The latest new openings are taking some of the most tired, old-school items and pumping life back into them, making me beg for more.
The amount of new restaurants opening in NOLA is staggering. The Boy and I do our best to keep up, but there are only so many meals (and so much money) that we can fit into our busy lives. One of the latest trends I’ve seen in some of the new places that have opened is taking an old-school dish and making it into something spectacular.
I decided to share three new places that have recently opened that take aged classics and reinvent them to fun and delightful new dishes that remind us of the love they once commanded.
The Big Cheezy
Is there anything more homey and comforting than a huge, ooey, gooey, cheesy mass stuffed in between two buttery slices of bread? Not really. It’s like a rule that every child has an obsession with grilled cheese sandwiches at some point, and most parents are pretty ok with it too.
The Big Cheezy takes the classic grilled cheese and adds wizard magic and blessings from the cheese gods that just works. Go with their namesake, the Big Cheezy, to allow your mind and body to fully understand what this new Grilled Cheese experience is all about. Once you’re able to fully grasp the perfection and new life necessity of the Big Cheezy experience, allow yourself to graduate to any of their other signature options. I recommend the Crazy Old Goat, but believe me when I tell you, you can’t go wrong.
Brown Butter Southern Kitchen and Bar
The latest new neighborhood hot spot in Mid-City is all about southern fare. Brown Butter features a range of the most popular and notable classic Southern dishes ranging from the low-country, Cajun-country or anywhere else below the Mason Dixon line.
What is to be a signature dish at Brown Butter is the Chicken and “Waffle” Sandwich. This fun play on the classic is not made with waffles or fried chicken. Chicken confit is matched with country ham and aged cheddar and sandwiched in two Sourdough slices. The sandwich is then pressed in a waffle iron to make it crispy and give it a waffle guise. A sweet and savory Steen’s mustard glaze is then poured over the quartered sandwich. The traditional chicken and waffle connection is there but Brown Butter managed to master it in a nontraditional way.
Also, make sure to get the fried pickles. Some may think a fried pickle is just… another fried pickle. BUT the light batter compliments the very thinly sliced, tangy pickle instead of overwhelming it. Even served on top of a deliciously rich buttermilk dressing, the pickles on the bottom maintained a perfectly crispy texture instead of becoming soggy.
Kin is undoubtedly my new favorite restaurant in the city. It’s in a totally bizarre location and even upon entering, you’re still unsure of what you will be getting into since you realize you will be sitting very close to all the other patrons dining with you. While they are anything but old-school, they take familiar ideas and turn them into the epitome of a “surprise and delight” restaurant experience.
The perfect example is their surf and turf entrée. I mean, there isn’t much that makes you immediately think of a classic steakhouse that grandpa used to visit for lunch with business associates and have a martini, or two, or five. Kin’s “Turf in Surf”, however, is fun and witty and features a divinely cooked hangar steak that is somehow (seriously can’t figure out how they do it) stuffed IN the head of a squid. I mean, it’s just awesome.
Not only are their dishes playful and fun, but they’re also able to pull off witty food and maintain an integrity with the ingredients that creates an overall fantastic and delicious experience.