In this week's CityBusiness, Tom Fitzmorris gives three stars to the Irish House, the Irish pub on St Charles Avenue opened last year by former Ritz Carlton chef Matt Murphy (subscription required). The Fitz speaks highly of Murphy's cooking and the restaurant's pub feel, though it doesn't seem like he actually likes Irish cuisine, repeatedly deriding it in comparison to the exalted temple of Creole food. To wit: "The seasoning in Irish and British cooking is well below that found in New Orleans. Be aware of that, and ask for the Tabasco bottle immediately. Soda bread may be the world's worst bread." (That's from the "Room to Improve" section, which makes it seem like the Irish House can improve by not serving Irish food.)
But thankfully "Murphy is smart enough to know that Irish cuisine is not one of the world’s most promising for Creole-tuned palates," so he offers many items that "are only coincidentally Irish." Which may or may not mean anything.
In this week's Gambit, Ian McNulty heads to the Lakefront to review the taqueria Salsas Por El Lago. Sitting "at the strange crux of development and floodwalls where New Orleans meets the lake," Salsas Por El Lago is one of several authentic taquerias that have opened since Katrina. It's run by Sandra Garay, a Chicago native of Mexican descent who came to New Orleans to open a food truck in 2006. Describing the food as, variously, "generally good" (referring to the meats) or "large and very satisfying" (referring to the soups), he writes that "the kitchen makes a dozen types of salsas," which are the "real treat" of the menu.
· Irish House's Success Doesn't Rely on Luck [CB, subscription required]
· Review: Salsas Por El Lago [Gambit]