Zagat Review: 2011
“Bravo for my neighborhood bistro” rave regulars of this Contemporary Louisianan “surprise” in the Irish Channel that delivers “adventurous”, “quirky” takes on Creole favorites, like gumbo, shrimp and grits and “fried green tomatoes to kill for”’; new owners have kept the “funky”, “upbeat atmosphere” (especially during the “raucous” Sunday brunch, complete with a jazz trio). “Enthusiastic” servers keep a loyal following “swarming” the tables.
Tom Fitzmorris Review
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Atchafalaya Restaurant
“Everything about Atchafalaya represents an advance beyond what the three previous Café Atchafalayas accomplished. (Yes, even better than in Iler Pope’s hegemony, which was good but much less ambitious than this.)
Tocco and Jaffe have taken advantage of the place’s antiquity (it’s been a restaurant since at least the 1920s) to make a cool dining room…It’s the nicest restaurant surprise I’ve had lately.
The shrimp and grits had a spicy, ruddy sauce over big, heads-on shrimp atop creamy, firm grits. It was a decidedly Creole flavor. We may not be far away from the day when New Orleans surpasses the Low Country of South Carolina in cooking this dish, even though they invented it. The soup was perfect for a cold night, made with butternut squash, tomatoes, and some other vegetables. Hearty, hot, and rustic. They also sent out a cup of the chicken-andouille gumbo, which took the current vogue for extremely thick gumbo to a new plateau. The chicken was indeed worth eating more than once a week. A nearly-perfect crust of skin and coarse pepper covered an ideally moist interior. The sauce was good, too: exotic mushrooms in a cream sauce with a little Cognac. I love a well-made chicken dish. They have become rare. This was just the sort of thing I’m thinking of when I order it. Even the mashed potatoes were up to snuff, pleasantly lumpy, just creamy enough…
[Their] card noted that the place is ‘New Orleans’s only five-A restaurant.’
I could come up with no challenge to that claim.”