ESSENTIAL NEW ORLEANS
BY FRANCINE MAROUKIAN
In a city synonymous with eating, it’s hard to know where to begin… Don’t let the phase “contemporary Cajun” scare you; there’s no trickery about the food at Cochon. Devoted to protecting old-style traditions, chef/co-owners Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski turn out splendid boudin, andouille, and smoked bacon, which you can also buy at the newly opened Butcher, located in the same building. Order absolutely anything: wood-fired oyster roast, ham hock with lima bean hoppin’ John, catfish court bouillon. And whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the fresh chunk-pineapple and cornmeal upside-down cake, slightly sticky with caramel sauce. The last bite will haunt you for days.