May 1, 200912:00 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Bistro Daisy Remains a Perennial Favorite

Photo courtesy of Jay Forman

It is easy to miss Bistro Daisy on Magazine Street, where it is wedged into a narrow lot alongside the National Art and Hobby shop. But to pass it up would be to pass up the chance to enjoy some of the more delicious bistro fare New Orleans has to offer. The menu is grounded in traditional French bistro fare, yet it is also attuned to the indigenous flavors and ingredients of southeast Louisiana. The results make for a pleasant experience, and it strikes a neat balance of being upscale without any pretention.

Chef Anton Schulte his wife Diane opened the restaurant in 2007 following their departure from La Petite Grocery. The overall feel is welcoming and personable, thanks in great part to the gracious Diane. While the menu is essentially fixed, daily specials are geared to take advantage of what is currently in-season, particularly with regard to seafood. Their established core dishes are carefully considered and well-executed.

Appetizers include a dish of lump crabmeat, shrimp and crawfish in a light, spicy horseradish aioli. Each are allotted their own piece of real estate thanks to dividing hedgerows of breadcrumbs, with a mini-haystack of seasoned, cool cucumber shreds centering the plate. The crab and crawfish benefit from the aioli, and the shrimp, prepared in a spicy boil, add an extra layer of zing.

Their signature Daisy Salad features strips of mozzarella, roasted red bell pepper, arugula, and pumpkin seeds. Fanned out on the plate, the presentation echoes its namesake flower. The salad comes dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette, with the pumpkin seeds adding crunch and nuttiness. Another choice is the warm spinach salad with toasted almonds, bacon, roasted shallots and sherry vinaigrette, topped with a tangy puck of fried goat cheese. For soup, a special soup of roasted garlic and mushroom was scented with saffron and topped with diced pancetta.

For entrees, sautéed gulf shrimp are complemented by creamy garlic grits and wedges of roasted mirliton (which are first parboiled in crabboil-infused water, lending some spiciness). Finishing the mirlitons by roasting them, gives some textural contrast as well, crisping the outside while the inside remains super-tender. The whole is bound together with a sun-dried tomato buerre blanc, garnished with salty bits of pancetta.

Another entrée of grilled, boneless lamb fit the bill for springtime, albeit on the heavier side, as it was grounded by a powerful smoked tomato and rosemary-infused demi-glace. Sharp parmesan risotto provided the starch and wilted pea-shoots and pine nuts provided the vegetable component.

For dessert, the individual-sized Baked Alaska is tasty, a reconfigured old-fashioned dessert that gets new life breathed into it here. The restaurant is deceptive from the outside; it has more seating than one might imagine and opens up toward the back.   

The main room fills quickly and can get quite noisy, especially if you are seated in the center of the room. The wine list is short but well-chosen, particularly with the whites and champagne, and half-bottles of the house wine available as well. The service is knowledgeable and friendly.

Bistro Daisy
5831 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-6987‎
www.bistrodaisynola.com


 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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