Critic Helen Freund reviews Stokehold inside Port Orleans Brewing, where the restaurant adopts the wine-pairing format for beer and food. Though beer and food recalls nights in a pub, this isn’t bar food, says Freund. “The dishes are refined, creative and reflect the talent behind the kitchen doors.”
Grains and hops used in the brewing process find their way into the restaurant’s dishes.
Pretzel rolls are a genius hybrid of beignet dough and salty, pretzel soul. The crispy knobs are blanketed by an aerated Hook's cheddar cheese sauce that carries the sharp funk of the cheese in an airy, light consistency. What's more, the dough for the pretzels incorporates the spent grains left over from brewing, which lends the finished rolls a nice tang and light fermented character.
Stokehold is an example of what can happen when “chefs of a certain caliber collaborate.” [GAMBIT]
Meanwhile, Critic Tom Fitzmorris visits mini-chain New Orleans Food and Spirits. Its name is “generic,” but slightly more thought is given to the names of menu items, such as gumbo being christened “gumbeaux.”
He says that the restaurant cooks seafood, Creole, and Cajun dishes well and that the “quality is better than you expect, and the prices lower.” The quality is so good, in fact, T-Fitz summarizes it like this: “These people really know how to cook.”
Must-have dishes include a “legendary” stewed rabbit and white bean dish that only shows up on Thursdays. The red beans, though not served with hot sausage, are “some of the best in town.”
Most importantly, the restaurant invalidated “Tom’s Law of Catfish.”
The Law says that no matter how you cook or order catfish, you will wish that you had asked for it fried with a cornmeal coating. It took me quite a few samples to become convinced that, yes, their blackened catfish with pecans and a brown meuniere sauce is at the very least a rival to the basic cornmeal-rolled mess o’ catfish.
All Restaurant Review Coverage [ENOLA]
New Orleans Food & Spirits Expands Menu Beyond Fried Seafood [CITY BUSINESS]