THE 20 MOST IMPORTANT RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA
BY ANDREW KNOWLTON
I was always in love with the idea of eating out in New Orleans, but I was never in love with actually eating out in New Orleans. The food was filling, but often uninspired. Cochon changed all that. Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski raised the bar on the rich culinary traditions of the Louisiana bayou and gave the NOLA dining scene what it was missing—a passionate, pork-filled point of view. Sure, there are roasted oysters and gumbo, but there’s also fried boudin, stuffed pig’s foot, and unforgettable rabbit and dumplings. And while too many of the city’s dining rooms feel dusty, Cochon’s postindustrial Warehouse District space is like its food: reverent of the past but definitely in the present. Even better, seven years on, Cochon’s approach still drives countless U.S. chefs to get down with all the nasty bits and play with their own traditions.