As good as Bayona has been during its entire eighteen-year history, it seems to me that it’s improved since the hurricane. One index of that is what happened to this dish, a standard on Chef Susan Spiscer’s menu since opening day. The salmon is now routinely wild-caught Pacific salmon. That’s exceptional here; I know of only one other restaurant that offers that incomparably superior salmon all the time.
The dish itself always was good. Its flavor is that of Alsace, the ancestral home of the spicy, white Gewurztraminer grape. That’s the flavor of the sauce. The salmon is encrusted with bread crumbs, then semi-panneed in butter. Although Alsace is long part of France, it has been German in its history as well, and you see that influence in the food. Choucroute is French sauerkraut. I’ve been to restaurants in Alsace and had this very dish there, and Susan has it nailed. Every time I order it, my mind is prousted back to Colmar.
Bayona. French Quarter: 430 Dauphine. 504-525-4455.
This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.