This is a joint with zero pretension plus sophisticated takes on southern style cuisine that actually pulls it off, and then some. The owners, Cris and Mo, never stop working and their energy and high standards are found in every aspect of the experience: decor, cocktails, service and food. This place is hopping but the bar seats and tables rotated sufficiently that wait times appeared almost non-existent on the Friday we were there. Renovated exposed brick, old timber and tin exude industrial, the ceiling is low enough to keep everything pulled together and the simple furniture fits in perfectly. The outside patio is the spot if you want a less frenetic, quieter scene. We sat at a high top by the bar and soaked up the energy and the band music (yep... live music) as we sipped a house-original, bourbon based cocktail and a craft beer from their well curated list. Bayou also offers an extensive range of liquors and mixers from which they will assemble just about any cocktail you can think of, as well as the several Mo and Chris have developed. The wine list is brief with all fourteen or so choices available by the glass and bottle. The selection is smart, offering enough variety that will satisfy 99.9% of wine drinkers (my wife had a NZ Sauvignon Blanc and an Argentinean Malbec with her food, both up to par. But you don't come here for a glass of Chateau Margaux... you sit down to dinner at The Bayou when you crave perfectly cooked ribs and Mac 'n' Cheese. Ribs cooked tender and almost falling off the bone, but still with enough structure to stay in one piece, coated with caramelized house Q that had crusted perfectly to stand up to the unctuous pork. Just superb. The M n C... macaroni elbows cooked just right with gooey, (yep.... gooey) cheese that was neither dry, nor greasy and runny, and sprinkled throughout with succulent pork bits and a splash of color from baby peas. The hush puppies and dipping sauce were lovely, the spicy shrimp were plump, cooked perfectly and served with a spicy relish. The star of the evening was the Head Cheese. I have devoured offal-based delicacies on several continents, including one memorable dinner at Fergus Henderson's St John in London, and the Bayou delivers a very fine Head Cheese. It does not have the gelatinous wobble that is a feature of many offerings, rather the texture of a coarse country pate with all the inclusions you'd expect. Four generous slices arranged on a board with a wipe of spicy aioli, a relish, and a sprinkle of greens. paired perfectly with my saison. We ended dinner with beignets and coffee. The former were as you'd get all over NOLA: pockets of fried dough liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar and crying out for the latter... coffee ground fresh and poured fresh. The whiskeys we wrapped it all up with were just two of what appeared to be a score or more to choose from. Prices... modest; portions... generous without being over-facing; service... outstanding. We'll be back.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.