This town is swamped with southern-based barbecue joints and biscuit-and-gravy comfort food eateries but with some exceptions, New Yorkers have very few places to chow down on cajun and other New Orleans' flavors. Enter Bo's Kitchen & Bar Room, a new Flatiron restaurant that melds bayou cuisine with contemporary bistro fare; think fried alligator on the same menu with pork cheek ragu and red snapper crudo.
Chef/Partner Todd Mitgang, who also runs the kitchen at Crave Fishbar, created a fluid menu featuring classic New Orleans ingredients and flavors, which itself draws inspiration from France to Africa to Spain. For starters, try the Crispy Alligator ($13), served with a creamy chili aioli or Roasted Oysters ($15) from Montauk with creamed dinosaur kale and grana padano. Low Country Ham ($14), served with a biscuit and marmalade, channels southern comfort food, as do the Spicy Wild Gulf Shrimp Fra Diavolo ($28), served over cheese grits with a chili relish, and the Buttermilk Braised Fried Chicken ($23) with chicken gravy.
For an authentic bite of the Big Easy, opt for the Split Pea Fried Catfish ($27), which comes with crawfish, potato and cranberry beans in a shrimp Américaine sauce or the Spiced Louisiana Redfish ($29), with parsnip, sharon fruit and okra in a "crabby" sauce. You can also find Louisiana on the beverage menu, which offers three beers from Bayou Teche Brewing in addition to Abita Turbodog ($7). You won't find any Hurricanes, but they are shaking up other booze-heavy cocktails ($13) like the Antebellum (bourbon, blood orange tea, lemon, mint) and the Pierre Lafitte (Kappa Pisco, fresh grapefruit, Luxardo, egg white). There's also a build-your-own Pickle Martini option, where you can choose between nine vodkas and gins to mix with onion, okra, cranberry and other pickled products.
6 West 24th Street, (212) 234-2373; bosrestaurant.com