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Spotted Cat Food and Spirits ‘Sets a High Bar’ at Brunch

Meril, Marjie’s Grill, and Spotted Cat Food and Spirits reviewed this week

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Critic Helen Freund headed out to Spotted Cat Food and Spirits on St. Claude, the family-friendly outpost of the popular Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchman Street, where she found that the two venues have little in common. Spotted Cat Food and Spirits is primarily a restaurant, but it does have regular live music. Freund finds brunch one of the best times to visit the restaurant, where “dishes range from the conventional, such as an earthy mushroom omelet filled with goat cheese, to traditional brunch standards turned on their heads.” Bacon and scallion pancakes are “special” and fried chicken and buttermilk waffles “set a high bar.” A jazz trio plays while bottomless mimosas are poured at brunch, helping to “fuel the lively atmosphere.” [GAMBIT]

The New York Times’ John L. Dorman visited Emeril Lagasse’s Meril, the celebrity chef’s fourth restaurant in New Orleans, and found the lemon icebox pie one of the “most enjoyable desserts I’ve had in quite some time.” Meril, named for Lagasse’s youngest daughter, opened in September 2016. The focus here is small plates that take cues from “his international culinary forays” and cocktails that aren’t “gimmicky.” [NYT]

Meanwhile, critic Ian McNulty sat down at Marjie’s Grill, an unassuming restaurant with an interior that feels “like a lunchroom treated to some artful rummage” and food that “tastes like Southern cooking that recognizes lemongrass, fish sauce and Thai basil as newer contributions to what constitutes the South.” He enjoyed the “friendly” pricing, made possible by a “semi-self-service approach.” There are a few house cocktails. Beyond that, guests choose a mixer and get a half pint of liquor, ice, and tongs to assemble simple cocktails on their own. A regular item of the dinner menu, a “massive, platter-sized pork shoulder steak” reminded McNulty of “the kind of meal that chefs talk about when they discuss downtime cooking, what they make for themselves and their friends when they’re not fielding a menu or composing a plate.” Though the restaurant blends cuisines, McNulty thinks “fusion is too fraught a term to describe a place that feels so at home in New Orleans right now.” [ADVOCATE]

Marjie's Grill

320 South Broad Avenue, , LA 70119 (504) 603-2234 Visit Website

Meril

424 Girod Street, , LA 70130 (504) 526-3745 Visit Website

Spotted Cat Food & Spirits

2372 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

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