celebrating jolie's louisiana bistro's moment of fame

One of my favorite things about Lafayette is the sheer number of local restaurants serving regional dishes. And it's become a little something we are known for, having been named one of the 2013 Top 10 Foodie Cities and the 2012 Southern Living Tastiest Town. Let's just say, we live to eat.

The Cooking Channel's Chuck's Eat the Street recently joined in the epicurean recognition and filmed an episode highlighting four of Pinhook Road's unique restaurants, Jolie's Louisiana Bistro, Bread & Circus Provisions, Cafe Vermilionville and Krazy Klaws.

Jolie's held a small viewing party for the episode premiere, and treated us to a sample of some of their dishes.

We kicked off the evening with a few drinks made by bartender Tanner Ducote, winner of the inaugural Clash of the Cocktails mixology event. Let me just say, the Jolie cocktail was perfection. Strawberry-infused vodka and champagne? A-yes please!

As the episode aired, we tried the shrimp and grits and cheese board. Shrimp and grits is such a Louisiana dish to me, and this one did not disappoint. Large shrimp over sweet grits and gravy made for a very decadent appetizer. The cheese board is arranged with Louisiana cheese and house-made pickles. I think I ate half of what was on this board, and I was not sorry.

The featured Jolie's dish on Eat the Street was the fried fish head served with a delicious housemade sauce. After the show concluded, we were brought our own fish heads to try.

Now, I'll admit that I am not very adventurous when it comes to some dishes. I typically stick with fish that has already been deboned. A fish head? Never before in my life. But I was intrigued to try it - once I looked past the teeth!

The redfish used in the dish is local, coming from the Mermentau River. And by frying the head, you're able to eat a bit more meat than if you would only serve filets. Using all available parts in cooking is a very traditional Cajun method, and helps leave less waste behind.

The trick we were taught is to go for the cheeks, where the meat is sweet and tender. Once that was gone, we went for the chin/neck area, which had my favorite bites. And the dipping sauce? Mmm mmm mm mm mm. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed fried fish head!

Thanks to Michelle from Dixie Lust Blog, Madison from OMadison, Tiffiany from Lafayette Food Junkie, Katie from the Daily Advertiser and Shanna from Acadiana Lifestyle for a great evening, and thanks to Julie Calzone and Jolie's for having us all!

Visit Jolie's Louisiana Bistro for brunch, lunch or dinner at 507 W. Pinhook Road in Lafayette. Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram!

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