When you win two James Beard awards a month prior to my visit, your restaurant is definitely going to be on my radar. Peche was named both Best New Restaurant of 2013 and their chef, Ryan Prewitt was awarded Best Chef: South. Peche’s menu was very similar to many restaurants in Chicago featuring shared “small plates” and that allowed us to try several different dishes from their seven section menu. Even though our reservation was at 10:00pm the restaurant was packed solid and filled with both New Orleans natives and tourists alike.
Before leaving for New Orleans I was sure to stalk as many menus as I possibly could, talk to everyone I know who’s ever been there, and brush up on the last season of Top Chef in order to stake out reservations at the best places. Going down for a wedding limited us to two dinner reservations, so the competition was fierce!
It was highly recommended that we try at least one John Besh restaurant while we were there; so after stalking every menu of all his restaurants in town we settled on Borgne. Chef Brian Landry’s menu had featured a ton of fresh seafood, just enough butter, and the southern comfort we were looking for our first night in town. To say that he set the bar high was an understatement. We didn’t have a better meal while we were in town, and we ate…a lot.
This weekend I’ll be visiting and eating my way through New Orleans for the first time! I’ve done my research and set-up reservations at several award-winning restaurants including John Besh’s Borgne and 2014 James Beard winner Peche. In addition I plan on eating my weight in oysters, learning more about the holy trinity of Cajun cooking, and trying turtle soup for the first time.