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Three Beans for the Irish House, and Other Reviews

"And when I return to the Irish House, it will be for the bangers and mash, a bar menu staple," writes Brett Anderson in the Times-Picayune. Giving three beans to the high-end Irish pub opened this past summer by former Ritz-Carlton chef Matt Murphy, Anderson writes that the menu reflects Murphy's time in "established luxury restaurants" while also capitalizing on the "soulfulness of great pub food." And he reserves special praise for the Irish Car Bomb-inspired chocolate cake:

The Guinness chocolate cake with Bailey's frosting is a pastry chef's version of the drink that combines Guinness Stout, Jameson and Bailey's. The drink is better than it sounds and, it turns out, a reasonable source of culinary inspiration. The dessert's marriage of bitter-caramel-cream flavors cast the cocktail in a surprisingly favorable light.
The three beans rating is reflected in Anderson's praise for not just the food but also the "bonhomie" of the ambiance and the "affability" of the service.

Elsewhere in the world of reviews, Tom Fitzmorris gives four stars to the iconic, seven-dollar-sign French Quarter restaurant Antoine's. Opened in 1940 by the same family that runs it today, Antoine's is "the oldest continuously operating restaurant in America under the continuous management of the same family." But Fitzmorris argues that Antoine's is better than its reputation alone. With a "thorough restoration" after Katrina, it has really earned its spot among New Orleans' most famous institutions. You just have to "to recognize it is different from other restaurants."

And WWL's "secret" reviewer, Napoleon, reviews Kim Son, a restaurant in Gretna that, like other Vietnamese eateries in the '80s, "hoped to lure customers outside of its community" with "a menu of familiar Chinese-American dishes." So now, it's equally known for its proper Vietnamese and its American-style cuisines. Napoleon says it "remains a solid option with an enormous range of dishes to try."

Finally, Robert Peyton from New Orleans Magazine reviews Root, the new concept from former Ramla chef Phillip Lopez, in his Haute Plates blog. Peyton describes Lopez as an "ambitious" chef in the nicest sense of the word, generally approving of every dish he tried, with the exception of a lacquered pork belly that was "well-executed" but that just didn't work for him.

· All Weeks in Reviews on Eater NOLA [-ENOLA-]

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The Irish House

1432 St Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA