(MADISONVILLE, La.) — A few weeks ago, as I was passing Marina Del Ray on my friend’s boat heading back home from the mouth of the Tchefuncte River, I spotted a restaurant hidden behind the scores of sailboat masts. We ended up docking the boat at the restaurant’s slips inside of the marina to find out it was Coquille River and Rye, a fairly new establishment that has taken the place of Hook’d Up, which is now in Covington.
Coquille River and Rye is a riverside seafood restaurant that is located at 100 Marina Del Ray Dr. in Madisonville. When you walk in, it is like walking into a large houseboat with a light fisherman vibe about it. My friends and I were seated in an outside area that overlooked the entire marina and began to ponder on what we might order. While having a fairly small, seafood-based menu, it all looked very good, and there were also a few select burger options that sounded mouthwatering. I settled into the picnic table where we were sitting and ordered a simple fried catfish and oyster platter.
Our waitress was very nice and extremely outgoing, not missing a beat throughout our meal and never failing to check up on us. She brought out our meal with a smile on her face and let us know just to ask if we needed anything. My meal came out still steaming and smelling delicious. I wanted to dig in as soon as the plate hit the table, but had to wait because I did not want a burned mouth. While waiting for my food to cool, I looked around at the visually appealing building and the nice-sounding band playing in the background. Finally, my food cooled enough to devour.
When I bit into it, I immediately noticed the nice crunch of the fry batter; it was the perfect balance between crisp crunch and smooth tender catfish. This is something that a lot of seafood restaurants tend to have trouble with: either making their fried fish too crispy and over-seasoned, or too soft and bland. Also, the fried oysters were on par with even those served by Acme Oyster House, which is saying a lot. They were all large enough so that the taste wasn’t drowned out by the flavor of the batter, which, again, many seafood restaurants have a tough time perfecting. The fries served on the side were a great compliment to the comfort-meal, and I suggest asking for extra cocktail and tartar sauce to dip everything in.
All-in-all, I finished my meal without taking a breath. Coquille River and Rye is a sweet place to eat when you are on the river and want something affordable, quick and, most of all, really good. They also often have local bands performing live, and make it accessible for river rats by offering slips to dock your boat that are directly attached to the restaurant. Or, you can get to the restaurant the old-fashioned way, by car, off of Highway 22. But, where’s the fun is that?
I give this restaurant a overall 8 out of 10.
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