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Verti Marte's 'Sponge Food', Ristorante Filippo's Leftovers

This week Rene Louapre IV considers if French Quarter's Verti Marte is "worth it." To which the unsurprising answer is "if you're drunk, perhaps" or in need of the "late night sponge food." Though a kitchen fire temporarily shut down Verti Marte in 2010, fans still flock to this late night deli for the All That Jazz po boy, which Louapre describes as "a cacophony of flavors, textures, and temperatures":

Grilled ham, shrimp, turkey share a loaf with two types of cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and Wow sauce. The po boy manages to taste like nothing and everything at the same time, barely achieving some sort of Buddhist enlightened state. Reaching nirvana may be a laudable goal, but not for a po boy. At the end of the day, an All That Jazz, just is not all that.

Louapre also isn't much of a fan of the thin linguine Verti Marte uses for the mac and cheese because the long strands of pasta don't adhere to the bechamel, but leave "watery queso at the bottom of a Styrofoam container," which is sobering, at least, in some way. [BlackenedOut]

In the land of traffic jams and stripmalls, Ian McNulty finds a "getaway to a kingdom of sweet marinara, chianti, garlic and a continuous loop of Sinatra" at Metairie's Ristorante Filippo this week. An "old school" Italian feel abides, though the restaurant itself opened in 2001. Although McNulty believes a "more exacting execution would raise the bar," Chef Phillip Gagliano's menu excels with "textbook consistency of sauces." Comfort food is the key to enjoyment here, and McNulty's description of Gagliano's signature dishes will make pre-lunch tummies rumble:

Baked oysters become a delicious, spoonable casserole of molten breading, oil and cheese. Meatballs are massive orbs that crunch with garlic and fall apart to create a sort of bolognese in the marinara and spaghetti. Each layer of tiramisu ripples with espresso.

Expect to bring home leftovers of the excessive portions, and also expect an "impeccable" service from the welcoming staff. [Gambit]