Lawyer/jokester/gourmet bloggy type Rene Louapre IV makes it past the gauntlet of hot sauce and Sexy 1, Sexy 2 t-shirts on Decatur to beloved Central Grocery this week. Once there he ponders if the muffaletta could be the best in town:
The muffuletta itself is a great muffuletta. The cheese layer in the middle of the sandwich helps create a buffer between the salty, spicy pig parts. One could eat the olive salad by the spoonful. In fact you can because Central Grocery sells jars of olive salad at a brisk pace. But nothing sets this sandwich apart from other muffulettas quite like its Oil Slick.So after waiting in line, and sitting at a counter with tourists who can't pronounce muffaletta in any language, the right amount of oil added to the sandwich makes it worth it? Heck yes. [BlackenedOut]
Louapre then hits the big time with an interview about a few of his favorite recent lunches for the Times-Pic. Topping the list? Rene Bistrot's creamy garlic soup, which he finds "excellent" and "substantial" because "the chef adds a poached egg to it." He also raves about Cochon, which he says is often mislabled as serving "very masculine food," though his "roast beef sandwich that was so light and delicate and flavorful. It had blue cheese on it and some herbs tossed in a dressing." [Nola.com]
Meanwhile Ian McNulty enjoys the weather and brunch on Martinique Bistro's lush patio that now has an outdoor bar. Anybody who's ever gone to this Uptown bistro knows it's all about that gorgeous outdoor dining with "ivy-hung walls." Martinique is named for the birthplace of its original chef who is long gone, along with any trace of "island flavors." Chef Eric Labouchere has been holding down the kitchen for a few years, infusing French Bistro fare with contemporary Creole.
Appetizers don't really make an impact on Ian McNulty, who prefers the pork tenderloin and the "undercurrent" of Lowcountry cuisine (the Chef worked in South Caroline for a bit) turning up in certain dishes? like a "benne brittle" sesame seed candy Labouchere fuses to roasted duck breast. Though it is the brunch that truly inspires here:
Brunch itself is a Martinique forte. Labouchere's dishes are especially beautiful, especially poached eggs with drum, fat chunks of lobster, chanterelles, hollandaise and edible flowers. This dish sounded too busy, but in fact its components came together as a rich, sweet, creamy, earthy, highly satisfying whole.
Overall, Mcnulty deems Martinique Bistro a great place to soak up the "rustling breeze" of Autumn. [Gambit]
· Central Grocery: Is It Worth It? [BlackenedOut]
· The Morning Dish [Nola.com]
· Review: Martinique Bistro [Gambit]
· All Reviews [ENOLA]