The name is taken from the painting “Jolie Blonde” crafted by renowned artist George Rodrigue, most popularly known for his Blue Dog Series paintings. George’s “Jolie Blonde” painting was inspired by a dream where he envisioned what “Jolie” might have looked like. Originally, a Port Arthur prisoner penned a song about the legend of the woman who left her Cajun lover. George’s two sons own Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro along with partners Steve and Suzi Santillo, and inside can be seen over 30 original works painted by the artist laden on the interior walls of the eatery. Featuring Creole and Cajun southern “farm-to-table” cooking, this locals’ favorite dining destination, which is also a well-known catering company, offers a multitude of comfort food with a Creole flair woven into the compilation of ingredients.
Supportive of local farmers and sustainable ingredients, the culinary team of Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro proves that a lot of care and diligence goes into everything that makes the restaurant what it is today. Appropriate selections of seasonal offerings aide in menu changes to maintain fresh and memorable culinary creations. Outside, bistro tables draped with white linen cloths send an invitation of romance and upscale sophistication. Indoors, a massive spiraling staircase and custom designed bar creates an intrigue among visitors and forces admirers to appreciate their craftsmanship.
We arrived later in the afternoon, missing the normal lunch hustle and bustle of the day. We were graciously greeted upon entering the building, and were then shown to a table beside a window showcasing the enormous ages old oak trees standing guard on the front of the property. Our server, John, appeared almost immediately with a kind smile and menus in his arms. He was well-versed on the menu offerings for the day, and we appreciated that he didn’t rush us while making our decisions about what we were going to enjoy for lunch.
John timed his return perfectly, and delivered a basket of oven baked French bread to our table accompanied by a house made blackberry-sage butter. Flavorful and melt-in-your mouth sinful, the spread was the perfect partner to the light-as-air expertly baked bread.
French Rolls & Infused Sweet Cream Butter
We nearly polished off the entirety of the baked dough before our first course arrived. Thankfully, John offered to bring us more, but we reluctantly declined knowing that if he did, we would be forced to indulge in an entire second basket leaving no room for the decadent dishes soon to be delivered to our table. Fortunately, we each saved a slice to enjoy with our meals.
New Orleans Style BBQ Gulf Shrimp
We started with the New Orleans Style BBQ Gulf Shrimp. A stunningly exquisite preparation, this dish provided satisfactory sensory overloads that we may never forget. The reduction was made with Louisiana’s own Abita beer, which gave this tasty appetizer its flavorful groundwork. Next, herbs and spices were added to create a luscious broth with just a hint of spice that gave the large Gulf shrimp their Cajun flair. A grilled baguette was added to finish the presentation. Those last two slices of French bread we had saved wound up taking a swim in the remaining sauce, becoming edible dipping utensils. (Maybe we should have taken John up on that additional bread after all!)
Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy
My other half ordered the Soft Shell Crab Po ‘Boy. This cornmeal crusted beauty was enhanced with tartar sauce, bright green arugula, and heirloom tomatoes on a soft Po ‘Boy bun straight from Poupart’s. A side of smothered okra and tomatoes added a punch with its spicy sauce. All in all, an excellent sandwich, and a brilliant presentation full of vibrant color and fresh flavor.
Zapp’s Crawtator Crusted Louisiana Drum
If you know anything about Louisiana, then you know about Zapp’s potato chips. They’ve been around forever it seems, and always deliver a whopping crunch and a satisfying smile across the faces of those who indulge in them. This entrée was my choice for lunch, and it delivered everything and more of what I was looking for. Tender cooked Drum was breaded in crunchy Zapp’s Cajun Crawtator Potato Chips, then smothered with a savory (and definitely sinful) crawfish cream sauce. The incredible crunch from the potato chips was a rewarding contrast to the tender fish inside. Of course, the side I chose with this unforgettable dish was the Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese. I think I was seeing angels after consuming all of this divine goodness!
With leftover boxes and filled stomachs, my husband and I finally retreated from the restaurant. We were certainly happy patrons, and would gladly recommend Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro to anyone craving Creole delights in an upscale, yet casual environment.
ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro offers diners a relaxed comfort in a sophisticated environment with white linens on tables, dark woods throughout the establishment including an expansive full bar, and a multitude of George Rodrigue paintings adorned on every wall. A lovely ambiance for a lingering lunch or a romantic dinner inside or out on the front patio.
- FOOD / DRINK: Fresh Louisiana dishes with a Cajun influence wowed our taste buds and impressed us on our first visit to the eatery. Presentations were beautifully prepared, and each item (including the infused butter and French bread offering) included immense flavor in every bite.
- LOCATION: Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro is located at 507 West Pinhook Road in Lafayette, Louisiana 70503.
- HOURS: Closed Mondays and on Sundays for dinner service, the restaurant is available for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 AM until 2 PM, and on Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM until 2 PM. Dinner is served Tuesday through Thursday from 5 PM until 9 PM, and again on Friday and Saturday from 5 PM to 10 PM. Happy Hour is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 PM to 7 PM, and again on Wednesdays from 5 PM to 9 PM offering 1/2 priced appetizers, house wines, well drinks and $3 local beer.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Our hostess was cordial, and our server, John, was efficient, knowledgeable about the restaurant and the menu items for the day, and cast a friendly demeanor over us throughout our meal.
- PRICE / VALUE: Every bite was scrumptious, and worth every penny spent. We felt that Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro was fairly priced for the quality of what was presented.
- CORKAGE FEE: $15 per 750mL bottle.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (337) 504-2382, Website: www.jolieslouisianabistro.com
- PARKING: Ample guest parking is available in a spacious lot surrounding the establishment shaded by towering oaks trees.
- PRICING: We indulged in the New Orleans Style BBQ Gulf Shrimp for $14 to start. My husband enjoyed the Soft Shell Crab Po ‘Boy priced at $16 with a side of Smothered Okra & Creole Tomatoes for an additional $4. I devoured the majority of the Zapp’s Crawtator Crusted Louisiana Drum with an included side of Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese for an acceptable $21.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.