If you live like I do, in an architecturally interesting but typically uninsulated
old New Orleans home, you've probably been drowning your chills as I have been
lately -- in soup. Following are my favorite restaurant soups and soup-like
dishes of recent memory. What's yours?
Saucy Noodles. Sukho Thai (see Restaurant Review).
Cha-soba. A thin, earthy broth and green soba noodles made with green tea powder.
Sushi Cafe (3125 Esplanade Ave., 945-1919).
Caramelized onion soup with a poached hen's egg. Martinique Bistro (5908
Magazine St., 891-8495).
Sweet corn and crawfish soup. Liuzza's by the Track (1518 N. Lopez St.,
Milky oyster stew. Casamento's (4330 Magazine St., 895-9761).
White bean, sausage and shrimp soup. Radosta's (249 Aris Ave., Metairie,
Bun bo hue. A fiery beef and noodle soup with lemon grass broth and cool vegetable
garnishes. Pho Son (701 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, 362-3322).
Goose and sausage gumbo. Dick & Jenny's (4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880).
Posole. A pork stew made with hominy and red chile, served weekends only. Taqueria
la Mexicana (1160 Terry Parkway, Terrytown, 433-4013).
Mussels steamed with white wine and garlic, crowned with a freightload of French
fries. Lulu's in the Garden (2203 St. Charles Ave., 586-9956).
Founding owner Hubert Sandot recently sold Martinique Bistro to
restaurateur Cristiano Raffignone, who also owns Cristiano's in
Houma. Following a brief renovation break in January, the restaurant reopened
with a new paint job, refreshed landscaping in the courtyard, a larger restroom
and wall sconces from Italy. The changes are otherwise minimal. Most of Sandot's
staff remained, including the chef of three and a half years, Kevin Reese.
Changing Hands, Part II
Vega Tapas Cafe (2051 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2007) is also under
new ownership. Longtime General Manager Glen Hogh purchased the restaurant
from Alison Vega, who has moved to Antigua with her chef-husband Drew
Knoll (formerly of Emeril's Delmonico). Hogh's first move as owner
was to hire New Orleans native Zac Robertson to run Vega's kitchen.
Court in Session
A new Byblos counter makes the food court at Lakeside Shopping Center
(3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie) a more dynamic place to dine. The restaurant's
latest Mediterranean outpost (there are Byblos restaurants in Metairie, Old
Metairie and Uptown) serves characteristically inexpensive -- and quite good
-- rotisserie chicken, gyro platters, Greek-style salads and falafel sandwiches,
among other signatures.