Patois has solidly established itself as one of New Orleans’ best restaurant since it’s opening. Nestled in Uptown, it’s well off the beaten path, but always worth the trip. Whether it’s for Friday lunch, Sunday brunch or dinner on any night, you can’t go wrong at Patois.
Executive chef Aaron Burgau has put together a menu that pays respects to traditional New Orleans-style cooking, but with enough of a twist to keep things interesting on every visit. Even more importantly, the menu changes seasonally to utilize the available local ingredients.
Oh, and even though the burger craze is in full effect in New Orleans, I have to say that the burger at Patois is the best high-end burger in the city, if not the best burger around.
Made from hand-ground chuck, the Patois burger is topped with Gruyere cheese, fried onions and “Patois sauce” on a brioche bun. The combination of all the ingredients work so well together, I can’t even really begin to describe. I was taken to another world when I was eating this burger. The last time that happened was during my trip to o ya in Boston. I like when it happens, but it doesn’t happen often enough. So I have to thank the great folks at Patois.
Now that I’ve gotten my lovefest for the burger over, I have to say that Patois has a kickass brunch.
I started with Patois’ signature gumbo. A dark roux gumbo comprised of rabbit, Andouille and greens. The gumbo had a nice tang (most likely from the greens) that took me by surprise, but was very pleasant. I should have gotten a bowl instead of cup.
For my main course, I had Egg, Crispy Pork Belly and Fried Green Tomato breakfast sandwich. These three elements did not disappoint. The fried green tomato on the sandwich came out piping hot, so hot in fact, that I had to wait a few minutes to really dig in. And I’m not complaining, I will never complain food that’s hot (unless it’s overcooked).
On my dinner visit, I started with the Potato Gnocchi. I’m a sucker for gnocchi, and Patois’ is top notch. Jumbo lump crabmeat, chanterelle mushrooms and shaved Parmiano-Reggiano complement the subtlety of the potato pillows quite nicely. This is a dish I can’t go to Patois without ordering.
I was lucky enough to get the pheasant when it was in season. Pheasant is a pretty gamey bird, but the breast and leg that of pheasant came out crispy and was one of the best bird dishes I’ve had in the past few years.
On every trip, I’ve ordered a dessert, and some have impressed more than others. On the current dessert menu, the “Snickers” underwhelmed me. I found the cake too dry (almost like it was refrigerated) and the elements didn’t really come together enough to do a Snickers bar justice.
The Carrot Cake on the other hand is a sweet force to be reckoned with. It’s not what you’re expecting in the typical presentations. The cake is coated with a nice layer of icing (it’s not really icing) that has just enough of the cream cheese tang we’ve all come to know and love on carrot cakes. It also comes with toasted pecans, sugared carrot strings and Chai ice cream. It all works very, very well.
With all the culinary goodness going on on Laurel Street inside Patois, it’s no wonder the place consistently makes The Times-Picayune’s annual top 10 list. It’s definitely on mine.
Patois is located at 6078 Laurel Street in Uptown New Orleans. Patois is open for dinner Wed. through Sat. starting at 5:30 p.m., for lunch on Fri. beginning at 11:30 a.m. and brunch on Sun. beginning at 10:30 a.m.