4 Fleur
Average check per person $45-$55
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Dakota

Covington: 629 N US 190. 985-892-3712. Map.
Dressy
AE DC MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Dakota is the only restaurant on the North Shore that has consistently kept its food, service, surroundings, and wine lists firmly in the top ranks since it opened. That’s is more challenging than it would be on the South Shore, particularly in the service department–there being no real community of career waiters across the lake. The clientele that supports restaurants like this–and keeps them on their toes–is also smaller north than south. But Ken Lacour and Chef Kim Kringlie keep their restaurant as fine as almost any in the city.

WHAT’S GOOD
The style of the menu is unmistakably Creole, even when your reading of a dish description creates no familiar flavor images. It’s thoroughly original, without testing the limits of the diner’s adventuresomeness. Dakota’s stability–the kitchen and dining room heads have both been there since the place opened–allowed for the fostering of several signature dishes. (Notable the crab and Brie soup and the stuffed soft shell crab. Although the pedigrees of the ingredients are unassailable, Chef Kim Kringlie concentrates more on technique than on letting the ingredients carry the whole load. Ken Lacour’s training program for his dining room staff puts it in the top class on the North Shore; the same is true of his knowledge of wine.

BACKSTORY
After working together at Juban’s in Baton Rouge, Ken Lacour (local guy) and Kim Kringlie (from North Dakota) partnered to open this restaurant in 1990. They took over what at first glance looks like (but isn’t) the restaurant of the motel next door. It was already a handsome space, built out as Pat Gallagher’s Winner’s Circle. The timing was perfect: the migration of upper-middle-class people to the North Shore had reached boom proportions, and there were few restaurants for their high-end dining. Dakota has the distinction of being the first white-tablecloth restaurant in the New Orleans area to reopen following Hurricane Katrina.

DINING ROOM
The two main dining rooms are spacious in every dimension. That and the superlative floral arrangements throughout the restaurant give the place a sense of richness, even in the face of a hard, too-modern renovation a few years ago. The servers and front door staff could hardly be more accommodating or intelligent. The background music veers across the breadth of jazz, sometimes becoming a little too avant-garde for the room. The

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Tuna poke (chopped and spicy, served cold)
»Shrimp and grits
»Shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish beignets
»Grilled oysters with bacon and blue cheese
»Foie gras du jour
»Lamb nachos
»Lump crabmeat and brie soup
Baby greens salad, blue cheese vinaigrette, apples, cashews
Spinach and arugula salad
Green Goddess “Caesar”
Dakota salad
»Sesame seared ahi tuna, salad greens, pickled ginger
»Herb roasted beets, serrano ham, frisée, walnuts, manchego cheese
Entrées
»Cedar grilled Atlantic salmon
Stuffed soft-shell crab, sauce Creolaise
Bronzed sea scallops, corn maque choux, Cajun hollandaise
»Bronzed redfish, corn-andouille hush puppies, pecan-butter vinaigrette
Seafood mixed grill
»Pork tenderloin with mussels and frites
Filet mignon, mushroom risotto, bordelaise, jumbo lump crabmeat
Pan-seared New York strip steak
»Grilled New Zealand lamb chops
»Veal with three sauces (crabmeat and béarnaise, glace de veau, beurre blanc)
»Steen’s-lacquered duck, cornmeal waffle
Small plates
»Butter poached asparagus; hollandaise
Haricots verts; bacon, onions
Creamed spinach
»Truffle-parmesan pommes frites
»Gourmet mac ‘n cheese; prosciutto-panko crust
Desserts
»Cardamom-grapefruit creme brulee
Meyer lemon creme crepe
White chocolate brownie, Drambuie, white chocolate and bittersweet chocolate sauces; vanilla bean ice cream
Valrhona chocolate torte, fleur de sel caramel
»Almond polenta cake, buttermilk panna cotta
»Selection of artisan cheeses
Selection of ice creams and sorbets

FOR BEST RESULTS
Although weekdays rarely fill the house, the restaurant does so much private-dining business that it’s always a good idea to make a reservation. There’s a good lobster special on Friday at dinner. Lunch is a bargain. They recently instituted a very good bar menu with a tapas-like quality; it’s a romantic,. quiet venue for a light supper.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The wine list can be frightening if you wander too deep into it. About two-thirds of the list consists of very expensive bottles on it. The management has brought the more modestly-priced wines to the front of the book, which made it a little easier to take.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +3
  • Consistency +2
  • Service+2
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar +3
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open some holidays
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations honored promptly

1 Readers Commented

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  1. Kenny Colley on January 8, 2015

    Have dined her on and off for the last 20 years and have never had a bad experience. Don’t dine here often only because I can’t afford to if I could I would eat here every night. Hadn’t been there in a long time and was driving by last Saturday night and decided to stop and see if everything was just as good as I had remembered. It was an excellent experience the food, the service and the music were just what I was looking for. Going to save my money so I can get back a little sooner this time.

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