500BestSquareQuail Gumbo @ La Provence

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This unique variant on the classic bird-and-dark-roux gumbo was created some years ago by Chris Kerageorgiou, the founder of La Provence. It’s the only dish that made the cut more or less unchanged after John Besh bought the restaurant from Chris shortly before Chris passed away in 2006. The gumbo begins with with a well made, Cajun-Creole, dark-brown broth. In the center of the soup plate is a single whole quail, stuffed with jambalaya. When you cut into the quail, its contents fall into the broth, thickening and seasoning it. Everything about it, from the concept to the eating, is brilliant and unforgettable. This dish didn’t come along until Chris had run the place for twenty years, but it was an instant hit. Not surprisingly, the dish was copied here and there, most notably by R’Evolution. But the one at La Provence is the one you want.

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La Provence. Lacombe: 25020 US 190. 985-626-7662.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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