Susan Spicer began her cooking career in New Orleans as an apprentice at Louis XVI Restaurant in 1979. Her experience and learning took her to Paris, France and other cooking centers in Europe as well as California. In 1985 she returned to New Orleans and the rest, as they say, is history. Susan's list of awards and accomplishments are simply too large to relate here. I will tell you that in 2010 she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. Susan and her restaurant, Bayona, have earned so many awards that her reputation is now worldwide and deservedly so.
Bayona has been housed in a romantic and historic Creole cottage for over 20 years. The venue itself would be worth one’s time just to enjoy the classic ambiance. What makes this eatery an even more enjoyable experience is that the cuisine more than lives up to the restaurant’s spectacular façade.
Upon arriving at Bayona you will enter its lush patio courtyard. It is alive with tropical greenery, colorful fruit trees and a gently gurgling fountain which will remind you of the way Creole families lived a century ago. The patio is open for dining most of the year, weather permitting.
The Dining Rooms:
There are several dining rooms for you to choose from. Each one offers its own charm and you can not go wrong whatever your choice may be. The Dyer Room with its trompe l’oeil depicting the Mediterranean countryside was rendered by artist Joel Dyer. You actually feel like you are in the painted scene thanks to his masterful work. The Bayona Room thrills you with its stained glass accents and picture window, a real treat for one’s eyes. The main dining room comes to life thanks to the multitude of gorgeous floral arrangements all done to lend a special graciousness to your dining pleasure. The Wine Room is secluded from the rest of the establishment thus providing one with a respite from the bustle of the other dining rooms. It has exposed beams and is lined with elegant wine bins giving the feeling that you are at a chateau in the wine country. It can also serve as a private banquet room.
Please note, that all of the dining rooms are non-smoking and cell-phone free.
Chef/Owner Susan Spicer’s food is difficult to define or classify. It meshes several styles and influences with one basic theme: the finest ingredients with their tastes always allowed to shine through. She describes her creations as flavorful, balanced yet complex. The ever evolving menu allows each visit to be a unique experience. If you are a vegetarian, vegan or have singular dietary requirements, not to worry. There is always a vegetarian special available and the chef is able to address almost anyone’s dietary concerns.
Both lunch and dinner are served. The menu items change daily but here is what you may expect to enjoy on any given day. For lunch starters how about Eggplant Caviar and Tapenade with Herb Croutons. Perhaps Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Cake and Coriander Sauce would tickle your fancy. Soups and Salads range from Cream of Garlic Soup, Cream of Celery Soup with Foie Gras Butter Croutons. Maybe a Fried Oyster Salad with Black-eyed Peas and Jalapeno Garlic Dressing would do the trick. The entrees include Mussels and Angel hair Pasta or Sea Scallops, Stuffed Zucchini and Olive Orzo Pasta. Also offered are Grilled Mahi Mahi, Smoked Duck and a mixed Grill of Lamb Loin. If you still have a bit of an appetite left you may want to try a dessert to put the finishing touch on a splendid lunch. Dinner choices might include for starters Oyster, Spinach and Italian Sausage Gratin or Sea Scallops with Avocado-Sesame Relish or Chicken Liver Mousse. For your main course you might choose from Sautéed Redfish, Niman Ranch Pork Chops, Grilled Hanger Steak with Asparagus and Béarnaise Sauce or Prime Rib Eye Steak with Yukon Gold Potatoes a and Horseradish Cream. There is even a signature dinner menu offered Monday - Saturday from 6 pm until. As with the luncheon menu, dinner also offers desserts to die for!
All the Information You Need:
New Orleans is most fortunate to have a jewel of this quality to delight our appetites. Bayona is a shining light in a City known for its fine dining establishments. Hope you get to dine there soon. If you can't make it soon enough. Look up Chef Spicer's recepies.
Bayona Restaurant is located at 430 Dauphine Street in the French Quarter. Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. Dinner: Monday - Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. Closed on Sundays. Reservations call (504) 525-4455. The website.