Beausoliel- A Restaurant Named for My Ancestor
by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon
My mother’s family is very, very Cajun.
So Cajun in fact, that a resistance leader (Joseph Broussard- also know as Beausoliel) from whom we are descended has -among other things- a restaurant named after him.
I got to try the restaurant out a little while back and it was a great experience. We went there on a whim and there was remarkably no wait. The place is pretty small so if you are going on a busy night it may be worth getting a reservation.
We went for a split everything approach to dining and they were extremely accommodating. The three small plates we ordered came out as is but they split the salad and the entree we ordered, putting half on each of our plates. This attention to detail was really a huge plus.
The meal at Beausoliel begins, not with bread, but with fresh fried pork rinds. I had never been a fan of pork rinds in the past, but now am aware that fresh they can be delightful, crunchy, and porky. They offered to bring more after we polished off the basket but we declined in order to not fill up and be unable to finish our dishes.
The menu has a section of small plates from which we selected three to try.
The “Potato gnocchi with green peas, cauliflower, squash, and pancetta in a sage brown butter sauce” was positively delightful. The peas were so fresh they popped in your mouth like little burst of green freshness, I am not sure I have ever enjoyed cauliflower more than I did in this dish, and the gnocchi were perfectly soft and pillowy. The sauce was super rich and if I had been at home I would have licked it off the plate.
The fried eggplant crisps were good, but I would probably not order them again. They were long thin slices of eggplant, fried in bread crumbs, and served with a thick flavorful red sauce. I think perhaps smaller pieces of eggplant would have worked better, each crisp was a couple bites in size.
The last of our small plates was the “Sautéed veal sweetbreads with a lemon caper beurre blanc.” The dish was very good but I felt like it could have used more acidity. I think perhaps a few more capers or a couple extra squirts of lemon would have made it more balanced. As it was very, very rich. The beurre blanc combined with the very rich and fatty sweetbreads could become a bit overwhelmingly rich. The flavors were great and the texture of the sweetbreads divine, but I found myself craving more capers than came on the dish. There is a possibility that my dining companion-Josh- was hogging the capers, but the sauce could have benefited from a little more lemon regardless.
At some point, Josh had noticed the blackberry lemonade being served to the next table and ordered one. Boy howdy, it was strong. Neither of us had realized upon ordering that it would be a quite alcoholic blackberry lemonade. It was good regardless- full of fresh blackberries.
The salad – which they awesomely split on to two plates for us- was amazing. We got the “Lola rosa, St. Andre cheese, smoked grapes, cipollini onions with charred lemon vinaigrette.” It had a very hardy green as its base. The cheese on it was some of the best brie I have had- almost tasted like a marriage between brie and butter because it was so very creamy. The smoked grapes had just a hint of smoked flavor and added some sweetness to the salad. The cipollini onions were sweet themselves and delightful enough to make me want to seek out the tiny onions for my own cooking. The charred lemon vinaigrette tied the whole thing together perfectly and made for a heavenly salad.
Lastly, we got our entree- the “Seared jumbo sea scallops over a pork belly risotto and tarragon butter.” It comes with three large scallops so in order to split it on to two plates the cut one of the scallops in half and seared the cut edge. I really appreciated the extra effort. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the risotto flavorful and creamy. Little bits of delicious pork belly pepper the risotto. It was a great finish to a wonderful meal.
I will almost certainly be going back to Beausoliel. The food isn’t cheap but between the great quality, the attention to detail, and the wonderful service it is worth the prices. There are a ton of things on the menu- especially in the small plates section- I am still looking forward to trying.
(I am convinced that the 11% on Urbanspoon who don’t like it at the time I am writing this either are painfully cheap or have somehow damaged their taste buds.)