Representative of its location on Rue Chartres in relation to the famed Bourbon Street in New Orleans, “SoBou” is a creative shortcut for “South of Bourbon.” The well known Commander’s Family Of Restaurants, Inc restaurant group has built yet another fine eatery in the Crescent City with this newer member of the company’s astounding collection of restaurants. We were invited to experience this “talk of the town” culinary destination located inside the W Hotel recently, and were more than thrilled to accept the invite.
Both inside and out, SoBou portrays beautiful decor through and through. The stylish New Orleans architecture from the front of the exterior entry ushers patrons inside to present its modern decor, multiple sitting areas, spacious dining room and expansive bar area. Glass bottles enhance a mirrored wall along one side of the restaurant, while more glisten in the sunlight through the main entrance crafting an ambiance of intrigue and uniqueness for all to enjoy.
Touches of the Big Easy are meticulously intertwined into the restaurant’s existence such as pillows adorned with brass jazz instrument designs, renditions of gigantic French horn bells dropping from the ceiling, and pops of cayenne, paprika, coriander and saffron throughout the eatery that remind visitors of the colors of local spices used frequently in Southern cooking.
Here’s something of interest for you martini lovers out there in SavorHour land…how about 25¢ martinis? (Yes, Virginia…they do exist!) With the purchase of an entrée, you can enjoy up to three colorful flavorsome martinis of your choice. We indulged in our fill of the Pink Elephants On Parade (typically made with vodka, pink lemonade, sugar and Midori Melon Liquor), and the Blue Curacao-and-splash-of-Sprite Commander’s Palace Cha Cha Martini with its vibrant azure hue…all for 25¢ apiece!
Chargrilled Shrimp Salad
I’ve always been a fan of grilled Romaine salads, so it came as no surprise that I enjoyed the Chargrilled Shrimp Salad so much. Crisp Romaine hearts were delicately tossed in a crab boiled egg-and-anchocy “sauce gribiche” (a mayonnaise-based egg sauce). The chili roasted garlic crustades that accompanied this presentation were colorful and flavorsome substitutions for croutons, while the well-developed creamy flavor of Manchego cheese enhanced these flavors and highlighted the jumbo shrimp that were skewered atop this fine display of veggies.
Seared Yellowfin Tuna
The Seared Yellowfin Tuna arrived on a bed of Caribbean sauerkraut comprised of festively colored pickled carrots, squash, and sweet corn immersed in a “burnt orange juice glaze” and placed beside the tender and succulent sushi-quality divine sliced tuna. A stunning dish altogether, we felt the pungency of the vegetable conglomeration contrasted nicely with the mildness of the fish.
Neutral Ground Beef Short Rib Sandwich
I don’t think this selection could have been more exceptional either in flavor or in appearance. The Neutral ground Beef Short Rib Sandwich was a mouthwatering creation that had us longing for more. Tender braised beef short rib meat was accompanied by a red onion jam, creamy melted Brie, and horseradish mustard then carefully placed on a toasted Brioche bun. It’s said that sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. That was certainly the case here.
Smokey Baby Back Ribs
Our final choice from Sobou’s lunch menu was the Smokey Baby Back Ribs. Don’t let that innocent-looking cotton candy fool you, because it’s infused with ghost pepper! Yes, Chef Juan Carlos Gonzales has outdone himself again with spicy cotton candy. (Who would have ever imagined something like this!) Sweet and spicy, the unexpected savoriness of the cloud of intrigue assisted slow smoked BBQ pork ribs that literally fell off the bone when touched with a utensil. And there’s that Caribbean sauerkraut again in all it’s colorful splendor. Delicious goodness with every bite and unique flavor and presentation style throughout.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Modern and chic, this eatery will take you away from the norm of the day-to-day and whisk you into a hip and uniquely-designed space for all things enjoyable. The spacious bar area, lounge setting, and expansive main dining room allows for great times and memorable meals not to be forgotten.
- FOOD / DRINK: Sophisticated versions of Cajun and Creole New Orleans favorites grace Chef Juan Carlos Gonzales’ pleasantly surprising menu offerings. Crisp hand shaken martinis and other libations temp those ready to unwind and relax and enjoy what this great establishment has to offer. Though there is no vegan or gluten-free menu, there are existing vegan and gluten-free items available for you to enjoy when dining at SoBou. Simply call ahead to see what those are when you make your reservation.
- LOCATION: SoBou is located adjacent to the W Hotel in the French Quarter at 30 Rue Chartres in New Orleans, LA 70130.
- HOURS: Breakfast is served from 7 AM until 10 AM, while lunch is available from 11:30 AM through 4 PM with those terrific 25¢ martinis available Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM until 3 PM. The bar serves beginning at 11:30 AM until the clock strikes Midnight. Dinner can be enjoyed from 4 PM until 10 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Danoda was our server when we visited the restaurant. Her impeccable service and gracious attitude was much appreciated. We hope to see her again on our next trip to the restaurant.
- PRICE / VALUE: Fair pricing, especially for lunch. (Don’t forget the 25¢ martinis!)
- CORKAGE FEE: $10 per 750mL bottle.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (504) 552-4095, Webiste: www.sobounola.com
- PARKING: The restaurant will validate your valet-parked vehicle for a maximum of three hours. Just ask your server inside the eatery to validate your ticket, and the valet will happily extend that allowance to you.
- PRICING: We enjoyed three martinis each at 25¢ apiece, while the Chargrilled Shrimp Salad was offered at $12. The Seared Yellowfin Tuna presentation was available for a decent $17, and the Neutral Ground Beef Short Rib Sandwich was an acceptable $12. The Smokey Baby Back Ribs at $12 were a delightful conclusion to our meal.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.