News From the Kitchens
Port Orleans and Stokehold, Brasa Churrasqueria, Blake’s on Poydras
Jeffery Johnston Photographs
Port Orleans and Stokehold
Port Orleans is one of the latest in the burgeoning craft brewery movement in New Orleans. The brewery opened in May, along with Stokehold, a restaurant occupying a corner of the tap room.
About half the offerings at Stokehold are paired with one of the 7 beers on tap, and none are “bar food.” Think seared Halloumi with red gravy, basil and country ham; or wood-grilled shrimp with chili butter, corn and melon. Even items one might expect in a bar are taken to another level – there are nachos, but the house-made tortilla chips are topped with goulash (“goulachos”). Little football-shaped pretzels made with spent grain from the brewing process resemble beignets in weight and texture. They’re served over an aerated cheddar sauce that is what Cheese Whiz would be in a perfect world.
The menu comes from collaboration between the three chefs in Stokehold’s kitchen: Jeremy Wolgamott, formerly of High Hat Café; Phillip Mariano, whose experience includes chef de cuisine stints at Josephine Estelle and Domenica; and Tim Bordes, whose experience includes Lilette, Herbsaint and GW Fins. Port Orleans and Stokehold, 4124 Tchoupitoulas, open every day but Tuesday, 11-‘til, 266-2332.
Brasa Churrasqueria is about to open in the Metairie Road space formerly occupied by Chateau du Lac. It’s a South American steakhouse from chef Edgar Caro, who also operates Baru Bistro and Tapas and Basin Seafood and Spirits. Caro is from Columbia originally, and wanted to bring the food of his country and its neighbors to Old Metairie.
The menu at Brasa will be largely cooked over oak on a custom-built grill, and will include less well-known cuts of meat – such as the picanha, or sirloin cap, and entraña, or skirt steak – in addition to fillet and aged ribeye.
The a la carte offerings will include a slow-roasted chicken, house-made chorizo sausage, grilled whole fish and, of course, multiple cuts of beef. Caro said the intent is for the menu to appeal to folks familiar with Argentine or Brazilian steakhouses, but also to those who prefer something more standard.
There are numerous potato dishes on the menu, including steak fries, Brabant, au gratin and a Columbian preparation in which the spuds are salt-cured. Appetizers include ceviche, soups like gazpacho and shrimp bisque and a Caesar salad with crispy chicken skin.
Brasa Churrasqueria, 2037 Metairie Rd., open for dinner only, starting at 4 p.m. (happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.), 570-6338.
Blake’s on Poydras
Blake’s on Poydras is a casual spot that opened in May. As one would expect for a place that serves all three meals, the menu is pretty wide-ranging, but the focus is on contemporary southern comfort food. Fried green tomatoes show up in several items, and fortunately, they’re done well. I’ve had them topped with pickled shrimp and remoulade sauce, but lump crab is also an option, as are poached eggs with Hollandaise and bacon, or in a BLT sandwich. One of the most popular menu items is the chicken fried chicken, served with mashed potatoes, green beans and white gravy. It’s hard to think of something more traditionally southern than that, but there are some interesting takes on the genre; grilled okra is stuffed with jalapeno-laced goat cheese and served with pepper jelly, for example.
Chef de cuisine Dash Ellis-Dall has worked at SoBou and Gautreau’s. The restaurant is named for owner Alex Miller’s son, who is autistic, and a portion of proceeds from certain menu items will benefit the Spears Learning Center, on the north shore.
Blake’s, 920 Poydras St., open 7 days, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, later on weekends. Breakfast available until 3 p.m., happy hour weekdays 3 until 7 p.m. 679-0991.