Knotty Pine on the Bayou

The Pine serves some of the best Louisiana home-style food you’ll find this far north of New Orleans. John Caulfield’s cooking reveals the connection between regional southern favorites and Creole cuisine. Taste his fried catfish filets with their peppery crust, or his garlic sauteed shrimp with smoky greens on the side, and you’ll understand why it’s called soul food. Between February and June, it’s crawfish season. Get them boiled and heaped high on a platter or in Caulfield’s superb crawfish etouffee. But Caulfield’s rockin’ gumbo—a thick, murky brew of andouille sausage, chicken, and vegetables—serves the best roundhouse punch all year round. As soon as you inhale the bouquet and take that first bite, you realize why Cajun style food is considered a high art form and a serious pleasure. And you’ll start planning your return trip.

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