Mar 5, 201310:10 AM
Lifestyles, Galas and Gaiety from St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Morgan Packard
Restaurant Hopping in the Bywater
I truly love living within walking distance of many amazing restaurants Uptown, but every once in a while it’s time to explore more of what New Orleans has to offer. So when a dear friend who has lived in the Bywater for over a decade said that it was time to go restaurant hopping, my husband and I were in!
What we were in for was a treat; the popularity of this area of town, while in debate among its residents, has led to some amazing food, drinks, music and street life. This past Friday evening, as we walked from restaurant to restaurant, we were not alone. Groups of people, most of who also didn’t live nearby, were roaming the streets just as we were.
Below is a quick listing of the places we visited and my favorite things at each. If you have suggestions for places we missed on this trip, or drinks or dishes I didn’t have a chance to try, please let me know in the comments.
Rice Mill Lofts, 2900 Chartres St., (504) 598-5700
This was our first stop of the evening, and I was excited to try this new restaurant by the brains behind Iris. The 45-minute or more wait, however, sent us on our way. When I attend NOCCA’s annual fundraiser “Art & Soul” on May 19, I’ll be sure to get a reservation (maybe they’ll be open on Sunday by then).
800 Louisa St., (504) 266-2887
While this restaurant has been covered by many of Renaissance Publishing’s food writers (Chef Fonseca even shared a recipe with St. Charles Avenue this month), I had yet to set foot inside it. First of all, even when it's packed (we were lucky to find seats at the bar) this is a beautiful place. Modern with a touch of macabre fantasy (Who else has a framed piece of art depicting a mermaid’s skeleton on the wall or a unicorn’s X-ray behind the bar?), the setting works perfectly in tandem with the smiling, knowledgeable and fashionable staff. We ate: fish balls, fish tacos, pork pupusas with amazing pickled veggies, vegetable kebabs, grilled pork on kim chi pancakes and the best fish and chips I’ve had in a long time (though I still love The Irish House’s homemade tartar sauce the most). But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the drinks. The Black Phate is a grown-up sno-ball with gin, Bollywood cherry syrup, salted plum water and a little soda over a heaping mound of shaved ice. The Bywater Bomber, the house daiquiri, is refreshing and dangerously addicting. And, the Boom Boom, with Power’s Irish whiskey, Dewar’s Scotch, Booty’s Orgeant and lime, is warming with a lovely bite.
3219 Burgundy St., (504) 309-7850
We stumbled our way to this 2012 darling only to find it amazingly quiet. We were told that it would be packed tomorrow during the Rat Pack Cocktail Party, held on the first Saturday of each month. With a ceiling covered in hanging red solo cups, and the décor taken from the kitchy-est items that everyone’s grandmother had in her kitchen, we dove in. I ordered the mushroom lasagna that came with grilled Brussels sprouts, which was a very large portion, wonderfully spicy and filling. We also had the ceviche (also nicely portioned and very fresh) and the chicken wings and waffles (the chicken was nice, but the waffles were amazing). Suis Generis also offers a fun drinks menu that features their homemade lemonade, and their selection of Mexican sodas (the mango is my favorite) made this Dallas-born girl very happy.
617 Piety St., (504) 676-8482
We finished off the night with a slice each at this always-hopping destination. I’ve heard about Pizza Delicious since they had lines around the block and were serving out of a window on Frenchmen Street, but had never tried it. If you’re a fan of New York-style pizza and/or like to try interesting topping combinations (I was told the braised Brussels sprout is phenomenal), this is a “don’t miss” – especially since they’re open until 11 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. My peperoni slice was the perfect end to our night.