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L’Acadiane – which takes its name from the Cajun French term for Acadiana, the south Louisiana region containing a large French-speaking populace – features a full menu of Cajun and Creole-influenced dishes from New Orleans and environs.

This latest addition to the Baileys’ Restaurants group opened in December in St. Louis’ Lafayette Square neighborhood, in the main-floor space previously occupied by Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, which, in July, had been consolidated into the building’s second-story lounge.

“We were thinking about the history of the neighborhood, the Acadian influence and the connection between New Orleans and St. Louis,” says Dave Bailey, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Kara. “We wanted to be able to do Southern dishes, as well as New Orleans-style specialties and other Cajun-influenced food.”

L’Acadiane’s approximately 1,300 square feet seats around 70 guests with another eight at the bar, as well as a patio. The Baileys looked to New Orleans as well as the neighborhood’s historical aspects for design inspiration. To that end, the interior features such elements as exposed brick, a bar finished with decorative black-and-white tile and elegant embellishments juxtaposed with plants and flowers.

“We wanted the atmosphere to be very beautiful, but we also wanted people to feel totally comfortable coming as they are,” Bailey says. “It’s a laid-back atmosphere, but also lively and fun, where people can come to have a decadent meal and a nice, strong cocktail.”

From the menu, guests can choose from options such as a whole fried Buttonwood Farm chicken breast over a cornbread waffle with honey butter and house hot sauce. Another entrée highlight is crab-stuffed Missouri catfish with poblano grits and garlic dressing.

Appetizers include fried green tomatoes, hot link corn dogs and lump crabcake with blood orange supremes, avocado and remoulade. A selection of po’boys includes options like slow-roasted pork shoulder with roasted peppers, crème fraîche and salsa verde, as well as blackened Acadian redfish with romaine, pickled onion and cucumber ranch. Soups and salads include house gumbo, crawfish bisque and a frisée salad with poached egg, lardon, chive and herbes du jardin dressing.

Behind the bar await five beers on draft, an all-French wine list and house cocktails like A Hurricane in Tornado Alley with 5-year-old rum, passion fruit, citrus and house grenadine. For dessert, guests can choose from beignets with raspberry sauce and whiskey-caramel baked Alaska. So whether you’re in the mood for a cocktail or a full meal, make sure to check out L’Acadiane before catching Bud, Not Buddy from The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

“It’s just a type of cuisine that I absolutely love,” Bailey says. “We’re able to sort of play with classic dishes and bring something new to the table.” 

L'Acadiane, 1915 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314-875-0108, lacadiane.com

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