new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Boucherie: Gourmet Food, Good Prices, Gorgeous

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Boucherie: Gourmet Food, Good Prices, Gorgeous

Uptown/River Bend
8115 Jeannette St. Off Carrollton

Boucherie is a new restaurant located off Carrollton, a spinoff of the mighty and famous purple BBQ truck that hangs out outside Tipitinas. Boucherie has been getting some serious foodie buzz lately as a place to get gourmet-quality eats at discount prices. Naturally, I couldn't stay away.

The menu is an enticing combination of Southern-fusion food, Asian influenced specialities, and straight up BBQ: think stuff like kaffir-lime scented puppy drum cohabiting with BBQ spare ribs and duck confit po' boys. Prices are ridiculously low: pan-seared duck breast goes for 15$, smoked beef brisket with garlic parmesan fries for $12, Ahi tuna with grilled fennel for $14: unbelievable in this tourist-gouging happy town. Desserts include a Thai chili and dark chocolate pie and, incredibly, bacon brownies (yes really.)

Sounds like it could be a disaster, but Boucherie really makes it work. Observe:

I tried out the crispy duck confit in green tea broth with udon noodles (8$.) Delicious: the duck was at the same time crispy, fatty, and tender, floating in a subtle and delicious meaty broth. The noodles were a bit of an afterthought, but I was too focused on the meaty goodness of the rest of the dish to object one way or another. Yum.

Here's the real princess, belle of the ball, whatever: the collard greens with grit fries ($5.) These collards are prepared with the drippings and debris from all the meats the kitchen prepares and you sure can taste it - meaty, delicious, bacony bits of animal make these seriously rich and seriously good. The pot likker, the make it or break it element of collard greens, was pure alchemy here. Bottle this stuff up and I'd buy it, no kidding. The grit fries were also an interesting touch and made a nice crunchy counterpoint to the meaty greens. A knockout dish.

My dining buddy, Amanda, had the vegetarian platter, featuring a potato croquette, some grilled fennel and radishes, and caramelized onions among other things. She seemed rather lukewarm on it, but such are the perils of being a vegetarian in this epically meat-happy town. Amanda, we shall go for Indian food next to make up for it.

We also were given little amuse-bouche to begin the meal. Mine featured a few tender slices of duck with some sliced squash; hers had some goat cheese and arugula. A nice, tasty little touch.

The restaurant is located in a tiny but nicely appointed space - tables are covered in butcher paper, but service is attentive and hot vinegar (yes!) is provided on every table. Service is attentive and the kitchen is open to preparing whatever you want and whatever they've got. There's some serious imagination and talent going on back there, and I can't wait to return to see what else they've got up their sleeves. Boucherie is the absolute best gourmet bargain going in NOLA.


KirkK said...

Hey Faine - Oh my, those collard greens look great, and grits interesting.

foodhoe said...

I focused on the same dish! Yum!