New Orleans: Cochon Butcher

Back in 2006, when New Orleans chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski opened Cochon—their pig-centric paean to rustic Cajun cuisine—fans reveled in the restaurant’s whole-hog focus. In a city dominated by more refined Creole cuisine, dishes like fried boudin, hog’s head cheese, or pig’s ear salad rarely appear on menus. But with the recent opening of Cochon Butcher, Link and Stryjewski show that their love of charcuterie doesn’t stop with southern Louisiana’s Cajun traditions. Lovers of French rillettes and Italian salumi should feel right at home here.

Billed as a store and “swine bar,” Cochon Butcher fills a smallish space adjacent to Cochon’s cavernous brick dining room, and it gleams with white tile walls and stainless steel worktables. It’s bookended by a bar, which features a rotating list of vintages by the glass, and a spotless, well-stocked deli case. Sandwiches and small plates dominate the menu. This being New Orleans, one of those sandwiches is a muffuletta with house-cured salami and soppressata, provolone, and garlicky olives and peppers (also pickled on the premises). The Reuben-esque pastrami and sauerkraut on rye gets flattened in a sandwich press, as does the Cuban, made with the Cajun roast pork known as cochon du lait.

A recent special layered duck pastrami with béchamel sauce and Gruyère on crustless slices of white bread, a pile of house-fried potato chips, and pickles on the side. The first bite unleashed a wave of meaty flavor—smoke, savor, pepper—that rippled through the initial blast of nearly overwhelming richness. Halfway through, even the most hearty eaters will need to stop for a breather. Seemingly restrained bar plates—notably the ham-spiked macaroni and cheese and lamb-sausage eggplant gremolata—also pack a substantial punch.

No matter how full you are, however, you’ll be tempted on your way out by that deli case, filled with everything from merguez sausage and slow-smoked andouille to duck terrine by the pound or gumbo by the pint. Partner Warren Stevens and salumista Kris Doll have even tucked in some jambalaya-stuffed chickens and a very surprised-looking suckling pig. Fans of the edible barnyard will certainly appreciate Butcher’s range. And probably walk out with a little snack for later.

Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans (504-588-7675;



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