When a chef leaves, a number of questions arise: Will the restaurant go on? If so, will the food suffer? And how's Mama Boyardee going to raise all those kids alone? Using the loss of their guy as a reason to begin anew, Catahoula
After beginning its life as the French joint Saute before swapping chefs, Catahoula's got a rehabbed interior anchored by a carved wooden bar (original to the site and recently returned) and a row of high tops along with a plant-lined patio with umbrella seating, at which to take down New Orleans-inspired cocktails and rustic Louisiana cuisine, finally letting Philly enjoy the best of Cajun country without getting decimated by Drew Brees. Starters include Southern soups like a crawfish bisque with chervil and pernod along with Acadian chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, plus oysters prepped one of three ways: w/ green Tabasco mignonette, roasted w/ scallop mousse, basil, Parmesan, and lemon meuniere sauce, or w/ a cornmeal crust and creamy pernod spinach, smoked bacon, and a spicy tomato jam that's so tasty, all the other tomatoes are trying to ketchup. Main plates keep the Creole feel via po boys stuffed with oysters, shrimp, catfish, or pulled BBQ pork, plus entrees like braised duck jumbalaya w/ andouille sausage and tasso ham; a blackened grouper w/ corn succatash, mixed summer tomato salad, and a lemon meuniere sauce; and a fried catfish basket with mirliton coleslaw, hushpuppies, fries, and truffled tartar sauce, all of which are listed as "Big Papa Plates", so throw your hands in the air if you're...fat
Desserts include The Reverand Chesta's peach cobbler, a lemon ricotta cheesecake, and Banana Foster White Chocolate bread pudding, while cocktails mean a watermelon Hurricane w/ w-melon simple syrup, and the Swamp Water: a dirty martini with a sunken shrimp -- which also describes Boyardee's kids, now that no one's making them eat their ABCs.