Courtesy of Graham Blackall

Food News - May 25, 2014

01:00 May 25, 2014
By: Kim Ranjbar
[Courtesy of Graham Blackall]

Where else would you find waffles? …In case you missed the blatant, waffle-like facade on the bright orange building on Maple Street, there's a new restaurant in town dubbed (appropriately) Waffles on Maple. Not only is this new and interesting eatery offering both sweet and savory waffles, they all happen to be kosher as well. The simple menu features dishes like the "Allman Brothers," a fresh, waffle topped with hot peach cobbler and whipped cream or "Gimme Gravy," a waffles smothered in Gimme Lean Sausage (vegan sausage) and white gravy. It looks like Uptown has a new spot for breakfast.

Movin' on up! …Church Alley Coffee Bar made a mammoth leap (or should we say a small skip?) from 1228 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. to 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. inside the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. The popular cafe has already resumed "business-as-usual" with superior, well-brewed coffees, home made pastries and delicious breakfast panini. This mixed-use space seems well-suited for the cafe and owner Renee Blanchard continues to assist the community's efforts to reinvigorate the area and show support for local artists.

Culinary adventures squared …The long-anticipated Square Root has finally opened on Magazine Street, just a jump away from The Saint. Chef Phillip Lopez and his business partner Maximilian Ortiz are excited to tout a concept unheard of in New Orleans; an intimate restaurant, which requires reservations, where diners enjoy an elaborate, prix fixe tasting menu set at $150 per person. For those who can't experience the full monty (like myself) there's a small bar upstairs serving cocktails and small plates where you can get a taste of what you might be missing.

It's how they roll … Chefs John Besh and Alon Shaya have finally taken one of the most popular items at Domenica and moved it into its own digs, thus Pizza Domenica was born. Now, instead of traveling all the way to the CBD, you can have the famed, Domenica pizza that everyone loves Uptown! All of the delicious pies like the simplistic (yet seductive) margherita to the gorgonzola with apples, pecans, honey and speck (prosciutto) are available plus, the menu also features the beloved whole roasted cauliflower and Domenica's amazing desserts like Banana Zuppa Inglese and Affogato.

Making the move … Sainte Marie Brasserie on Poydras shuttered its doors last month only to make way for the move to Meauxbar on Rampart Street on the edge of the French Quarter. Restaurateur Robert LeBlanc has brought the Sainte Marie staff along for the ride, including Executive Chef Kristen Essig, General Manager Natalie Secco and Bar Manager Chris Arenas. Essig continues to serve many of the dishes featured at Sainte Marie, but with an emphasis on French cuisine, at Meauxbar.

Lakeview dining …Industry veteran Danny Millan recently opened Restaurant Cava on Harrison Avenue, taking the place of what was a Landry's Restaurant. Gorgeously and meticulously renovated, Cava is headed up by Executive Chef Adam Asher who is offering an eclectic menu with Creole, French and Italian-influences present and accounted for. Start with Chicken & Andouille Gumbo and some Crispin Apple Mussels only to finish with a Lobster & Wild Mushroom

Vegetarians rejoice … Into crudites? Not big on animal flesh? Well, there's a new vegetarian/vegan restaurant in town on St. Claude Avenue dubbed the Sneaky Pickle. Decorated with your Maw-Maw's garage sale goods and staffed by you (bus your own table, thank you very much), the Sneaky Pickle offers veggie-dedicated denizens dishes like Vegan Pasta tossed in a creamy cauliflower sauce, Lentil and Couscous Salads, Vegan French Toast and Vegan Biscuits with Barley Gravy created by Chef Ben Tabor. So get your veggie on and stop by Meltdown Pops right next door for dessert!

Sad to see you go … Royal Blend French Quarter was forced to close after 26 years of business on Royal Street. The coffeehouse posted a fond farewell to all of its fans on Facebook last month when they lost their lease and were forced to shut down. Luckily, there is still another location in Old Metairie, but many of us wonder what will become of the empty space (and courtyard) in the French Quarter? We shall soon see...

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