Jacques Imo’s Cafe is special. Like really special. In my opinion it is New Orlean’s best kept culinary secret. It is off the beaten path of your typical known areas of New Orleans, but that is what makes it so special. Absolutely mind-blowing food, famous for their Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake appetizer served hot like a quiche. It is voted one of Nola’s best dishes by far. I also had the Red Fish for my entrée and their sides are ridiculously southern authentic and really really tasty. Delicious is an understatement. You need to eat at this place if you are ever in Nola, without a doubt. My co-writers are still talking about this meal several weeks later.
Some brief history for you. Raised on a farm in upstate New York by a French mother and an Italian father, Jacques Leonardi was exposed early to the cuisine of both nationalities and the use of fresh seasonal ingredients.
A graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, Jacques fell in love with New Orleans and all it had to offer while stationed in the city. In 1990, he started working at minimum wage for Chef Paul Prudhomme of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen while continuing his tenure as a Coast Guard officer. It was at K-Paul’s where he learned the basics of “Nawlins” style cooking and laid the groundwork for his own dream: Jacques-Imo’s Cafe.
In 1996, Jacques and his wife Amelia purchased the building at 8324 Oak Street in the Riverbend/Carrollton area of Uptown New Orleans. With a little help from the legendary Chef Austin Leslie (formerly of Chez Helene), a little creativity with the food dishes, and a lot of hard work, they now operate one of New Orleans most popular restaurants. Locals and tourists wait up to two hours nightly for a table. The reservation book (for parties of five or more) fills up weeks in advance, and Jacques strolls around his domain talking animatedly to guests and sharing his generosity with both food and drink. In a town that celebrates almost anything, no greater celebration is held than the tribute to Creole/Soul food and warm Southern Hospitality that Jacques Leonardi and the staff at Jacques-Imo’s Cafe provides on a daily basis.
In 2002, the itch to expand his culinary and entrepreneurial horizons proved too much to withstand, and Jacques opened up the now local favorite po’ boy shop Crabby Jack’s on Jefferson Ave. Since then, Jacques and his dedicated staff have been delighting patrons for lunch at Crabby Jack’s and dinner at Jacques-Imo’s.
Now it’s time for the Menu:
With white corn, crawfish, and tasso.
Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp
With magnolia sauce
Fried Green Tomatoes
With shrimp remoulade
With oyster dressing and wild mushroom sauce.
***Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake*** A MUST TRY!!!
Duck and Andouille Gumbo
Over trofie pasta
Sauteed Chicken Livers
In red wine sauce with toast.
Fried Rabbit Tenderloin
With Creole mustard sauce
With remoulade sauce
With spicy brown garlic sauce.
Fried Boudin Balls (Arancini Di Rosi)
Stuffed with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, with Creole mustard sauce
Deep Fried Roast Beef Po-Boy
All entrées (including Specials) include house salad and choice of TWO side dishes.
Mashed Potatoes, Shoestring French Fries, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Red Beans & Rice, Butter Beans & Rice, Corn Macque Chow, Country Greens, Potato Salad, Beets, Coleslaw, or Smothered Cabbage
With biscuits (dark meat only)
With roasted potatoes, tasso, mushrooms, and Béarnaise.
***Blackened Redfish*** ANOTHER MUST TRY
With crab-chili hollandaise.
Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken
Dark or mixed $18.95. White meat $19.95
Carpet Bagger Steak
With oysters, carmalized red onions, bleu cheese, & tasso hollandaise.
Grilled Duck Breast
With orange-soy glaze, shiitake mushrooms and pecans.
With oysters, shrimp & assorted fresh fish.
With sautéed shrimp, oysters, fish & lemon cream sauce.
Acorn squash stuffed with vegetables in coconut curry.
My name is Josh Leidolf and for the past decade I've been reviewing products, restaurants and services all over the world. I've done business reviews in over 50 countries and 150 major cities and if you or your company needs to maximize your exposure don't hesitate to reach out. Thanks!