My friend Bob Iacovone has one of those names you don’t know how to pronounce when you first read it. Ya-ka-vohnee, is how I’d write it, and dear baby Jesus I hope I’m right.
He’s a talented chef with a fine-dining background who some years ago opened a small storefront with his wife Joanna on Freret Street, Iacavone Kitchen, to cook the food he likes to eat and serve it as – primarily – takeout.
I mention this because, like so many other businesses, Bob suffered damage from Hurricane Ida and had issues with insurance. The good news is that they’ve reopened and, as Bob put it to me, he’s “glad to be cooking again.”
The menu changes a lot, but the current offering is pretty representative of what they’re doing. There’s a soup, chicken curry; a couple of salads, one with mixed greens, marinated beets, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and an herb vinaigrette, and one that adds house-made burrata cheese, cherry tomatoes and brioche croutons to the mixed greens and marinated beet formula.
Entrees include what I guess you could call a “take” on chicken and waffles, but with slow roasted duck debris in place of the fried chicken, and a cornbread waffle made with duck fat as well as braised greens and pomegranate molasses.
Then there’s a fresh pasta ravioli stuffed with pecan and ricotta served with butternut squash bisque, roasted green beans and a sage gastrique. Star anise-cured pork belly and clams poached in shrimp-garlic broth with French bread croutons is available as a starter as well as an entrée.
Finally, there’s a roast beef debris po-boy with Swiss cheese, sliced pickles and horseradish cream that comes with a side salad.
I could see those offerings on a pre-Katrina menu at Cuvee, to be honest, but in this instance, you won’t be paying for the real estate or the cloth tables. It is a small menu, but it’s a tiny place and Bob is the only one doing the cooking. I look at Iacovone Kitchen like a tiny bistro in a small town in France or Italy, where locals know they can always get a great meal.=
If you’ve never tried Bob’s food, I encourage you to give them a call and see what’s on offer today. It could be very different from what I’ve described but it will be every bit as good.
Iacavone Kitchen is located at 5033 Freret St., and it’s open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. You can call them at 504-533-9742.