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Fifolet Cajun menu is a welcomed addition to the restaurant and bar scene in Wicker Park. Fifolet opened on December 1st and has been an immediate hit. I visited Fifolet last week to speak with owner, Baris Yuksel and to sample the menu and cocktails.
I had the chance to speak with Baris about his decision to convert his Division Ale House into the Fifolet Cajun. He simply believes that the craft beer space is now overcrowded in Wicker Park and he felt a Cajun restaurant would be a great fit for the neighborhood.
The restaurant has been decorated tastefully with New Orleans décor. In addition, Baris has decorated an entire wall in the rear of the restaurant with a mural of the Louisiana Bayou. The restaurant has a typical capacity of 65 in the restaurant and another 13 at the bar. Although the restaurant does not have dedicated parking, there was plenty of free street parking on both Division and Damen on the night I was there.
Fifolet has an impressive list of New Orleans inspired cocktails. In addition to the expected Frozen Hurricane (dark rum, light rum, passion fruit, lime, and grenadine), I had the chance to try several other cocktails that were equally delicious. For example, the Fifolet Float and Planters Punch were outstanding!
I’ve been to New Orleans on numerous occasions and I can say from personal experience that the best word to describe the food at Fifolet is ‘authentic’.
I intentionally asked Baris to bring out small sample sizes of different dishes so that I could try more menu items.
He started us out with Fried Green Tomatoes, Crawfish Fritters, Collard Greens, and their Honey-Custard Cornbread With Cayenne Streusel. It was impossible for me to pick a favorite… they were all perfectly executed. If I was forced to pick one, the Cornbread would have a slight edge on the others. Most Small Plates are in the $6 to $11 range.
You can’t visit Fifolet without trying their gumbo. They have two gumbos on their menu: Mama’s Gumbo and Gumbo Fifolet. Both are similar, but yet very different. You can’t go wrong with either one.
For the main course, we sampled the Chicken Jambalaya, the Fried Alligator Etouffee, and the Venison Grillades & Grits. If you have an adventurous side, the Alligator and Venison very flavorful. Their main plates run in the $11 to $16 range.
Your meal is not complete without their powdered sugar beignets. Although I was already fairly full, I managed to eat two beignets. They were incredible!
Executive Chef, Kevin Crouse and Chef de Cuisine, Corey Gillom have done a really nice job of capturing the essence of New Orleans.
Fifolet has a warm and inviting atmosphere. According to Baris, it is not uncommon to see patrons in the restaurant for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If you’re looking for something different to the typical craft beer pub grub, Fifolet is a welcomed newcomer to Wicker Park.
I have already made plans to return in February with my family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday!