bean soup (me) and the boudin (my partner) to begin with. I found the soup tasty but nearly oversalted. My partner really liked the boudin very much, and there was plenty of it. We each had the Louisiana cochon to follow. It is a funny dish -- the meat has been cooked down to falling of the bone, taken off the bone, and reconstituted in a breaded lump, like a burger. The meat may have been soaked in juices too. It's served over tender turnips, delicious tangy cabbage and cracklins (with tiny bits of (?) apple over it - great detail). It is very good but not I think inherently as good as pork belly or a less manipulated and more straightforwardly constructed dish in my opinion. The flavors are delicious, but the look of the dish is rather blah. For dessert we had the chocolate pudding parfait which was a bit jello pudding, and I had the coconut tart with frozen almond custard -- tasty flavors in a whomping huge portion (really, too huge!) -- but not especially subtle.
                          Other details: the maitre d' acted like we were being done a favor by getting a 530 seating, even though the place was not in fact completely full by any means. The waiter was talking up the food so much (it's FANTASTIC! etc etc) including AS HE SET THE DISH DOWN BEFORE ME -- call me old-fashioned, but *I* like to determine what I think of the dish rather than have it assumed beforehand what my judgment will be. Also, the bill was plopped on our table before I had eaten even a third of my dessert. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to be asked whether I want coffee, and not rushed out of the place. It wasn't THAT busy, frankly, and that's just plain rude in my book. Also, the restaurant is decidedly cold. The casual atmosphere extends to a whiplash-inducing mixture of genres -- so don't go here to be very fancy, calm or unhurried in your meal. The menu is online http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/html/... so have a look and see what you think.
                          Also: we knew several others who went out to Cochon the same weekend and one remarked that she LOVED the fish she had, another agreed with us that the bill was rushed and the service wasn't so good; the others really liked the Louisiana cochon btw.
                          Overall, I'd say it's overrated, but if you really love pig, why not.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: fiorbhlasta

                            Your post brings back a memory of dining at Emeril's Nola a while back (believe me, I didn't pick the restaurant). In addition to the ingredient-explicit menu, the servers reiterated all the ingredients in and preparation of each diners' dish as they set down the plates. I felt polite behavior dictated listening to the shpiel about what had been put in front of me - even though, as they talked, our food was getting cold! It's one of this former service industry worker's pet peeves.

                            We'll be at Cochon this weekend, so thanks in advance!

                          2. I like it a lot. It's not a soul food restaurant, so I don't know why folks expect giant portions. Some dishes are fairly ordinary--nothing wrong with them at all (black eyed peas), while others were freaking outrageously delicious, and as good as anything in town (pork cheeks).

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: terpsichore

                              We ate at Cochon this past Friday during Jazzfest and I have to say, we were pretty disappointed. Had high expectations given all the recent hoopla, Frank Bruni article and reviews here, and it just didn't live up. My husband had the Cochon dish and found it dry and stringy, not nearly as moist and tender and tasty as the pork in the Cochon di lait poboy we had next day at the fest! I had the oven roasted redfish which was overdone, bland, and dry, and quite unattractively plated--with pickled white onions, white on white, nothing else on the plate...didn't look or taste appealing and I ate about half of it. The side of collard greens was good. The best part of the meal was the dessert which was a coconut and chocolate pie.

                              Quite a let-down IMO.

                              1. re: terpsichore

                                While I understand it is not a soul food restaurant, I still resent paying much more than I would at a soul food restaurant for mediocre food in teeny tiny portions such as the "smothered chicken". Yes it is not a soul food restaurant but why should one pay twice as much for the same dish as a soul food restaurant, but get a watery half of thigh (counting the bone), which doesn't even look like enough for an appetizer ???

                                If it actually tasted good, perhaps one would not complain as much but the gravy was thin and watery, with no flavor. Most places would have tried to remedy it by taking it off the bill or substituting when one complained ( we did it nicely), but not Cochon.

                                1. re: dec111

                                  Must have been an off night for the smothered chicken. I found it to be full of favor...yes, the gravy is water, but that is the way it is supposed to be (at least that is how my cajun mother makes it as well...not supposed to be "soul food", but cajun food). To me the portion sizes are perfect. I've left quite full on all my visits.

                              2. Follow-up: We were underwhelmed last month, given the hype. A decent meal, but by no means revelatory.

                                That being said, the rabbit stew with dumplings was delicious. And the moonshine tasting was terrific.

                                1. Ate at cochon last night 5/1/08 - definitely a casual (jeans, etc) restaurant. We had the fried alligator and the oysters for appetizers - the alligator was fine but reminded me of KFC, with "secret spices" in the crust but nothing more. Oysters were huge (I'm from Boston, so i'm not used to such huge shellfish), plump with a tasty sauce, not too spicy. I had the cochon and my friend had the redfish. The fish was really marvelous - fillet on skin/scales, lightly seasoned, really moist despite being oven-fired. I was disappointed in my Cochon - essentially pulled pork shaped into a 6 inch hockey puck, but without the benefit of sauce (and it needed *some* kind of moisture - the turnips were no match for the dryness). The puck was topped with cracklins, bacon and bits of ham, which added more salt to the already oversalted dish (the turnips again were no match for the salt). We also shared a side of smothered greens with bits of bacon in it, which was good. We finished off with the carrot cake, which is a new addition to the menu, and delicious. Creamy (not heavy) cream cheese frosting, generous between the four layers of cake, with a side of pecan ice cream. Paired with a Louisiana Mojito for her and a tea-lemondade for me, it came out to just under $100.

                                  1. Before I start, let me say that I am crazy about Cochon on a number of levels. The story behind the place, when it opened, the guys running it, the bourbon selection, the service, and the service again.

                                    That being said, as someone who eats there about three times a month, there are some keys to making it a better experience-

                                    1) If possible, go with 5 or 6 people. This gives you the opportunity to order just about ALL of the small plates in the first two sections of the menu for starters and to share. By doing this, you will get a sampling of all of the porkiliciousness and other things on the menu and you will also make your meal remarkably inexpensive.

                                    2) If you follow step one, the entree selection is easy. Do it the same way, just don't order them for everyone. There's no point. People will be getting full. The small plates aren't that small and there will be lots of them. Also, you will leave room for dessert

                                    3) Dessert-once again, with 5 or 6 people, you can just order the whole list and share. I am particularly fond of the pineapple upside down cake, but that's me. I like a good piece of cake and this is a good one.

                                    They know what they are doing. It's just really hard to get a good grip on the place with two people and one visit. The more the merrier in the case of Cochon (as with 9 Roses on the Westbank-you need lots of folks to get a good sampling).

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Hadacol

                                      I agree with the 5-6 people theory. It's more fun - Cochon, IMO, is not a romantic restaurant, it's for sharing those little plates leisurely with the whole table while enjoying the company of friends. I don't think I've ever been with a party of 2.

                                      1. re: mrsfury

                                        The bar is good for parties of two, and you must be "good" eaters.

                                        1. re: mrsfury

                                          My boyfriend and I went there for his birthday on April 19th (Saturday) at 8:00, around the same date others had bad experiences. It was the first time I had been with only two, and I was a little concerned, but those concerns were totally unfounded. We got 5 small plates and shared everything. The pork cheeks were really good, the mushroom and onion salad with fried beef jerky and lemon dressing was great, the fried rabbit livers were my favorite and one of the best dishes I've had in awhile (especially compared to the grilled chicken livers at jazzfest, which were gross), the boudin balls were good, and the ribs were my least favorite of the 5 but still edible, of course. All this plus 3 Abitas was $54 before tip, making it a great value as well. We didn't tell them it was his birthday, so there was no special treatment, but the service was attentive and timely. Two pork cheeks up!

                                      2. I had a fantastic meal there over the new year's holiday. It was by far the best meal we had during the trip. I highly recommend the rabbit livers, the alligator (not so much for the meat but for the sauce), and the fish of the day, which was redfish when we went.

                                        1. I just can't "get into" this place-I think bc the wine was expensive not that great and they were "lighthanded" with the pouring..... I felt like the service wasn't that fast and I hated the whole- you have to pay cash/can't split even though we serve large groups...

                                          my friends all adore this place- I from the deep south and have never lived elsewhwere and I just don't see why folks are obsessed with this place ( a ton of my friends are) even though they aren't exactly the same- I would take Boucherie everyday over Cochon....

                                          17 Replies
                                          1. re: mecmec

                                            Tell me more about the wines, please. When we dined there, the list was a bit short, but populated with some fairly esoteric wines, that paired beautifully with the food.

                                            As to price, maybe I have become jaded, living in a "resort" area, and spendin much of my travel time in such, but I thought the prices were very fair. Now, I was looking at their upper-end, and did not do a price comparison with lower-end wines.

                                            What were your particular observations?


                                            PS we had great food all of the way around. My only complaint was the chairs.

                                            1. re: mecmec

                                              "I felt like the service wasn't that fast and I hated the whole- you have to pay cash/can't split even though we serve large groups..."

                                              You have to PAY CASH ONLY?

                                                1. re: edible complex

                                                  Yeah, of course Cochon accepts credit cards. So does the newly opened Cochon Butcher shop around the corner.

                                                  1. re: edible complex

                                                    Yep, they took my AMEX in a hurry.


                                                2. re: mecmec

                                                  I agree with mec about not being crazy about the food. I guess being from the Louisiana, I'm just not that impressed with what they serve up. Don't get me wrong, I think it's good, but it ain't great. And you can get equally good food for a lot cheaper - just not in new orleans.

                                                  1. re: N.O.Food

                                                    i wasn't all that impressed with Cochon, i seriously don't think it's in the top 3 best for New Orleans.

                                                    but the eggplant with shrimp dressing is really good, fried gator was all right, it seems to be getting a lot of hoopla. but i do like the atmosphere and location, which are both far and away completely different from the usually saccharine environment of the French Quarter.

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      While I was impressed, I do agree that it is not in MY "top-3." Just quickly thinking, I believe that it might be in the "top-10," but I'd have to consult my database and think that one over for a bit. OK, maybe in my "top-20?"

                                                      One thing that I would give it, is that the price-point falls well out of my "top-3," but then, on CH it IS about the food, right?


                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                        yes, always good, but i'll give it a couple bonus points for it's laidback atmosphere, alas, i only tried it once on my last visit, should have snuck in a 2nd or 3rd visit.

                                                        what was in your top 3 for N.O>???

                                                        of course, tops for me is Brigsten's. and i still believe Kpaul's is #3 even though others despise it as a tourist trap.

                                                        i would put august and cochon in the top 10, although i haven't done enough hounding around.

                                                        i still haven't made it to Willie Mae for the Fried chicken with butter beans and smothered veal chop with greens (now i'm getting hungry), i just can't keep up with it, who knows if it's even open longer? also, haven't tried dooky chase but i am really curious. oh, and i still haven 't gotten around to Galatoire's but i'm sure it would break the top 5 for atmosphere, nostalgia, and camarderie alone (who even enforces a a jacket and tie anymore, sounds like a bastion of civilized dining to me).

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          Since it has been too many years, since I dined at K-Paul's, it would not make my top-10 list, but probably deserves to. Remember, this is MY top-10 and will miss some more than worthy candidates, just because we have not dined there, post-K

                                                          1.) Galatoire's
                                                          2.) Brigtsen's (I could easily swap these first two)
                                                          3.) Restaurant August (gotta' see what the new sommelier is up to)
                                                          4.) New Orleans Grill @ Windsor Court (never thought I'd write that)
                                                          5.) Stella!
                                                          6.) Parkway Bakery & Tavern
                                                          7.) Bayona
                                                          8.) Arnaud's
                                                          9.) G W Fins
                                                          10.) Cochon
                                                          11.) MiLa (hoping that the loud party has finally left)
                                                          12.) Cuvée (wife disagrees, but she got the bum entrée)

                                                          OK, it turned out to be my top-12. Again, there are hundreds of places that did not exist, when we lived there, and many that we have not dined at in decades. They do not factor in. Yes, if I could dine at all, and maybe 3x, they would probably push some of these out. Some just missed, like Delmonico. Others, like Emeril's were unfortunately too long ago to know about now - see my thread on "How is Emeril's Now."

                                                          I'm also sure that someone will ask, "well, what about ____?" and I'll slap my forehead and rush to add it into the list, just 'cause I forgot...


                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            i'll second hunt's 1-5 choices.

                                                            haven't been to arnaud's in a long, long time. maybe i need to see an old friend.

                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              did you ever try buster holmes probably a couple decades ago at least for the garlic-infested fried chicken?

                                                              and also what about moscas's but that's not new orleans of course.

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                We did, but it was more like 2.5 decades ago. I saw something in the last year on this board about "Buster's," and assumed. I was wrong, it was a different restaurant.


                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                  any recollects on buster holmes? or anyone doing the kind of cooking he did in nowadays new orleans? i think the joint was locxated on burgundy street, right in the french quarter.?

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    Burgundy? I thought it was on Rampart St at Orleans (Riverside). Maybe we parked on Rampart and walked through the lot. You have to remember that this was many years ago, when we lived in the City. I found that similar was often available at Dookie Chase.


                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                      would willie mae's which i have never tried be in the same ball park?

                                                                      1. re: kevin


                                                                        I do not know. We have never dined there. Sorry. I hear more good, than poor, about them, but have 0 experience.


                                                  2. barkeep at cochon makes a wicked good martini.
                                                    food is pretty good. nothing romantic about the room.
                                                    deb and i will keep going back.