Built in 1776 – the year America declared its independence – the former New Orleans carriage house that Sylvain now calls home is steeped in history. Add to that the fact that it’s found at the heart of the French Quarter, just steps from Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, and you’ve got all the makings of an eminently visitable spot. Especially as today, it’s all scuffed wooden floors, elegant dark walls, copper and candlelight. But that’s before you’ve even heard the real draw: the food.
Sylvain is a Southern gastropub. It’s elegant. It’s beloved. And it might just make one of the best fried chicken sandwiches you’re ever going to eat (buttermilk fried, served with housemade pickles). You’ll find other Southern staples like grits on the menu (alongside pan-fried pork shoulder, braised greens and a mustard jus), as well as fresh, cleansing market salads and artisanal cheeses. In fact, this wonderful mix of dishes will most likely prove to be a welcome diversion from the fried excesses of some on NOLA’s other restaurants.
That’s not to say Sylvain can’t introduce some sizzle; they just do it with class. Fries? Sure. But they’ll be hand-cut and served with Delamotte Brut Champagne. LA Gulf Shrimp? Absolutely. They’ll come chilled and accompanied by house-made ‘old bay’, cucumber-horseradish emulsion, radish, and rye croutons. And as for the cocktails, well, the list is maddening. You’ve got your classic Sazerac, but do you try that? Or do you try one of Sylvain’s punchier concoctions? Like the fiery Ikebana (Mizu Lemongrass Shochu, Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, lemon, habanero bitters and chili oil) or the Modern Logger (Old Forester Bourbon, Aperol, Fernet Branca, ginger and lemon). But that’s just at dinner – brunch has its own cocktail list. Good luck choosing, chaps. They’re all good.