food and wineIssue 28

Bayou Serves Up Food for the Soul

By Noel Daniel

Everyone, at some point, gets a craving for some prime New Orleans cuisine. Maybe you want a plateful of shrimp fritters, crab cakes, or a steaming po’boy on a fresh bun. Having trouble locating Louisiana’s finest eats? Look no further: the Bayou’s just come to Modesto.

The Bayou Bar & Grill, owned by Attorney Mark S. Nelson, is a downtown restaurant that’s been purchased and renovated with the feel and atmosphere of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It’s outfitted with cool lighting, vibrant colors, and art that captures the driving spirit of NOLA.

“We wanted to bring something different to Downtown Modesto,” said Nelson. “When people think of NOLA they think of live music, fun, and great food and that’s the ambiance we want to present to our patrons. We will have a great happy hour and plan on having live entertainment as well as karaoke.”

Help yourself to the Bayou’s flavorful appetizers, like the baked oyster rockefeller or the Bayou Mac and Cheese—which you can add a helping of savory bacon into. When it comes to delicious food, however, Bayou has a plethora of options.

“So far, the Bayou Burger has been a favorite and the Po’boy sandwiches are perfect for a quick lunch,” said Nelson.

In fact, they offer four delicious options of po’boy, a classic NOLA sandwich: pulled pork, shrimp, oyster, and chicken. And if you want to spice up the Bayou Burger, they also offer the Blue Bayou—an eight ounce patty with house Louie dressing, lettuce, pickled onion, tomatoes, dill pickle, bleu cheese, and bacon.

“We’re lucky enough to have an incredible chef, Christopher Bonora, who has created an incredible menu with something for everyone,” said Nelson. “He has also brought back some of his most popular pasta dishes which have created a lot of excitement for people who remember him from his Oceana days.”

One of those pastas is Chef Bonora’s Fettuccine Au Frutti Di Mara, a delectable pasta with a red or cream sauce and a mix of mussels, clams, fish, shrimp, and calamari. He also serves up his Rigatoni Siciliana with fresh tomato, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, capers, and kalamata olives tosses in house rigatoni.

So clear an evening, order up plenty of good, New Orleans cooking, and try out Downtown Modesto’s newest food offering.

For more information, check out their Facebook page at

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