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Aug 13, 2008 01:13 PM


I travel to New Orleans often for business; I have been there twice since April and live in Seattle. I missed an opportunity to go to Cochon in April and had it at the top of my list for my trip in August. Unfortunately it was one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had in New Orleans; and it certainly makes the top-five worst dining experiences of my life.

I think part of the problem was the overly aggressive waitstaff; and their need to up-sell every item we ordered: "Maybe you would like two of those?" "You are only having sparkling water?" and on and on it went.

Speaking of the sparkling water...three of us ordered. The wait staff brought a bottle poured the entire bottle into two glasses and then asked if we would like to order another one...even though obviously we needed more to fill a glass for myself. I quickly switched to New Orleans finest.

We ordered our entrees. When a chef friend across from me pulled a piece of plastic out of his food and placed it on the edge of his plate. I quickly stopped eating my Rabbit & Dumplings (the same entree) It was full of bones already...and the plastic was the icing on the cake.

When we pointed out the situation to our waiter he took the dish back to the kitchen where they removed the piece of plastic and brought the same plate back and proclaimed it to be nothing more than celery. They did not offer another option; they just brought the plate back.

Thankfully they did end up comping one of our meals; but to inform a customer (who is a chef; and his table who was full of food marketers) that we were wrong and that it was celery and simply drop the plate back in front of the guest was unacceptable. A piece of PLASTIC is not a piece of celery.

Cochon was a disaster...I am sticking with August.

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  1. wow! i gotta hand it to you: that's an exceptionally BAD experience. i had a terrific meal there two years ago(the rabbit & dumplings were great)but chef link was IN the kitchen that night(as he was, luckily, in herbsaint's kitchen THIS year when we had another terrific meal). service at cochon struck me as probably something that would never "evolve" or "mature" but simply be adequate to good at best. we didn't get the hard-sell(to which i respond badly). i'm a hog for august myself. one of the great things about new orleans is that there are so many terrific restaurants a bad experience at one just shifts the attention to another.

    i will say that i probably would have made more of a stink about the plastic(& maybe you did & you're just leaving that out of the story)(one more parenthetical: i NEVER leave this kind of thing up to the server. i ALWAYS make sure management SEES what the problem is) but i certainly don't blame you for not going back there ever or, at least, for a while.

    1. Whoa, that was the opposite of our experience (last August?) there. The staff was very laid-back. Not at all aggressive. The whole experience was almost too "casual" for me, but the food AND service made up for it. Maybe it helped that I was ordering all of their fine wines, or that we had two young, up-n-coming chefs in the party, but the staff could not have been nicer.

      Sorry that you had such a horrible experience. I do not blame you, regarding your feelings. I'm just glad that our trip was the opposite. Amazing how things can change in a few months. I hope that this is only indicative of a really bad night and not a change in policy. The only real complaint that I had was with the chairs and tables, but hey, I've done shrimp boils with Adirondack chairs and table, and the only table cloth was a copy of the "Times Picayune."

      Though it applies to wine, not water, and at other places, but I hate when a server overfills glasses, in hopes of selling more. This is a really no-class move. With wine, I always instruct them that “we need to get X pours from this bottle of white, as we’ll move on to reds and I do not want more of this... “ With water, I’d have been blind-sided. Who knew you had to tell a server to not pour all of the $12 bottle of Fiji into just two glasses? We’ve had a zillion threads on the markup on wines on CH. Maybe it’s time to do one on the markup on non-tap water. Wonder if they have a corkage charge, if you bring your own water?

      Thanks for sharing, even if it was a really bad experience. Some day I must share my rocks in the beans story, but that was a different state, different restaurant and a different cuisine.