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Louisiana Pizza Kitchen 

click to enlarge Chef Esme Franklin cooks pizza, pasta and Creole-Italian dishes at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Quarter.


Chef Esme Franklin cooks pizza, pasta and Creole-Italian dishes at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Quarter.

Located across from the French Market, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Quarter (95 French Market Place, 504-522-9500; appeals to both tourists and locals looking to grab a bite. There's indoor and outdoor seating at the restaurant, which offers thin-crust pizzas from a wood-burning oven and Creole-Italian fare.

  "We make everything in house — sauces and dressings as well," says general manager Andrea Adrian. "We have an extensive pasta selection, sandwiches and salads."

  Adrian and head chef Esme Franklin stock Louisiana seafood, free-range poultry and organic pasta imported from Italy. A catering menu offers large pasta dishes and sandwich platters. The team recently added gluten-free pizza crusts to the menu, and there's gluten-free pasta as well as meatless dishes.

  "Since we try to source only organic food, much of it local, our menu is naturally vegetarian-friendly," Adrian says. "We have several vegan options."

  The restaurant also offers brunch. On Sundays, the kitchen serves four or five brunch staples and offers $5 bloody marys and $3 mimosas.

  "In the past, Chef put out a really good eggs Benedict," Adrian says. "Another crowd favorite was a smoked salmon plate with cream cheese and dill dressing with mixed greens and tomatoes."

  Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Quarter offers more than 24 wines by the glass and has received Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence rating for the past six years. The staff uses an iPad to display the offerings, with wines broken down by region, varietal and style. The user-friendly wine list includes prices, description and flavor profiles.

  "We offer about 120 bottles of wine that are incredibly competitively priced," Adrian says. "We take particular pride in our wine lists. ... People know us for our pizza, but we are a lot more than that."

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