Award-winning cuisine to debut in remodeled Cochon space
Lafayette will soon be home to another award-winning fine dining establishment. Ruffino’s, the popular Baton Rouge restaurant specializing in steak, seafood and Italian fare, has scheduled its much-anticipated grand opening for Monday, May 20th. The Lafayette restaurant will be known as Ruffino’s on the River.
Ruffino’s took over the space previously occupied by Cochon Restaurant, at 921 Camellia Boulevard along the Vermilion River, in February. The new owners completely gutted, redesigned, renovated and redecorated the inside of the facility, from the kitchen to the seating areas, as well as the outside patio overlooking the river.
“We wanted Ruffino’s on the River to carve out its own distinctive niche among Lafayette’s family of restaurants,” said Ruffino’s co-owner Ruffin Rodrigue, who manages the front of the house and operations for the restaurant. “Our interior décor is as elegant and unique as the food we serve, and I believe our riverside patio offers an absolutely spectacular setting to dine and/or to enjoy a glass of fine wine. We can’t wait to raise a toast to friends old and new in Lafayette.”
Rodrigue is a former All American guard for the LSU Tigers who hails from Thibodaux. His business partner, Peter Sclafani, is a third-generation chef from New Orleans who is widely regarded as one of the finest and most innovative chefs in Louisiana, if not the entire country.
“Guests who’ve dined with us in Baton Rouge will recognize many of our signature dishes that we’re bringing with us to Ruffino’s on the River,” said Sclafani, Ruffino’s executive chef and co-owner. “But I’ve also taken the opportunity to develop and create a few dishes that will be unique to Lafayette. The new setting and larger kitchen has given me an opportunity to push the envelope a bit more, and nothing could be more exciting to me as a chef.”
Among the new specialties being introduced in Lafayette are a shrimp corndogs appetizer and seasonal raviolis, beginning with a Louisiana crawfish ravioli.
Chef Peter was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by the Louisiana Restaurant Association for an unprecedented two consecutive years (2010, 2011), Baton Rouge’s Chef of the Year in 2004 and the city’s Marketer of the Year in 2011.
In early April, he was invited to showcase his signature Italian-Creole culinary skills at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.
“Cooking at the Beard House had been on my bucket list ever since I donned my first chef’s hat,” said Sclafani. “I was so honored to cook there, especially since it gave me the opportunity to represent Louisiana on the most prestigious stage in the American culinary landscape.”
Ruffino’s won two Fleur de Lis Culinary Awards gold medals at the prestigious 2012 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, after scoring a gold and silver at the 2011 event. Ruffino’s was the only restaurant from Baton Rouge to receive such an honor.
Ruffino’s on the River will open for dinner on Monday, May 20, at 4:30 PM. Regular hours are Monday – Thursday 4:30 – 10:00 PM; Friday 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM; Saturday 4:30 PM – 11:00 PM; and Sunday 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM.
Reservations are highly recommended. Call 337.706.7333 or visit www.RuffinosLafayette.com for more information.