Is abbreviating ‘New Orleans’ easy?
And condensing its incredible food culture into one restaurant is a similarly tricky feat, given how rich, vibrant, and flat-out unique it is. But Jacob Kenedy – the uberchef responsible for Bocca Di Lupo – seems to have done it at Plaquemine Lock.
Sat just opposite the Regent’s Canal in Islington, it’s housed in a former pub, and has kept the drinking house’s bar, wooden fittings, and sociable feel. That’s helped largely by the live jazz that plays here every weekend and Wednesday night. If the name sounds a little unusual, that’s because it comes from the waterway that Jacob Kenedy’s own great grandfather constructed in Louisiana – you can see it depicted in the alligator-heavy murals above the bar, and the huge paintings dominating the dining room walls.
They’ve essentially managed to create a ‘greatest hits’ of New Orleanian cuisine here, packing in everything you’d want on your NOLA menu bucket list: starters include crawfish pies & and smoked pork boudin sausages. Hearty Po’ Boy sandwiches follow, stuffed with fried shrimp, crawfish, oysters & bacon, slow-roost beef & debris (gravy), and more. And there are plenty of oysters, which can come raw, fried, Rockafella (topped with herbs, butter sauce, and breadcrumbs, then grilled), and Brochette (wrapped in bacon and served in a red wine sauce).
After those, there’s everything from gumbo, to blackened chicken with rice, to fried green tomatoes… while dessert includes classic pecan pies, coffee & beignets (the lightest, fluffiest fried choux pastry), and rum cake. On weekends, you can even score a Louisianan breakfast (including jambalaya fishcakes or pancakes) with bottomless Creole Bloody Maries and Hurricane Bellinis.
Speaking of which, since New Orleans lays a strong claim to being the birthplace of the cocktail they serve plenty here: there are Hurricanes (passionfruit, lime, orange, lots of rum), Mint Juleps, Sazeracs, and the famed Ramos Gin Fizz, which combines gin, lemon, orange flower water, and double cream. If someone offers you one, just say…
NOTE: Plaquemine Lock is open daily. You can find out more, and make a booking, at their website HERE. You can also see which bands are playing right HERE.
Plaquemine Lock | 139 Graham Street, N1 8LB
While you’re in the area… swing by one of Islington’s best pubs
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