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Fresh On The Scene
Two new restaurants open in the Big Easy
Dominique Macquet has opened a restaurant on Magazine Street.
Ring a bell?
I’ve liked every one of those restaurants, and I believe Macquet is one of the best chefs in town. I haven’t had a chance to visit Bordeaux yet, but I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s a bit more rustic than I’m used to from the chef, but if you look at the menu, I dare you to find something you wouldn’t order happily.
That was a trick question, by the way. There is nothing you would not happily order on the menu unless you have an allergy of some sort. Pity if so.
When I first started writing about food in New Orleans, I did not anticipate writing about multiple Ethiopian restaurants. When I first started writing about food, though, I’d never tasted Ethiopian/Eritrean food. It’s one of the world’s great cuisines and certainly the last one that shocked me with its flavors. I mean “shocked” in a good way, in that the flavors were surprising enough to make me think about the ingredients involved in a different way. Then there was the injera.
My first experience with the cuisine was at a wedding, and I immediately started to study Ethiopian cooking. It was and remains fascinating to me, but I never really pulled off the injera, the cuisine’s essential component. It’s hard to describe injera, but it’s sort of like a buckwheat-flour crepe if you use too much batter, or a very, very thin crumpet. These are inexact examples.
What you need to know is that injera is spongy and a bit tart and used as a utensil to scoop up stews and pulses. You do not need to know, but may be interested to learn, that traditionally the bread is made with teff flour, a grain native to East Africa and particularly the highlands of Ethiopa. You are almost certainly not interested to know that you can purchase teff flour from – who else – Bob’s Red Mill, but that to make the bread properly requires fermentation and a deft hand with a griddle.
The restaurant to which I have alluded is Addis Nola, and while I can’t find a website to which to link, I spoke with the owner a couple of weeks ago. The place should be open very soon. If, you drive past the intersection of Broad and Tulane, look for the sign (on the downtown, river side) and tell me if you see people going in.