Brett Anderson gives John Folse and Rick Tramonto's six million dollar baby, Restaurant R'evolution a FOUR BEAN review this week. This steakhouse/Italian trattoria/Creole-Cajun is like the exquisite corpse of fine dining, featuring Cafe Adelaide alum/chef du cuisine Chris Lusk in the kitchen, who's doing a fine job creating Folse and Tromanto's menu.
The food is "showy, sometimes gratuitously so" (foie gras biscuits and gravy, anyone?), but Anderson encourages diners to look beyond the gimmickry, where you'll find stunning charcuterie like the espresso-rubbed venison carpaccio, simple bone marrow, a hoison-glazed grouper, and the Death By Gumbo that are all "a quietly powerful study in technique." The wine program is equally stunning, as are Erin Swanson's the pastries, though they don't "reinvent the wheel." Overall Anderson deems the "high-thread count dining rooms" and ambience a five bean affair, but the food and service seem to fall "a few sparkles shy of the dazzle" found at New Orleans other upper echelon besties, making this one classy unicorn that's still too young to make varsity.
But wait, there's more. The Times-Pic also offers this accompanying video of chefs Folse and Lusk discussing Creole cooking. Sommelier Matthew W. Allen is featured as the paper's "photo of the day." And Folse explains his I Cook For You license plate by saying, "I promise you every state trooper knows it." [NOLA.com]
Tom Fitzmorris gives THREE WHOLE STARS to Metairie's Acropolis (3841 Vets Blvd.) this week,"a Greek island in NOLA's world cuisine trend." T-Fitz recalls the glory days when there were a dozen good Greek restaurants in New Orleans, until those darn meddling "Middle Eastern restaurants, now numbering two dozen" simply "lured that particular hunger of yours from the Greeks," tragically wiping out their business. Why, "it's almost like the Trojan War" ... so like... maybe not entirely historically accurate, or even real? But let us not focus on wars of the past, for behold, the return of FRIED CALAMARI as #1 Essential dish, even over stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, and baklava. And here's one for the Greco-Roman bath house: "In the Greek and Italian sides of its menu" you'll find "home-style dishes to an unusual degree of sensual goodness." No Hipness points because this ain't your grandson's toga party. [CityBusiness, sub req]
Scott Gold reviews Bei Tempi(901 Convention Center Blvd.) a spot for traditional Italian-American in the Warehouse District this week: The menu appears is "vast" with everything from fried mozzarella to calzones, and the "large" dining room is at least "well-appointed," no doubt attracting out of towners as the location is across from the Convention Center. Here Gold finds mostly "middling" entrees, but it's a "decent" pizza by-the-slice joint. Overall, "Bei Tempi aims to satisfy every desire, but the menu overreaches and the food suffers for it." [Gambit]
· Restaurant R'evolution Earns Four Beans [NOLA.com]
· The art of wine: photo of the day [NOLA.com]
· Chef John Folse and Chris Lusk talk about the nations of Creole cooking [NOLA.com]
· I cook for you [NOLA.com]
· Acropolis is a Greek island in NOLA's world cuisine trend [City Business, subcription required]
Review: Bei Tempi [Gambit]
Restaurant R'evolution signage [Photo: Brasted]