SoBou has been a staple of the high-end French Quarter culinary scene for over a decade, and it has endured several changes in that time. From the addition of burlesque dancers for brunch and adapting to the mandates enacted for the COVID pandemic, SoBou is standing the test of time with poise and pizazz.
One of the newest reasons to visit or re-visit SoBou is the Bar Chef Table bespoke dining experience. Chef will dazzle his guests with three dishes while the bartender creates three cocktails to pair with them, and each course will be explained to you in detail from ingredients to the history and cultural significance of it. It's so much more than a great meal; SoBou's Bar Chef Table feeds your mind with history and knowledge.
For our dinner experience, we were greeted with a Painkiller shot, which elegantly killed the pain of such a hectic day so that we may enjoy our experience that much more. This moment was completed with some down-home comfort food; Chef Nick Ocheltree presented steaming hot gumbo that he explained was made with a housemade roasted chicken stock that created a deep, dark roux. The gumbo was Cajun-style, including warmed potato salad instead of rice. I typically don't have gumbo at restaurants (I consider it to be homemade food), but this was certainly some of the most flavorful gumbo that I've ever had.
The next course was a twist on a classic Louisiana dish. Instead of the same of Shrimp & Grits you've had before, Chef Nick decided to top his creamy grits with fried oysters. But not just run-of-the-mill fried oysters; these oysters were breaded with a nice, salty cornmeal breading which gave an incredible mouthfeel and flavor. Our bartender believed that such a Southern dish was best complemented with a cocktail featuring rye whiskey, honey, lemon, elderflower liqueur, and lemon oil. When you look down at the drink, you notice that the single large ice cube is actually in the shape of a rose!
To end the meal, Chef Nick insisted on the bread pudding. His bread pudding looks far different than the bread pudding of previous chefs. This classic New Orleans dessert was made with croissants for extra fluffiness. It came with a couple of macaroons, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and some syrupy berries. It was a very picturesque dish thank to its hypnotic chocolate background.
SoBou's Bar Chef Table is a fantastic way for visitors to experience a true New Orleans meal (and learn a little bit more about the city), and it's an event perfect for a fancy date night, celebrating with loved ones, or just because. You can learn more about SoBou and make reservations here.