Friday, October 16, 2009

Cafe Vermilionville Lafayette La

Earlier this year I went on a two day foray to Lafayette. I went to here because I heard a long acquaintance was cooking here, Alex Patout. I have been following this excellent chef from the time he opened a restaurant in his home town of New Iberia to New Orleans to Orlando and back to his home area. I was going to go whole review with this but I have since found out that he moved on. As most the dishes here had major input from him I feel that they are representative of the venue but I still want to pay homage to my friend. The following is a lovely loaf of French Bread they have for house bread. Crispy crust soft crumb. According to Alex they get it from Poupart's

Sampler Appetizer Plate. Starting at one o'clock Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Grilled Gulf Shrimp Marinated in Cajun Power Sauce & Honey, Apple wood Smoked Bacon(delicious, smokey, sweet and spicy)
On either side of that are Crawfish Beignets Louisiana Crawfish Tails Blended with Cheeses and a Bacon Mire Poix on a Spicy Creole Mustard Aioli (ethereal and dissolved in my mouth Great flavor Aioli strikes right amount of spice)
At eight o'clock Alligator Dijon Louisiana Farm Raised Alligator Tenderloin Pieces Fried in Italian Bread Crumbs Accented with a Spicy Dijon Aioli & Crispy Fried Dill Pickle (quite nice tender and juicy with a crunch Hate fried dill pickles)
In the middle is Grilled Alligator Wing (leg)(no flavor like eating a frog leg except the meat is red) This is definitely one of Alex's recipes. You can taste the swamp and bayou here. Crawfish Bisque. Dark roux and deep crawfish flavor with a huge carapace stuffed with wonderful spicy dressing. Rice on the side.

Grilled Grouper Lafitte Topped with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat, Shrimp & Fresh Mushrooms, With Vanilla Bean Sauce, Sautéed Sweet Potatoes & Corn Macque Choux. Fantastic. The grouper had a marvelous flavorful spice rub on it and cook to perfection. The crabmeat and shrimp sweet, shitake mushrooms earthy, macque choux sweet and spicy, sweet potato sweet and earthy. Various bites with various components satisfied. What brought it all together was the sauce made with crab fat butter. This is a Patout signature sauce. Excellent

Creme Brulee. Not the best. Custard overcooked and the brown sugar topping tasted bitter after being torched. Not likely he had much to do with that
While this is an excellent restaurant I feel it will be diminished by the departure of Alex. He brings an air of the bayou and swamps into this place. I breath of fresh air

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