The Advocate's resident carnivore and critic, Scott Gold, hits up Tivoli & Lee in the Hotel Modern this week. Gold has good things to say about young chef Mike Nirenberg, a Patois/Oak/Delachaise alum who had the chance to polish his menu for Tivoli & Lee while running the pop-up Why Not that functioned as the Hotel Modern's eatery during their transition from Tamarind into the new modern Southern restaurant. Of the food offerings, Gold says:
Just because a menu seems familiar doesn't necessarily mean that it's not perfectly wonderful, as I was reminded on a recent visit. The meal began with a bowl of flash-fried brussels sprouts with pepper jelly, a combination of sweet, savory and vegetal that started the meal on a strong note. Apparently the meal ends on a strong note too, as the booze begins to flow. Tivoli & Lee's charming and eclectic bartender, Kimberly Patton Bragg, pours Gold the Cereal Killer cocktail: "It's milk infused with Honey Smacks breakfast cereal, which is exactly as outrageous as it sounds." Other "fun cocktails and an impressive list of American whiskeys" make Tivoli & Lee a must-try destination for drinks as well. [Advocate]
Robert Peyton gets satisfies his sweet-tooth at Rivista, the new Uptown bakery from baker/farmer's market fave Lisa Barbato and husband/Cafe Adelaide alum chef Chris Barbato this week: "You will not find a better turnover in New Orleans," Peyton says. "On recent visits I've sampled mixed berry, apple and a cherry-chocolate pastry that my wife called 'awesome.' I had to agree." Peyton also enjoys the madeleines and says there is a wealth of specialty lunch items from paninis to housemade soups. Rivista is located at 4226 Magazine. [HautePlates]
Finally, Tom Fitzmorris gets buckwild at the Bucktown location of Mr. Ed's this week, doling out THREE WHOLE STARS to the neighborhood restaurant. Not bad for a place that serves "grossly oversize" platters of seafood and pasta with okay red sauce, which we all know is Morris the Cat's preferred flavor of Sheba. The restaurant, opened by Ed McIntyre in 1989, is known for their "everyday, local-style eats," though T-Fitz says it's the most ambitious dishes that shine here, "particularly those based on fresh local fish." Why, then, is his Number 1 choice on the 10 Essential Dishes the FRIED CALAMARI? such as it was at Sandro's, Ristorante Filippo, Venezia, and Frank's? while the "seafood specials" rank in at only number 7? Because T-Fitz has a bad case of squidbilly love. Because it's to the point that he needs to put a ring on it, a fried calamari ring, served with a jacuzzi of bubbling hot red sauce.
Fitzmorris goes on to describe Mr. Ed's dining atmosphere as "pleasant but Spartan," unlike their other rico "suave" Kenner location. And since the restaurant tends fill up with families and old folks in the evening, there are no HIPNESS points to be had. [CityBusiness, subscription required]