Welcome to Where Chefs Eat, a new Eater feature in which we grill local chefs to figure out where they dine when they're off the clock. First up: Coquette's Michael Stoltzfus.
Chef Michael Stoltzfus, chef-owner of Coquette has been quietly working for five-plus years to provide some of the best food in the city, paying attention to ingredients, technique, a dessert program, and stellar service. Refreshingly free of pretense, it's one of New Orleans life's little pleasures to sit at the beautiful bar, ordering some small plates, and watching the bar staff create unusual and delicious cocktails.
Coquette also does great events, from Stoltzfus' infamous Fried Chicken and Champagne pairing to the beer and cocktail dinners. Later this month, Coquette is pairing up with Jordan Winery for a wine dinner to coincide with the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) on May 21.
Michael Stoltzfus is a chef's chef, whose restaurant provides the kind of dining experience that is enjoyed by even the hardest to please. Eater NOLA thought it only fair to kick our "Where Chefs Eat" feature series off by finding out which chefs Stoltzfus supports.
Where do you go for a quick lunch? When I can get away, I go to Stein's Deli. If it's Tuesday, I get the Philly cheese steak special. On any other day, I get the Italian hoagie.
Where/what do you eat after you get off work late? (laughs) Honestly? Usually we're drinking at Tracey's. We, um, tend toward a liquid diet after the restaurant closes.
Where else do you like to drink? I generally go to Belloq or Cane and Table. If I also want food, definitely Cane and Table.
Favorite breakfast or brunch place? I rarely have the opportunity to eat brunch, since I'm almost always working it at Coquette. But when I can get away, I like Sylvain for brunch.
Best date night destination? Well, it depends. For a first date, I like to keep it casual, so probably Ancora. But for a big date night, August.
What's your favorite pizza place? Definitely Ancora. I feel like I've been converting a lot of people to that place, it's really hitting its stride now. I love that it's vegetable focused, and it has a great drink program.
Do you have a favorite burger in town? The Company Burger. That's a great stretch of places there on Freret, I love the High Hat too.
Any other favorite New Orleans restaurants? I'm a creature of habit, really. Ancora, Sylvain... I'll go to La Boca when I have the night off. Nine Roses, too, if I ever get out to the West Bank. But yeah, Ancora, Sylvain, and La Boca are where you'll usually find me.