Surprising flavor

Dinner’s main course was entertaining conversation and excellent company. But it was spiced with some surprising flavors.

Acadia specializes in Cajun food but it’s not the bustling party of Le Bistro Montage nor the comfortable diner of The Delta Cafe; Acadia reaches in the direction of the fancier upscale dining establishments along Rue Bourbon in New Orleans – but minus the white jackets and starched white tablecloths.

We’d started with the cheese plate. I’m not a gourmand nor a restaurant reviewer, so I can’t assign words to the various flavors on the plate, but they were all different. The one that drew my dining companion and my attention, though, was the dark red chopped fruit under the smoky-flavored cheese. I asked our waitress about it, and she didn’t know at first but returned with news that it was sun-dried tomato. It was good.

Then, my jambalaya had spicy andouille sausage, shrimp, and… duck? Really? Again, though, in spite of my mental reservations, it was delicious.

My friend, who wasn’t a vegetarian but who was trying to win a bet about not eating meat the longest, had ordered a gnocchi dish. Which included beets. Which she was not happy about. She found that she enjoyed the flavor the beets added to everything else in the dish, as long as she didn’t actually eat the beets. Her face when she tried one, however, told a hundred stories, several of them funny.

For dessert we decided to share some pecan pie. When it arrived it had a scoop of ice cream on top. Which our waitress announced was, in fact, bacon ice cream.

“Oh, no!” I said. “Your bet!”

“The ice cream is all yours,” she said, digging in to the pie.

I scooped off some ice cream and tried it. Bacon is one of my favorite foods, but… in ice cream? Turns out it was subtle and not overdone. The rich vanilla was enhanced by the smoky salty bacon. As is every single food that bacon touches. I was relieved.

And with the pecan pie… so delicious.