The Irish House, the new Irish pub by chef Matt Murphy, is still pretty new, which means that everyone's still in the process of getting their review in. Following Brett Anderson's three beans last month, Ian McNulty of the Gambit headed there to get his own take on the place. His reaction? It's "a hospitable, happening spot to retreat from the kitchen."
Setting "out to correct some stereotypes about Irish cooking," Murphy and his team blend "deeper traditions ... with a timely influx of contemporary tastes." A perfect example of this is the meatloaf, not necessarily a surprising dish given the recent gastropub trend, but still surprising given its use of "heritage cattle from New Iberia's Gonsoulin Ranch slathered with foie gras butter and sitting on fried walnut bread." The only issue McNulty has with the place is that its "shuffle" between roles?it's a "multifaceted place" that can be a pub, a family restaurant or a meeting place for Irish ex-pats?"can be a bit problematic."
Elsewhere, Tom Fitzmorris in CityBusiness gave two stars to Stanley, the casual conterpart to Scott Boswell's Stella! (subsciption required). Calling it a "credible competitor to Café du Monde for the light-snack business on Jackson Square," Fitzmorris describes Stanley as the "germ of an idea" in the mind of Scott Boswell, the "owner-genius" of Stella! Sounds like someone has a man-crush. But the fast-casual restaurant in the Pontalba Apartments is still essential:
Stanley is the crossbreed of a po’ boy shop and a Sunday brunch place. Like the mule and the moulard duck, it has qualities that its parents lack but no offspring. With its highly visible location on Jackson Square, it is among the best and most popular casual breakfast places in the French Quarter.The Fitz's only criticisms: "Some dishes sound better than they are" and "the kitchen sparkles but the dining room is unkempt."
And in the blogs: Peter Thriffiley Jr of Blackened Out headed to Ideal Market, a "Latin grocery" on Broad, to get supplies for his game day menu, coming away with more than he intended to buy and giving the market a birdie. He of He Said/She Said NOLA reviewed Merchant, arguing that downtown (meaning the CBD) will soon take over as the hottest dining story in town, stealing that crown from Freret. Meanwhile, She of He Said/She Said mused on Meauxbar Bistro in the Quarter, describing it as a very poor value.