RESTAURANT INSIDER

Based on the preview of the menu that Le Foret (129 Camp St.) released a few months ago, I thought that if Chef Jimmy Corwell, right, could pull off what it promised, it would be a remarkable restaurant. It is too early to know whether Corwell’s kitchen can do consistently what I have experienced during a couple of meals at Le Foret, but I can at least report that the kitchen is capable of great things.

Corwell is the only Certified Master Chef in Louisiana, which means he passed a rigorous test at the Culinary Institute of America, based largely on classic French cuisine. His training was on display from the amuse-bouche to the dessert when I dined there recently. There is an old-school precision to the food at Le Foret that rivals the best restaurants in town. The degustation menu, for example, is five courses, and the fourth on a night I dined recently was an absolutely dead-on salad of braised leeks, figs and walnuts with a roquefort mousse over thinly sliced beets. Other dishes included lobster and sweetbreads in puff pastry, cornbread-crusted quail stuffed with foie gras and a caramelized milk soufflé with chocolate sauce. The portions were generous and at $50, a bargain.

The front of the house is headed by Danny Millan, whom you may remember from Brennan’s, Emeril’s or most recently, Restaurant August. He is a classic maitre d’, which is something of a rarity these days. You can reach the restaurant at 553-6738.

If you have been missing the breakfast at Petunia’s, I have some good news: Just down the street, the Oceana Grill (739 Conti St.) has hired much of the kitchen staff from the now-closed restaurant. Oceana keeps the breakfast menu available until 1 p.m. The restaurant isn’t entirely remarkable otherwise, though I did have some good fried catfish the last time I was there. You can call them at 525-6002.

On Friday, Dec. 18, Morton’s Steakhouse will host Mingle, Jingle and Jazz from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Irvin Mayfield will put on a concert to benefit the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and 100 percent of the $75 ticket price will go to the orchestra.

Chef John Besh’s restaurant empire gains another outpost with the opening in November of The American Sector, above, (945 Magazine St.), which is located in the National World War II Museum. The restaurant is a throwback to the diners and lunch counters of the 1940s and ’50s, and the menu reflects that, with Besh’s take on classic dishes such as tomato soup and grilled cheese, the Monte Cristo sandwich and chicken-fried steak. There is also a selection of soda-counter favorites such as shakes, floats and house-made sodas. It should be a perfect fit for the museum. Call 527-6012 for more information.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail Peyton: rdpeyton@gmail.com.
 

Categories: Dining Features, Restaurant Insider, Restaurants