NEW ORLEANS – On the corner of Harrison Avenue and Fleur de Lis Drive in Lakeview sits a newer neighborhood favorite hotspot that offers guests and visitors, in my non-Italian opinion, a pretty authentic Italian culinary experience.
This week, the managing editor of New Orleans Magazine, Ashley McLellan, and I were treated to a delicious dinner experience at Rizzuto’s Ristorante.
If you receive our daily newsletters, you’ll see today that I described the experience as sitting down to dinner with the Italian grandma you didn’t know you needed. And I back that statement 100 percent.
We were initially invited to try a special steak served at only two restaurants in the city – the Spinalis Ribeye. While I am a steak eater, I’ve never really seen the allure of a steak. Since we live in New Orleans and have all kinds of culinary excellence around us, why settle on a steak, you know?
But, learning that the Spingali was a filet of ribeye and the meat around the eye of the ribeye, which I’m not positive I’ve ever eaten, I thought why not give it a try.
Below are the menu items we received and a little info on each one! Enjoy.
Jumbo lump crab cake – the menu describes this crab cake as, “96 percent LA jumbo lump crab meat. 4 percent seasoning served on a sizzling platter.” Let me tell you, when they say sizzling platter, they mean it. Note: don’t touch any of the plates. I moved the crab cake around to get a good shot and I burned the hell out of my finger. It’s true when the waiter says, “the plate is hot!” *this was both Ashley and my favorite starter.
Eggplant Valentina – This item includes herbs, breadcrumbs, marinara, pecorino Romano. In my opinion, you can go terribly wrong with eggplant. Not every restaurant knows how to cook them, however, this was like eating an eggplant lasagna almost. Definitely delicious and I wouldn’t mind eating it again.
Beet salad – I mainly had mixed feelings about this salad because beets are not my favorite food, however, the vinaigrette – especially with the feta – is something I would put on everything I ate. Salad includes: red and golden beets, arugula, heirloom cherry tomatoes, Marcona almonds, feta, red onions, crisped quinoa, Steen’s sugarcane vinaigrette.
Spingali steak – I am no expert on steak, but I enjoyed the Spingali. It was seasoned nicely (I watched too much “Chopped”) and tasted like a really good steak. I ordered it medium and it was a little more rare for my taste, so make sure to specify if you’re not into a rare steak.
Spumoni – I never turn down an opportunity for dessert, especially Italian dessert. The spumoni included pistachio, strawberry and chocolate. I truly thought I wasn’t going to enjoy the pistachio flavor, but to my surprise the strawberry let me down. However, the chocolate and the crust around it made up for everything. Delizioso (that’s Italian, right?)!
In addition to there specialty steak, Rizzuto’s offers a few specials throughout the week.
Tuesday through Thursday guests can enjoy early dining specials, which includes a three-course meal for $25 from 5-6 p.m. In addition, Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday sees the Rizzuto’s happy hour from 4-6 p.m.
On Wednesday, select bottles of wine are half-off all day long.