RESTAURANT INSIDER

Capdeville (520 Capdeville St.) opened in April on the one-block street that shares its name. It is an upscale bar-bistro, with a short but interesting menu. The Fried Red Beans and Rice ($5) are something of a take on calas, but reminded me even more of arancini, the fried rice-balls eaten as street food in Italy. The sweet and sour chicken lettuce wraps ($8) can be ordered with either grilled or fried chicken, and are served with cilantro, shredded carrot, pickled onions and peppers, with bibb lettuce leaves to wrap it all up. There is a heady dipping sauce as well, which is good, because there wasn’t much flavor to the chicken. Although it’s an appetizer, it’s large enough to serve as a small entrée.

You can order fries in a number of different fashions at Capdeville, starting with the relatively thin-cut potatoes unadorned for $3.50. Upgrades bring the price to $6, and include fries loaded with mozzarella cheese curd and au poivre sauce in the Poutine version; chorizo and manchego cheese; truffle and Parmesan; and a “build your own” option with choices of cheddar, bleu cheese, Gruyère, bacon or pancetta.

There are three burgers on the menu – the standard comes with au poivre sauce, crispy onions, lettuce, Gruyère cheese and a roasted garlic aioli. The “Mayor” comes with balsamic red onions, tomato, white cheddar and chipotle ketchup; and the Manchego La Mancha burger is topped with manchego cheese, green tomato jam and a fried egg.

All of the burgers are $9.50.

There are several beers on tap, including local brews from NOLA Brewing and Heiner Brau, and there’s a fully stocked bar. The menu doesn’t change between lunch and dinner, and is open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 11:30-’till Friday, and on Saturday 6 p.m.-’till. The kitchen closes at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. You can reach Capdeville by phone at 371-5161.

In April, Chef John Besh started taping a 26 episode cooking show based on recipes and stories from his cookbook: My New Orleans: 200 of My Favorite Recipes and Stories from My Hometown. The show, which will be called “Chef John Besh’s New Orleans,” is being produced by WYES, where it will begin to air early next year.

When I visited the set, Besh was cooking trout amandine and for dessert, a buttermilk panna cotta with a wild berry compote. Earlier that day, he’d cooked soft-shell shrimp, and shrimp Creole seasoned with a touch of lemongrass and mint. The show is something of a throwback to the days of Julia Child, in that it’s far more focused on actual cooking than most of its peers.

If you’ve met him, or seen him in other television appearances, you won’t be surprised to hear that Besh is a natural in front of the camera. Behind the scenes, Jim Moriarity is serving as the executive in charge of production, Beth Arroyo Utterback is the executive producer, Terri Landry is both a producer and the show’s director and Dawn Smith is serving as associate producer. I will provide more information on the show as it develops.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail Peyton: rdpeyton@gmail.com.
 

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