News From the Kitchens
Part & Parcel, Vessel & Seaworthy
Shawn Fink Photographs
Part & Parcel
Chef Phillip Lopez is an iconoclastic chef. His first restaurant, Root, which he opened with business partner and front of house specialist Maximilian Ortez, brought a new angle to restaurant dining in New Orleans. Wildly inventive but down to earth, Root, and the pair’s second restaurant, Square Root, focus on innovative techniques while respecting traditional methods. With Part & Parcel, which should be open as I write, Lopez and Ortiz are taking their imaginative cuisine to a more casual setting.
Part & Parcel is a sandwich shop and deli, as seen through the Lopez/Ortiz lens. It will have seats for dining in, but will welcome take-out orders. The team has been testing their stuff at the Voodoo Lounge and Company Burger’s downtown location, with offerings such as the Angelina: crispy eggplant, Sicilian red gravy, mozzarella and banana peppers on focaccia from local bakery Gracious; and the Corleone: pancetta, ham, spicy nduja, provolone, tomato, lettuce and basil pesto on Gendusa bakery’s sesame bread.
Part & Parcel, at 611 O’Keefe Ave., was slated to open last year, but when I walked by recently, the space in the Paramount building looked just about ready to open. Check this space, or my blog Haute Plates, for hours of operation and contact information; or visit RebelRestaurantGroup.com, where a website should be live by the time this article is out.
One of the most-missed restaurants post-Katrina was Christian’s, known as much for its stunning setting – a former church – as for its excellent food. The restaurant that took its place, Redemption, was good but slow at catching on. Earlier this year, however, a new group of owners took over the place, and after a fairly significant renovation, have opened Vessel.
The hook at Vessel is “coastal cuisine,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think. At least, it doesn’t really mean what I thought when I first heard the term. This isn’t a Gulf Coast fish shack, rather it’s a place that serves the food of coastal regions from all over the globe, albeit with an emphasis on Louisiana ingredients and an Italian heart.
The format at Vessel is more casual than the prior operations; there’s a greater emphasis on the bar program, headed by Wyatt Lowery, and on chef Nick Vella’s small plates and larger items meant to be shared at one of the long, communal tables that run the length of the dining room, parallel to the bar that now occupies one wall.
It is an ambitious restaurant, but one that seems likely to succeed. Vessel is located at 3835 Iberville St. in Mid-City. It is open from 4 p.m. for snacks and 5:30 p.m. for dinner until 10 p.m. daily; the bar stays open “until.” Lunch and brunch service is slated to begin mid-September. Call 603-2775 to find out more and confirm hours.
One would think that the last thing New Orleans needed was an oyster bar from New York City. But I’ll be damned if Seaworthy isn’t a fantastic addition to the local scene.
What I mean is that while we inarguably have the best overall oysters in the world in the Gulf, it’s nice, from time to time, to try something different. At Seaworthy you’ll find some of the finest oysters from all over the country that you’ll ever taste. The selection changes almost daily; various options bring briny, mineral-flavored or semi-sweet flavors to the mix and all are redolent of their native waters.
That isn’t to say that oysters are the only thing on the menu at Seaworthy; chef Daniel Causgrove is an alum of the Windsor Court’s Grill Room, and he and his team are firing on all cylinders. Fries, for example, are excellent; I know that seems like a pedestrian way to judge a place but, if you’re not a chain restaurant, making great fries is a challenge, and a pretty good way to tell if someone can really cook. Add to that glazed pork belly with grilled peaches, ricotta and pickled onions; seared snapper with andouille rice dressing and green onion sauce; and Maine lobster with roe butter and you’re in business.
Seaworthy is located at 630 Carondelet St., adjacent to the Ace Hotel, and it’s open Wednesdays-Mondays, 4 p.m.-2 a.m., with food until 1 a.m. Find out more by calling 930-3071.