Haute Plates

Beignets and Beets

  I am a sucker for fried things, particularly fried things that combine sweet and savory flavors. It will come as no surprise therefore that I am a fan of beignets. I have fond memories of eating them with my…

What A Week!

Item: I am very happy that I have knives that take a sharp edge and the tools to keep them that way right up until I slice off the tip of a finger or, in this case, a thumb. Bad…

A Cookbook of Merit

  I dig Tenney Flynn and I’ve made no effort to hide the fact. GW Fins is the best restaurant in New Orleans for inventively prepared seafood and one of the places I go to celebrate special occasions. Flynn is…

A Closing on Banks Street

  Echo’s Pizza is closing, according to Ian McNulty of the Times Picayune/Advocate, who wrote a typically well-reported piece earlier this week. When I heard the news, my first thought was about the beautiful wood-burning oven, which is indeed beautiful…

Restaurants and Criticism

  I was reminded the other day that Piece of Meat was named one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country by Food & Wine.  That was awesome for the folks behind Piece of Meat, which is a place…

A Shake Shack Comes to Metairie

  A Shake Shack comes to Metairie; The sign is there already. It replaces an ersatz English pub With fancy burger patties. One hundred per cent Angus beef! No hormones to be found. The cows that give their life for…

Auld Lang Syne

  My wife sent me a link to a Times-Picayune story featuring photographs of 48 New Orleans restaurants that have closed. The piece, by Todd Price, brought back a lot of memories for me, even if I only remember visiting…

Foreign Shrimp and Crawfish

  This is not an opinion piece about the wisdom of imposing tariffs on goods imported from abroad. That is not because I have no opinion, rather it is beyond the remit of this column. Also I am not very…

Corn, and other foods native to the Americas

  I remember when I first learned that chile peppers, tomatoes and chocolate were native to the Americas. I was shocked that ingredients I so closely associated with European and Asian cuisines only reached those places in the centuries after…

Fried Chicken

  It is said that there is no better fried chicken than that served at Popeye’s. This is a thing said by many chefs and while it is not true, it is nearly so. If you are looking to purchase…

New Restaurant Ideas

  In the last several years we’ve seen a variety of restaurants open in New Orleans. There are places that serve raw or raw-adjacent fish; places that serve ironic ethnic food; places that serve sandwiches and of course places that…

Chickpea Flour is HUGE

  Apparently chickpea flour, or more accurately things made from it, are huge in the U.S. now. This was an observation I read in an article at NPR’s website devoted to food issues, The Salt. The article I read was written…

And The Award Goes To...

  New Orleans did not have the success we usually have at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards this year. Of the multiple chefs, restaurateurs and food service professionals up for the honor, Brett Anderson of the Times Picayune was given…

What is “local” food?

In Jacobellis v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal from the owner of a movie theater in Ohio from a conviction for obscenity. There is a very famous quote from that case, by Justice Potter Stewart, who in…

New Orleans Restaurant Recommendations

  Lots of people from out of town ask me for recommendations, and when I have the time to respond I’m happy to do so. I start by asking a few questions of my own, though. What sort of food…

Ethiopian

I’ve written about the revelatory experience I had when I attended the wedding ceremony of two friends, one of whom is from Eritrea. Her family prepared a feast for the reception, and it blew my mind. I thought I was…

Mid City Pizza

I first learned to love pizza when I was a youth and got to taste the pies that Dan put out at Mark Twain’s Pizza Landing on Metairie Road. These were New York style pizzas, and it was the 80s,…

It's No Joke

  There are few cuisines less represented in New Orleans than that of Kazakhstan. Some would say this is because the cuisine of Kazakhstan, at least to the extent it differs from the cuisine of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other…

Hogs for the Cause 2019

  The weather recently has been beautiful for everything but respiration, which functions best in a low-pollen environment. According to an area tv meteorologist, this weekend will be a bit warmer and also more humid. Ordinarily I would not vote…

Neighborhood Restaurants

I have a soft spot for New Orleans neighborhood restaurants. When I was a kid, my parents took us to Liuzza’s for dinner now and then, and we patronized multiple restaurants in Bucktown. When I was a little older and…

I Am Old

  Sometimes I think that I should make clear I write these pieces in advance. I don’t know why I think that. None of you are under the impression that I am now writing the words you are reading. That…

Mardi Gras Time

  It is Carnival in New Orleans and many of us are feeling very well, thank you for asking! So far it’s been a hit or miss affair where the weather is concerned, but we’ve seen worse. We’ll put on…

Valentine’s Day

  I’m not particularly “into” Valentine’s Day, but I’m aware that I’m in the minority on this issue and I don’t begrudge people who want to take a night to celebrate love. Because love, with a little help from inertia,…

State Of The Dining Scene

  I did not watch the State of the Union address the other night because I have been avoiding politics with some success for the last 20 or so years. I don’t care which side of the aisle a politician…

I Have Stumbled Into Healthy Eating

  I will be 50 this year. This news will shock some of you who think I can’t be a day over 48, but it’s true. I am aging, and I wonder the extent to which my senescence is coloring…

2019 So Far

There are places where on New Year’s Eve they drop a ball, and there are places where a symbolic baby is hoisted aloft wearing a sash that bears the number of the new year, while commensurately an ancient man whose…

Bal Masqué

And I Am Not Performing With the Rolling Stones

Looking Back

  Early this year I made some predictions. I will share with you my assessment of the result and a judgment on the overall accuracy. I hereby waive the inherent conflict of interest involved in judging my own predictions. My…