The  official opening night of Ruffino's on the River Monday followed a week of warm-up invitation-only trial runs that already had the buzz going up and down the bayou and across town.

Ruffin Rodrigue and his grandmother, Rita Anastasia Rodrigue

Owner Ruffin Rodrigue worked the room like the restaurant pro he's become after years of successful operations in Baton Rouge. He was so excited about the new Lafayette gig he even brought his own grandmother so he could show off his latest creation. Two of his fellow Capital City-based rising restaurateur luminaries drove in to spread the love: Raising Cane's founder Todd Graves and Walk-On's co-founder Brandon Landry.


To round out the décor, Ruffin plans customer portraits for the walls, and in a brilliant move is already talking about a separate parking lot for the golf carts so popular in the 'hood.

Walk-On's co-founder Brandon Landry

ruffinos_pyramidIND faves on the menu? Heart the lightest crab meat cheesecake ever, shrimp corn dogs (you really gotta try 'em), a variety of pasta selections and the Fish Katie ... plus Sterling Silver aged heavy beef that literally melts to the touch of a knife, the particular pride and joy of executive chef/partner Peter Sclafani.

Check out the beautiful glass vessels of infused vodka that gleam like jewel cache pots above the bar. Looks like Ruffin's new concept is ready to roll.

View additional images by IND Photo Editor Robin May here.

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