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Top New Restaurants

Exploring Acadiana's Latest

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Landry’s Seafood and Steakhouse

Highway 90 at Jefferson  Island Road, New Iberia
(337) 369-3772  *  landryscajunrestaurant.com

Although it’s been around since 1969, we’re classifying Landry’s Seafood and Steakhouse as a “new restaurant” because chef Alex Patout has revitalized it since he took over. Patout, who operated restaurants in New Orleans for 25 years, lost everything when Hurricane Katrina came to town, and New Orleans’ loss was New Iberia’s gain when Patout decided to move back to his hometown. Landry’s, which is not affiliated with the chain of Landry’s seafood restaurants, is owned by Dave and Grace Landry and managed by Elaine Buteau. Located off Highway 90 at Jefferson Island Road, the restaurant focuses on authentic Cajun with the popular Maw Maw’s Lunch Buffet on weekdays and the Cajun Camp Fish Fry Friday lunch, among other menu items.

    “Our motto is ‘fresh and wild,’” Patout says of the menu, “whatever we can get indigenous.”

    That means fresh catfish from Loreauville, oysters from Plaquemines Parish and jumbo crawfish from a Henderson processing plant. Patout even buys his vegetables from the Iberia Parish Prison, raving about the fresh mustard greens.

    “We are a true Cajun restaurant in Cajun Country,” Patout says. “We want people to feel there is something that’s really designed for people to get a taste of the culture.”

    Patout opened his first restaurant in New Iberia in 1978 and won acclaim and invitations to cook for several world leaders. Food & Wine magazine named him one of the Top 25 Chefs in America. He later opened Alex Patout’s Louisiana Restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans but lost the business in Katrina.

    As in the past, Patout uses Louisiana’s best in his cooking. His tasting menu, for instance, includes crabmeat Maison, crawfish bisque, petite soft-shell crab, Cajun smothered roast duck and bread pudding with rum sauce.

  Lake Charles

  There are several new restaurants that have opened in Lake Charles within recent months, including three on Ryan Street. Tuscany Italian Restaurant at 3905 Ryan (337/478-0303) offers a variety of traditional Italian cuisine with hearty pasta dishes and fresh, homemade garlic bread. Siam Restaurant at 723 Ryan (337/214-6087, facebook.com/siamrestaurant723), closer to downtown, serves up a variety of Asian specialties from Thailand, China and Vietnam. The elegant wine bar Heist at 700 Ryan (337/437-7633, facebook.com/heistwinebar) opened at the end of March with specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in addition to its wines.

    Dharma at 329 Broad St. (337/433-3144, facebook.com/dharmalc) serves up farm-to-table fare, including artisan pizzas, stromboli, calzones and salads, sometimes accompanied by live music, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The motto of Dharma, appropriately, is “feed your soul.”

    Cousin’s Lebanese Cuisine at 2612B Kirkman St. (337/437-1144, cousinslebanese.com) offers Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine including a variety of kebabs, tabouli, hummus and wraps. The name refers to owners Sam and George Homsi, natives of Lebanon who moved to Lake Charles about 30 years and were assisted by George Abraham, a first cousin to Sam and George’s grandfather. Abraham called the two “cousin,” and the name took.  

    LeBleu’s Landing and Sausage Link Specialty Meats at 202 Henning Drive (337/528-6900) in neighboring Sulphur offers Cajun cuisine standards such as boiled crawfish and seafood gumbo along with an oversize buffet and a full-service meat market. Visitors may choose between a sit-down meal or grabbing some boudin to go.

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