Savory fall foods are a favorite around town, and chefs in every corner of the city have made the necessary menu adjustments to reflect the vegetables, meats and flavors of the season.
Tucked away just off the downtown beaten path, 7 on Fulton (701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555, 7onFulton.com) serves contemporary New Orleans cuisine daily during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Executive chef Ryan Ware stays busy creating the imaginative yet approachable dishes for which he’s become well known.
“I try to put things on the menu that people enjoy and recognize. I like to keep it simple, not put 12 components on the plate,” says Ware, whose Italian-American upbringing influenced his culinary beginnings. Recent popular dishes include Gulf Fish of the Moment, seared Gulf fish served over sweet potato mash and roasted corn butter and served with grilled Gulf shrimp, as well as the Cake Trio “7” Style appetizer, which includes a crab cake, a crawfish cake, a shrimp cake and a trio of sauces.
Ware’s fall menu includes more braised and roasted items such as duck, pheasant and lamb pops, as well as soups that include Smoked Duck and Andouille Gumbo and a Crab and Mirliton Bisque.
Housed in a converted shotgun, Apolline (4729 Magazine St., 894-8869, ApollineRestaurant.com) is described by General Manager Jenny Smith as comfortable fine dining, a place where guests can relax and enjoy the creations of chef Matt Farmer along with impeccable service.
“The food incorporates a lot of Louisiana characteristics,” says Smith, “local seafood and produce served in a refined way. It’s a newer, lighter, contemporary approach.”
Some of Farmer’s top dishes include the Crispy Sweetbreads with Stone Ground Grits and Chimmichurri and the Seared Diver Scallops with Corn Maque Choux and Bacon Plank. The fall menu features a Seared Tuna Salad with Remoulade, Frisee and a Pistachio and Oven Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, as well as Housemade Gnocchi with Veal Bolognese, Shaved Piave and Opal Basil. The Foie Sheaux utilizes fresh produce from locally run Sheaux Fresh Farms and consists of seared Foie Gras, “Macro-Greens,” Grilled Peach, Aged Balsamic and Vanilla-Peach Syrup.
The collaborative creation of Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry, Borgne (601 Loyola Ave., 613-3860, BorgneRestaurant.com) serves as a celebration of the local seafood from areas surrounding Lake Borgne, where chefs Besh and Landry grew up fishing as boys.
“Several of our long-established fish houses have gone away due to various circumstances,” says Landry, “so we thought we needed to open a restaurant celebrating all the various cuisines that center around this seafood.”
Whereas several restaurants highlight the French side of New Orleans cuisine, Borgne’s menu features the city’s Spanish influence and that of settlers from the Canary Islands who were largely responsible for the Spanish influence on Creole cuisine. The Ten Clove Garlic Louisiana White Shrimp serves as Borgne’s version of gambas al ajillo and is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Borgne’s staple items will remain on the menu, though chef Landry is excited to add some fall flavors.
“We always have a Covey Rise veggie on the menu, but we let the seasons dictate. We’ll have a Roasted Butternut Squash with green cardamom, cumin, and goat cheese cream. We’ll also have some oyster dishes, and a smoked ham chop with parsnip flan and a warm Brussels sprout and apple salad.
Bayona (430 Dauphine St., 525-4455, Bayona.com) is most known for its worldly flavors, the Mediterranean-, Asian- and Indian-inspired cuisine of celebrity chef Susan Spicer. With the cooler weather the Bayona courtyard seating is open (weather permitting), and a new lunch menu offered Wednesday through Friday includes New Orleans BBQ Shrimp served with sweet potato grits, smothered greens and pickled peppers, as well as Braised Rabbit with potato gnocchi, pecorino fondue, rapini and natural jus. Guests with a sweet tooth can indulge in the Glazed Carrot Cake with rum raisin sauce and pineapple-cream cheese ice cream.
Bayona’s dinner menu, served Monday through Saturday, will continue to offer signature dishes, but will also incorporate a changing menu of seasonal specials, such as the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with escarole, pumpkin seeds and shaved sheep milk cheese. A four-course Reveillon will also be available during the holiday season.
Offering a change of pace, chef Kevin Vizard, previous owner of Vizard’s, opened a new restaurant in his same location with the unmistakable feel of an old-fashioned, neighborhood diner complete with checkered tablecloths and counter service.
“Hevin is a casual dining spot, great for families, simple and relatively inexpensive,” says Vizard, whose hot daily specials and soups are perfect fare for a crisp fall or winter day. Serving lunch and early dinner, Hevin (5015 Magazine St., 895-2246, Facebook.com/LittleTasteofHevin) is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Soups, salads, daily specials and pressed poor boy-inspired sandwiches called “Po-ninis” make up the menu.
Daily specials incorporate Creole and Italian heritages with dishes such as Pork Grillades & Hogshead Cheese and Grits and Italian Sausage & Linguine Marinara. The Cuban Po-nini is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite, and Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, Tuscan Tomato or Minestrone soups may be paired with sandwiches and salads. Wine, beer and liquor are available.
The Flaming Torch (737 Octavia St., 895-0900, FlamingTorchNola.com) is making a few changes of its own as chef Michelle Matlock has newly taken over the restaurant menu.
“I want to go traditional French,” says Matlock, who trained under a local French Master Chef. Matlock looks forward to creating her own interpretations of classic French dishes while bringing a focus to fine saucier work and the art of charcuterie.
Dishes Matlock plans to serve this fall include Crabe Louisiane, a flash-fried soft shell crab with colossal lump crabmeat ravigote and crabmeat ravioli, served with a dill, caper and onion aioli and citrus white wine butter sauce.
Matlock’s Louisiana roots also factor into her creations, as evidenced in the Agneau en Croûte de Café, which consists of a lamb rack encrusted with chicory coffee and served with chèvre potatoes, a redeye coffee sauce and port star drizzle, which will be available in December.
Add a Side of Fall Fun
Part of what makes Louisiana an exciting place to be during fall is the unparalleled football frenzy that takes over Who Dats and Tiger fans. Café b by Ralph Brennan (2700 Metairie Road, Metairie, 934-4700, cafeb.com) is Old Metairie’s newest football headquarters with “Thirst & Ten,” offered during all Saints and LSU Tiger games. Take your tailgate party to café b and enjoy 10 sideline snacks under $10, $5 premium cocktails, $5 select wines by the glass and $2 Abita and domestic beers. With three big-screen TVs, you’ll catch all the action while feasting on menu items such as Spicy Crystal Wings, Chipotle Glazed Sliders, Blackened Gulf Shrimp Quesadillas, Crab Beignets, Garlic Frites, Crispy Eggplant Sticks and more.
Self-described as a “Spirited Restaurant,” SoBou (310 Chartres St., 552-4095, SoBouNola.com) elevates the adult beverage to a level of esteem, a pleasurable accompaniment to a whimsical yet Commander’s-quality meal. The latest venture of the Commander’s family of restaurants, SoBou, short for “South of Bourbon,” offers guests a customizable dining experience, from small plates and drinks to a full three courses.
Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez offers up original snacks such as the Cajun Queso, crispy pork cracklin’ with pimento cheese fondue, and Yellowfin Tuna Cones, pineapple & coconut tuna tartar with basil & avocado ice cream. Entrées such as the popular Foie Gras Burger, Crispy Chicken on the Bone and Grilled Veal Flank Steak incorporate local ingredients and offer a more substantial base for the custom cocktail creations you’ll consume by Bar Chef Abigail Gullo. Additionally, self-serve wine machines and beer taps at the table make for an interactive bar experience.
Every other month for two years now, Arnaud’s (813 Bienville Ave., 523-5433, ArnaudsRestaurant.com) has offered guests a unique dining experience that you might classify as a bit “hush hush.” On November 14, Arnaud’s hosts the next in a series of Speakeasy Dinners, nights that feature menu items, classic cocktails and the underground atmosphere of a night out during Prohibition. With a set inclusive menu, Speakeasy Dinners of the past have featured items such as Arnaud’s famous Shrimp Remoulade, Oyster Pan Roast, Brussels Sprout Salad and Mustard-Encrusted Rack of Lamb.
Once registered, guests receive an email with a special “knock” to be used at a secret entryway before being led into a private room. Dressing in Prohibition-era clothing is welcome, though not required.
Those looking to remain in modern times can look forward to Arnaud’s holiday lunch hours beginning December 12 and running through Christmas (Monday through Friday). This year’s Reveillon menu will be available December 1 through 23.