King cake might be getting all the attention in the New Orleans dessert world right now, but at least one person says that we shouldn't forget to indulge in some pie. Erin Swanson, Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant R'evolution, is offering a different "pie du jour" each week at the French Quarter eatery.
“Pie is such a southern culture down here," says Swanson, who worked for Chef Rick Tramonto in Chicago for ten years before moving to New Orleans. "Everybody makes pie, everybody has their own favorite pie, their mother's, their grandmother's, everyone. Being a pastry chef in Chicago, I didn’t do a lot of pie, but when I moved down here, Chef Tramonto gave ma a challenge and said, ‘You have one week to put a pie on the menu.’ It was actually very challenging for me, because the style of our desserts are deconstructed and elegantly plated. So I decided on a deconstructed banana cream pie, and it had mixed reviews, because people were expecting an actual slice of pie. But other people really loved it because it tasted like pie, but didn’t look like it.
From Wednesday through Friday, there will be a different pie on R'evolution's lunch menu. Past offerings have included pecan, berry, lemon chess, buttermilk, peanut butter, and "black bottom" pies.
"The most interesting one we did was a vinegar pie," Swanson says, "which sounds really weird and off, but it’s actually quite delicious. It has just the right balance of sweetness and tanginess. I’ve been researching Southern pies and that one came up, and I just had to see what it was like. And it was fabulous, probably my favorite pie to date!”
R'evolution's "pie du jour" is on the restaurant's lunch menu from Wednesday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and costs $7 per slice. Restaurant R'evolution is located at 777 Bienville St., and can be reached at (504) 553-2277.