12 More Reasons to Love New Orleans
12 More Reasons to Love New OrleansSeptember 20, 2010
The Upper West Side outpost of famed New Orleans restaurant, Jacques-Imo's, may have closed in 2007, but that hasn't stopped a new cadre of chefs and restaurateurs from bringing NOLA back to Big Apple. Over the last twelve months, Big Easy-inspired establishments have opened up shop all over our fair city, with a slew of faithful standbys offering new Cajun-flavored dishes and events. Here's a roundup of twelve of the best.
Chef Brett Sims of the Green Table. Photo by Michael Harlan Turkell.
The Green Table (428 W. 16th St., Manhattan) The menu changes daily at this farm-to-table restaurant inside Chelsea Market, but Louisiana-inspired dishes like shrimp and sausage gumbo reflect chef Brett Sims’ Cajun roots.
Ninth Ward (180 2nd Ave., Manhattan) This artfully distressed East Village watering hole features New Orleans tipples like Sazerac and Abita, as well as NOLA-salvaged décor and a French Quarter–style back garden.
The Goods (571 Lorimer St., Brooklyn) New Orleans native Alex McCrery serves up beignets and burgers out of this mid-century trailer parked just off of the Lorimer Street L stop. Time your visit to coincide with one of the all-you-can-eat Southern buffets; last month, locals feasted on neverending platters of corn-fried oysters and jambalaya.
Rothschilds. Photo by Michael Harlan Turkell
Rothschilds (411 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn) Previously Stan's Place, another New Orleans–inspired haunt, this newly minted Boerum Hill eatery features a New American menu with a NOLA twist (think: steak and mussels, cheesy grits, whiskey-spiked bread pudding).
Tchoup Shop at d.b.a. (113 N. Seventh St., Brooklyn) A recent tweet from this Sundays-only pop-up restaurant, named after New Orleans–style BBQ, says it all: “Sweet potato chili, duck gumbo, crawfish with okra, it's gonna be grand.” The only thing better than eating chef Simon Glenn’s NOLA comfort food? Watching the Saints on the big screen at the same time. Open through October.
Cheeky Sandwiches (35 Orchard St., Manhattan) When I’m jonesing for an authentic po-boy (fried shrimp, please!) with a side of Zapp’s potato chips, this Lower East Side spot is my go-to.
Caffetteria's coffee aparatus. Photo by Will Mischner
Caffetteria (147 Sullivan St., Manhattan) The experts at this sleek new neighborhood coffee shop make the best chicory-coffee brew this side of Cafe du Monde. I’ve seen the drink popping up on menus all over town, but there’s something about Caffetteria and its science lab–vibe that I can’t resist.
Mara’s Homemade (342 E. 6th St., Manhattan) Mara Levi’s restaurant isn’t the newest on this list, but it’s the only place I’ve seen to serve such an overtly Cajun menu. Levi has fresh Louisiana gator, crawfish, oysters and shrimp flown in two to three times each week—no small feat considering the shortage of seafood coming out of the Gulf this year.
Fort Defiance (365 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn) Proprietor St. John Frizzell modeled his muffuletta on the one from Central Grocery. Legend has it he actually had a few FedExed from New Orleans to Red Hook to better study the famous sandwich and its components.
Don’t forget old Standbys like Acme, Two Boots and Great Jones continue to turn out reliably authentic Cajun-American (or Cajun-Italian, in the case of Two Boots) cuisine.
Got any other good ones that I've missed?