Meats and Greets
I turn 44 this month; 44 isn’t old, but as I write this I’m recuperating from a back surgery necessitated by pain so bad I was bed-ridden for several weeks. Apparently I’ve reached the age that, when I complain about this sort of thing people respond with, “Yeah, getting old sucks, doesn’t it?” Well, yes, it does, person to whom I have complained, but that isn’t what I want to hear. I want to hear, “You’re not old, Robert,” or “You don’t look 44!” Please try to remember this if you meet me in person.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is slated to open before long (1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.), and along with it chef Ryan Hughes’ restaurant Purloo. Hughes made a name for himself locally at Café Degas for his classic renditions of French bistro fare and for his imaginative specials. He has been out of the public eye for months after leaving Johnny V’s last year, but he’s recently been cooking on Wednesday nights at the Preole Gardens Guesthouse and Inn (1415 Prytania St.). There he’s been cooking the kind of food that he’ll serve at Purloo, a refined take on Southern cuisine. When I spoke to Hughes recently it was clear he was anxious to get back into the kitchen. He is a talented guy, so it will be a good thing for all of us when he does.
Visit SouthernFood.org to learn more about the museum and Purloo.
Emmet’s Fine Meats & Seafood (5618 Jefferson Highway) has been open for a little over two years, and in that time it has developed a loyal following. The butcher shop carries restaurant-quality meats as well as house-made sausages and other value-added items. Emmet’s has standards such as green onion, Italian and andouille sausages, tasso and jerky. They have also got more eclectic flavors as well: the buffalo chicken sausage is made with blue cheese and the turducken sausage combines turkey, chicken and duck meat with the same seasonings used to flavor the actual turduckens available at the shop year-round.
You can call them at 733-0901 to find out what’s available at the moment.
Manhattan Jack’s (4930 Prytania St.) opened on Jan. 11 this year, offering chocolates, caramels, creams and brittles, as well as baked goods prepared by Jack Petronella and Coleman Jergen. These guys have hit the ground running, making 25 different breakfast pastries out of their small custom-built kitchen every day. In addition to sweet offerings, they are stuffing house-made croissants with spinach and goat cheese, and biscuits with bacon, egg and cheese. Petronella said they’re particularly proud of their English muffins, and will be doing a version of eggs Benedict by the time you read this. They will also be offering “classic sandwiches done right” for lunch, which Petronella said they planned to start just after Mardi Gras. The menu will include Cuban, Reuben, Monte Cristo and croque monsieur sandwiches, as well as a crawfish roll that’s Petronella’s nod to his background in New England.
Call 897-5551 to find out more, and visit ManhattanJack.com for some particularly pretty pictures of sweet things. And no, I don’t mean pictures of me.
Booty’s (800 Louisa St.) is a place that you’d be hard-pressed to find outside of Bywater. Where else would the bathrooms host monthly rotating art installations? Booty’s serves an international menu of street food including Ecuadorian ceviche, Japanese yakitori, Indian pappadums and Belgian fries. Desserts include Italian doughnuts called zeppole, crêpes and fried fruit pies the restaurant intends as an homage to Hubig’s. The portions are tapas-sized, which encourages diners to try a variety of dishes.
You can call 266-2887 to find out what’s going on at any given time. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day and you can order food to go at their website, BootysNola.com.