While summer in New Orleans can be hot, there is still plenty of great food in air-conditioned comfort. Here are a few places where we ate well this summer. You can see some of the variety of cuisines in this city of over 1300 restaurants. They all remain fine options for the fall.
Luke is Chef John Besh’s “homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans.” We had Flamenkuche - thin Alsacien onion tarte, bacon Emmenthaler cheese, Crispy Frog Legs, Baked Oysters - Herbsaint, persillade crust, fries. We sat near the open kitchen where we could wacth the food preparation ss a shown below. It is located at 333 St Charles Ave (504) 378-2840.
Peche is run by Chef Ryan Prewitt, with support from Chef Donald Link. It serves ‘coastal seafood with a unique, modern approach to old world cooking methods.” It features an open hearth over hardwood coals. We had chanterelle and ham pasta, smothered catfish, roasted eggplant salad w/ tomato + peanut, grilled corn on the cob w/ white bbq sauce, chocolate and peanut butter pie. It is located at 800 Magazine St, (504) 522-1744
Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe is one of my favorite New Orleans neighborhood restaurants for breakfast and lunch. There are currently some of my paintings hanging there for sale. Here is a post describing the showing at Riccobono's. This time we had Pontchartrain Benedict (crawfish and mushrooms) and liver. I did a painting of the egg dish. Below is also a wonderful avocado Swiss hamburger that I had when I went to hang four new paintings. It was accompanied by a side of cripsy hash browns. Riccobono’s is located at 7801 Panola Street (504 314-1810).
Borgne is led by Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry. It is a “celebration of coastal Louisiana with a touch of Isleño influence.” The Isleños came from the Canary Islands in the 1700s to help populate Spanish Louisiana to protect against an English take over. In the summer they offer $5 tapas on Tuesdays. They were so good we went twice. The first time we had crushed Creole tomatoes, roasted lamb, cerviche, catfish sliders and some of their excellent bread.
The second time at Borgne we had grilled oysters, duck and andounie gumbo, lamb shoulder in sauce, Serrano and burrata toasts. It is located at 601 Loyola Ave, (504) 613-3860.
Chiba offers high quality Japanese food on Oak Street. One of our neighbors runs the place and we go often as the food is great and it is only a few blocks from us. Here is a longer review (Chiba: Great Japanese Food with a New Orleans Twist). This time we had Calamari tempura salad, lobster tempura, duck steamed bun, grouper steamed bun, Bananas Foster egg roll. It is also open for lunch Wednesday thru Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Chiba is located at 8312 Oak St, (504) 826-9119.
Kim Son is famous as a West Bank Vietnamese food destination. We went to see some music on the West Bank (see 2014 Wednesdays on Algiers Point) and took the opportunity to try some of their offerings. That week the music got rained out but we still did the food. We were with another couple and this expanded our menu options. We shared the Imperial rolls, spring rolls, charcoal broiled shrimp and grilled fish with lettuce leafs and rice paper, salt baked scallops, ginger and onion mussels, hot and spicy bean curd. It is located on the West Bank at 349 Whitney Ave, Gretna, (504) 366-2489.
Red Gravy provides home cooked Italian food in the center of downtown New Orleans. Our friend, Spider Murphy plays the banjo around town, including a regular gig at Red Gravy for their weekend brunch so we went to see him there. We had the Sicilian Egg Pie: Shirred eggs with cream & spices, baked in pasty. It came with some wonderful home fries that were moist and crispy at the same time and garlic bread with plenty of mozzarella. We also had the Umbria: Slow roasted pork, greens & provolone on crostini, with fruit. The pork was perfect and reminded me of some intense pork roast I used to get at a small Italian place in Boston’s North End. The well-seasoned meat blended nicely with the cheese and greens and the toasty bread backed up these flavors. The fruit was a nice balance to the intensity of the main dish.
Two of my paintings were hanging on the wall. They had sold at Riccobono’s. It is located at One painting was of tomatoes (from Greece) and another of eggplants (from Capri). Both were painted on my first trip to the Greek island of Samos (see my prior post on Produce to Paintings for more of these paintings and the process, including a photo of the actual tomatoes featured in the painting now at Red Gravy). The eggplants were done from a photo taken on a prior trip to Italy and the tomatoes were painted from life as a neighbor in Samos had given me some from his garden. It is located at 125 Camp Street, just a half block off Canal on the CBD side. (504) 561-8844.