Critic Brett Anderson heads over to three year old Carrollton Market, where he finds chef-owner Jason Goodenough churning out the “most precise and satisfying food in New Orleans by staying loyal to recipes firmly within his grasp.”
Anderson applauds the whole branzino with Harissa. The tagliatelle is the most “sensible vehicle for appreciating locally foraged chanterelles.” He cheers Goodenough’s ability to distill the flavors of the season into a shallow bowl of creamy corn soup with chive oil and lump crab. Pan-fried flounder is served on warm potato salad “studded” with charred kernels of corn and a parsley salsa verde, a dish that makes it seem that Goodenough knows what the diner wants before the diner knows.
“Chefs of his caliber who still put their hands on plates are rare breeds; finding them in restaurants as intimate as Carrollton Market is rarer still,” Anderson says. [NOLA.COM]
Meanwhile critic Tom Fitzmorris takes umbrage with the deficient local mole scene, finally finding the holy grail of the Mexican sauce at El Paso restaurant, a small Florida-based restaurant chain, in Mandeville. It turns out that mole is one of T-Fitz’s favorite sauces, falling just below béarnaise in his list of faves. He says that chefs he’s spoken to don’t offer mole because “nobody orders it.” “A lot of these folks then say that molé may be too hip for New Orleans’ dining community, and to check back in a few years.”
They can’t fool T-Fitz, that bastion of New Orleans restaurant lore, though.
It was on the menu and much enjoyed at Castillo’s, a great extinct French Quarter restaurant that from the 1960s through the 1990s operated at the corner of Conti Street and Exchange Alley. It was as good as it was popular, which is to say very.
Enter El Paso, which now has a T-Fitz-approved mole buried on page three of a 125 item menu. He applauds the “lighter textures and flavors.” His wife ordered “conventionally,” but he only has glowing remarks about the beef her tacos. Even after “too much food, a lot of which was gratis,” he found a little room for a dry, overly sweet tres leches that needed to “go back to the test kitchen.” [CITY BUSINESS]
Lastly, Helen Freund ventures to a Metairie strip mall to visit Tandoori Chicken Indian restaurant, a two decade old restaurant that has operated in several locations. She’s taken with the bright colors, as well as the bright flavors. She gives some shout outs to “bright orange shrimp pakora” that are “fried until crispy.” Even though some of the tandoori items “were dry,” they had that “characteristic bright red hue emblematic of Kashmiri peppers and turmeric.” Samosas were “surprisingly” light. Lamb-filled naan gets a special shout-out and is the “real star.” Butter chicken is a “standout.” Spice is “unleashed here” and classic antidote to that heat, raita, is a little “thin and “milky.” She applauds that “tradition has a seat at the table” here. [GAMBIT]