Lump crabmeat and brie soup is a signature dish. Duck confit is served with local field peas, smothered greens, roasted pumpkin puree and a duck fat-fried yard egg. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$
Located in Covington, across Lake Ponchartrain from New Orleans, Dakota promises eclectic cuisine in a comfortable setting.
The 175-seat restaurant with Louisiana influenced chic decor, styled by Beth Walther, A.S.I.D, is comprised of four dining areas. The entranceway reveals the main dining room to the left with a vantagepoint created by the grand floral arrangement. An inviting and cozy bar to the right sweeps you into the smaller dining spaces with tables placed at a distance from one another to provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic tete a tete. The dark wood wine room suggests the ambiance of a gentleman's club.
Perhaps the dish that Dakota is best known for is its heavenly lump crabmeat and French Brie soup.
This savory concoction, falling like silk on the tongue, blends fresh, sweet Louisiana crabmeat with the creamy, rich texture of aged Brie cheese.
At both lunch and dinner, the co-owner of The Dakota, Kenneth LaCour's congenial charm greets diners.
24-year veteran of the restaurant industry, LaCour oversees the restaurant's operations, in addition to hand-selecting its impressive and extensive wine list. In fact, it is LaCour's passion for exceptional wine that takes him to the California wine region at least twice each year. Often, LaCour brings Dakota's managers and waitstaff with him as an educational experience, teaching them the art of winemaking and rousing in them a passion for and knowledge of fine wines. After sampling many special and hard-to-find wines while he's in California, LaCour selects his personal favorites, adding them to an impressive wine list that features more than 350 wines.
His passion for wine is most evident in the restaurant's bar
where the focal point in the center of the room, is a runaway display of ordinary- to multi magnum-sized bottles of rare wines from California and Europe. In the past several years, The Dakota's wine list has earned the Wine Spectator's Distinguished Award of Excellence.
Two of The Dakota's signature dishes are the seasonally
available fresh, soft shell crab stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish, fried until golden brown, and set atop roasted pecan rice and topped with sauce Creollaise; and a crispy Parmesan-crusted fillet of farm-raised tilapia topped with lump crab meat, surrounded by a wild mushroom and caper dill butter and finished with flash-fried smoked artichoke hearts and smoked tomato hollandaise.