Review: SoBou's tribute to 'cocina criolla'

Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez highlights a modern Creole menu with Latin influences
Growing up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez developed a fondness for chuletas can-can, a dish emblematic of the country's "cocina criolla." It's a massive pork chop including the rib, loin and belly with some skin attached.

Review: Shahrazad Cafe

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare in Uptown
Shahrazad Cafe, which opened in January, can feel like a one-man show. Often on slower nights, owner Jamal Ismail is the sole person greeting and serving diners, which feels welcoming and puts guests at ease.

Review: Max Well on Magazine Street

Vegan eats at a health-focused cafe
New Orleans generally isn't known for healthy eating, but the trend has officially caught on here. These days, it's almost as easy to stumble upon a cold-pressed juice bar as a po-boy shop, and while the places pushing a health-forward menu are expanding quickly, the types available vary.

Review: Vyoone's in the Warehouse District

A chic French-inspired bistro with Creole touches
On a nondescript stretch of Girod Street, a set of bright green shutters beckons passersby. Step off the street into the narrow dining room at Vyoone's and you'll likely be greeted at the door by one or both of the women who run the charming Warehouse District restaurant.

Review: El Patio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Garden

Creative tacos and margaritas in the Warehouse District
El Patio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Garden opened in the Warehouse District late last year with a lengthy, ambitious menu of elevated Mexican fare in a yawning Carondelet Street space.   As is often the case with new restaurants, there have been hiccups and changes along the way.

Review: Paloma Cafe in Bywater

Latin and Caribbean influences fuel an 'all-day cafe'
Coffee and pastries kick off the day. There's a mid-morning laptop crowd fueled by espresso drinks and maybe a breakfast taco or two.

Review: Poke-chan on St. Claude Avenue

A charming Marigny spot takes its own approach to poke
The poke craze has spread quickly. Just a year ago, the Hawaiian marinated raw fish dish hadn't really infiltrated the New Orleans dining scene.

Review: Cafe Bella in Marrero

A charming cafe serving New Orleans classics and plenty of seafood
Until very recently, I had not come across the color-changing effects of butterfly pea flower tea, a Southeast Asian staple known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Common in Thailand and Malaysia, it's used to color desserts — and dye fabrics — and its color changes depending on the pH of items with which it is mixed.

Review: Pressed on St. Charles Avenue

From Dirty Dishes food truck to a busy hub for creative pressed sandwiches
Panini, or pressed sandwiches, are a lunchtime staple. The sandwiches, featuring thick, crusty white bread pressed on the grill, had their heyday in the 1990s, and though they may not seem as ubiquitous, their popularity endures.

Review: Cloud Nine Bistro

The Uptown restaurant specializes in Belgian liege waffles
In Belgium, the waffle options are endless, but the Liege waffle, or gaufre de Liege, stands out. Named for the Belgian city of Liege, it is dense and chewy and much sweeter than traditional Brussels waffles.

Review: Wild about Saffron NOLA on Magazine Street

An Uptown restaurant brings a deft touch to reimagined Indian cuisine
At Saffron NOLA, the flavors and overarching theme are distinctly Indian, but there's a modern, refined undercurrent that gives nods to Southern ingredients and many international influences.   The venture is the Vilkhu family's first full-time restaurant, but for six years chef Arvinder Vilkhu served dinner on Fridays at the home of their West Bank catering operation.

Review: Sac-A-Lait

A Warehouse District restaurant gets ambitious with Louisiana ingredients
Sac-A-Lait, the sprawling Warehouse District restaurant from husband-and-wife team Cody and Samantha Carroll, pays homage to the duo's rural Louisiana upbringing and the abundance that the land and sea of their home state brings to the plate. But the restaurant is a far cry from a downhome country concept, and when the spot made its debut, modern techniques, flashy presentations and creative and sometimes questionable combinations were prevalent.


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