Considered to be a gamble in the run up to its launch in 2012, Restaurant R’evolution – a joint collaboration between celebrated chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto – is now a permanent, popular fixture in New Orleans’ fine dining firmament. The cuisine here is primarily Cajun and Creole, with a menu that is as waistband-defying as it is inventive: traditional Louisiana gumbo is given the all-star treatment in “Death by Gumbo”, a dish that features a whole quail stuffed with oysters and andouille sausage; and Southern staple, Shrimp and Grits, is upgraded using BBQ Gulf Shrimp, Creole tomato grits, and grilled scallions. But it’s dishes like the Espresso-crusted Venison Carpaccio (almost translucent slivers served with shavings of dark chocolate and black walnuts) and the Triptych of Quail (Southern-fried, Boudin-stuffed, and Absinthe-glazed) that really set Restaurant R’evolution apart in a city already known for its gastronomic indulgences.
And that’s before the wine list is even taken into consideration. Overseen by Molly Wismeier, one of Food & Wine’s 2015 Sommelier of the Year winners, it’s nothing short of extraordinary both in size (R’evolution’s cellar is some 10,000 bottles strong) and scope, mixing up-and-coming with established vintages. The dining room itself, serviced by well-trained staff and bedecked in luxurious furnishings, is the ideal setting for a long, leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner for two.