A Christmas Eve Reveillon

Tuesday December 24, we continue our tradition of offering a Creole Reveillon dinner in the true spirit of New Orleans holiday dining. Through most of the 19th century, Reveillons were held in the homes of the French Quarter’s Creole population, when churchgoers would arrive home after midnight mass famished, ready to break the pre-communion fast. As you might imagine, in the homes of the food & drink-obsessed Creoles of the French Quarter, these dinners came to be many hours long, featuring course after course of unabashed decadence meant at once to celebrate the holiday, as well as break the fast in spectacular fashion, as New Orleanians have always been wont to do.

During the 20th century as the restaurant business developed in the emerging dining capital of the South, the finer restaurants in New Orleans began offering Reveillon menus themselves. After World War II particularly, as the demographics of the Quarter changed in addition to changing mores regarding Catholic Church canon and changing habits among churchgoers, the Reveillon tradition died, only to be revived over the last several years by the city’s white-hot restaurant scene. Dozens of restaurants there now offer Reveillon menus. Our humble dinner at Big Jones seeks to extend that tradition, to give a portrait of a beautiful time and place in New Orleans’ culinary history, to serve the many Louisiana expats who now call Chicago home, and to share our love of Southern hospitality with you in a uniquely seasonal way.

The most common format of Reveillon menus over the span of the tradition has been the Table d’Hote, a fancy name for a dinner of a set number of courses with choices for each course. We’ve opted to offer soup, vegetable, entree, and dessert, and while the scope of this dinner is too limited to revive the whole Creole cookery catalog, we offer you some delicacies both old and new, most importantly there is goose gumbo, game pies, bread pudding, satsumas, stuffed fish with rice dressing, doberge cake, and a handful of other edibles that have graced Reveillon tables for generations. Inspirations for this dinner come primarily from Creole Cookery, an 1885 book by the Christian Women’s League of New Orleans, and Lafcadio Hearn’s La Cuisine Creole, also from 1885. It’s not that long ago, but how exotic much of this food looks today! We can assure you, however, it is as delicious as ever.

Please join us for a very special evening. Reservations are very highly recommended, it will sell out in advance.

A Traditional Creole Reveillon

Christmas Eve  December 24, 2013  4—9pm

Table d’hôte, Choose one per course


Hearts of Palm Bisque with Vanilla, Three Sisters Corn Mushrooms, and Homemade Pumpernickel

Coconut & Calf’s Foot Soup with Shrimp and Fingerling Potatoes

Oyster Stew with House 2011 Vintage Country Ham and Buttered Croutons

Bread Service

Homebaked Rustic Black Walnut Bread with House Cultured Butter and Quince Jelly


Roasted & Pickled Beets with Clotted Cream, Absinthe Gems, Frisee, and Celery Salt Croutons

Living Water Farms Butter Lettuce with Green Goddess, Amish Blue Cheese, and Crispy Bacon


Heritage American Buff Goose Gumbo with House-made Chaurice Meatballs
and Arkansas Delta Rice

Creamed Venison Pie with Celery Root, Rutabaga,
and Horseradish Red Wine Jus

Stuffed Rushing Waters Trout with Crawfish Boudin, Cauliflower Puree,
Root Vegetables, and Candied Satsuma

Heirloom Purple Barley “Risotto” with creamy butterbeans, roasted black trumpet mushrooms, Three Sisters Garden Pea Greens, and Brown Butter Fried Pecans


A Traditional Doberge Cake of Chocolate, Lemon, Caramel

Rum & Nutmeg Bread Pudding with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Warm Kumquat and Marrow Pudding Pie with Whipped Kilgus Farmstead Cream


Forty-nine dollars per person, twenty per person under age twelve

Please call 773-275-5725 for reservations