February is the smallest of months – it’s the runt of the litter; it’s the butt-end of the poor boy loaf – but if nothing else, it’s redeemed by Carnival and by the fact that for a few more weeks we can count on temperatures dipping below 60.
You wouldn’t call Oxalis a gastropub exactly, because “pub” implies beer and Oxalis is focused on whiskey – as in the menu has about as many selections of bourbon as separate food items. The folks behind Oxalis were previously running La Fin du Monde on Magazine Street, and the menu won’t surprise anyone familiar with that operation. Chef Jonathan Lestingi was doing house-made charcuterie and pickles there, and he’s doing them at Oxalis as well. The food menu is divided into small, medium, large and social plates, as well as desserts, and it includes a few Asian-influenced items such as the Bo Ssam that’s apparently obligatory on menus these days. There are wings done American- and Korean-style, a kale salad and more interestingly (at least to me) polenta with seasonal vegetables and a cauliflower “steak” with gouda, buckwheat and beet.
I liked Lestingi’s food at La Fin du Monde, and I’m guessing the Bywater address is going to be a better fit all around.
Oxalis is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. until they feel like closing.
3162 Dauphine St. | Call them at 267-4776 to find out more.
Mid-City hasn’t exactly seen the sort of restaurant explosion as some other parts of the city, but that seems to be changing. Vietnamese restaurant Namese (4077 Tulane Ave.) has already opened as I write this at the corner of Tulane and Carrollton avenues. It is a location that for the last few years was more or less vacant. There was a gas station there at one point, and a convenience store that sold sandwiches, but for the most part that block of Tulane Avenue looked more like a disaster than the sort of place where you might eat grilled pork vermicelli al fresco in good weather.
The menu at Namese offers the standards, of course, but there are a few specials that set the place apart. “Izzy’s Shrimp Balls” are panko-battered shrimp mousse balls fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce; there’s a spring roll featuring house-cured bacon and shrimp; and the restaurant does a Bao (steamed bun) with Vietnamese-style beef debris.
Pho options don’t extend much beyond brisket, rare steak and oxtail, but the Vietnamese talent for charcuterie is on display in the pâté used as a filling for banh mi and the egg and pork terrine served as an accompaniment to grilled pork steak on a rice platter.
You can reach Namese by calling 483-8899, or you can visit Namese.net.
4077 Tulane Ave. | The restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Not far from Namese, Trèo is scheduled to open by the time you receive this magazine. If Namese’s location seemed incongruous, Trèo’s is downright insane. Regardless, the folks who own Finn McCool’s are taking a chance that the medical complex and other local construction projects are going to bring a better sort of foot-traffic than that neighborhood has enjoyed as of late.
Chef James Cullen is going to run the kitchen, and while there’s no doubt the place is as much about drinks as food, Cullen’s time at Saint Lawrence should stand him in good stead at the head of a gastropub.
Treo will also have an emphasis on art, with a gallery on the second floor that will also host parties and other events.
There is no phone number yet, but if you’re craving information, you can visit TreoNola.com
or wander over to Finn’s and ask someone wearing an apron. 3835 Tulane Ave.