Friday, January 18, 2008

Raising the Bar

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 11:57 PM

The Faubourg Marigny boasts several great restaurants — Adolfo’s, Feelings Café and Wasabi, to name just three — but it’s possible that the best dishes to be had anywhere in the lower-lower-Quarter reside at a locale better known for its liquor.

At Mimi’s in the Marigny, the split-level Royal Street bar that’s home to DJ Soul Sister’s weekend spins as well as an enticing assortment of hot and cold tapas, a casual stop-off for drinks quickly can turn into a deconstructed six-course prix fixe. During one recent visit, the parade of small plates began with creamy goat cheese croquettes, hush puppy-sized, pan-fried to a light crust and drizzled with honey; a green salad dressed with a vinegary sherry emulsion and shavings of sharp Manchego cheese; and jumbo Louisiana shrimp, the heads left on, grilled with a crisp jacket of salty Serrano ham.

Round two consisted of an oversized, marinated-then-roasted artichoke heart, “pimiento y jamon” toast (red peppers wrapped in yet more Serrano atop bruschettes) and, for a light digestif, a loose mousse made with dark chocolate and Grand Marnier. With none of the plates exceeding seven dollars, the entire menu clocked in south of $50, still less than your typical bar tab — or little more than the price of a single entrée at Delmonico.

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