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New (or new to me) Bywater/Marigny Destinations


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New (or new to me) Bywater/Marigny Destinations

montuori | Mar 15, 2012 12:39 PM

We've had the opportunity to try out a few new places in the
'hood recently and I'll be damned if the Bywater isn't on track
to be an actual dining destination (though in many ways this'll
make me sad).

First up is Suis Generis ( in the
3200 block of Burgundy (next to Bud Rips). Had a great meal
there: asian inspired chicken wings and slaw, a corn & seafood
chower that had just enough kick to it to interesting (I'm
originally from Boston and have strong feelings about anything
named "Chowder"), a crusted flounder that was perfectly cooked
and served on top of a citrus scented rice, an amazing T-bone of
lamb on mashed sweet potatoes, and a damn fine flan (that was
amazingly lactic and just bitter enough from the caramel). That
plus a bottle of wine rang in at $75 or so. The menu is small (4
apps, 4 mains, 4 desserts) but interesting. Wine (a nice list
... I don't think there was a bot over $40 and most were $15 -
$30), beer, and some cocktails. It's a great space, a lot of
thought was put into the decor and it shows. The waitstaff were
on top of their game, friendly without being familiar. Cash
only, ATM in the back.

Across the street (see what I mean about becoming a destination?) is
Maurepas Foods ( We stopped in on a Friday
around 5 and the place was already hopping. We sat ourselves at the
bar and had a few classics (last words, avaitions, old fashioneds)
that were correctly made (especially the avaition which tend to skew
towards sweet or violet in the wrong hands). Ordered up two rounds of
small plates: some carrots (when writing this I realize "carrots"
doesn't sound very interesting ... rest assured, they were excellent),
the goat tacos--also very good, the mussels prepared with a beer &
stilton broth (unusual and delicious), and the kohlrabi--another
sleeper that the bartender steered us towards. None of the dishes
were more than $11. The bar staff were fabulous, firing the second
round of food when they knew we were ready; when places get busy, this
is one of the niceties that gets dropped, we were happy it wasn't.

The Joint's new location is pretty fabulous. They've kept a good deal
of decor from the original Poland Ave. location but added a bar (and
bartender). The food is exactly the same (which is to say first rate
BBQ) still served in baskets with sauce on the side. I know that BBQ
in NOLA gets the bird from lots of folks, I think in the Joint's case
that's undeserved.

We tried Melange (Chartres St. just off of Frenchmen; and were decidedly "eh" about it. It was
awfully slow at 9 on a Wednesday and perhaps the lack of patrons in
such a big space was off putting. We were drinking Manhattans: the
barkeep remembered the bitters (yay!) but was out of house cured
cherries and didn't bother to offer a twist. That's a small niggle
but apparently they're priding themselves on their cocktail program.
The food was decidedly average: we had a special pork tenderloin with
an andouille glaze and mashed spuds--flavorful but not particularly
exciting and maybe riding a little too much on the heat of the sausage
to be considered really great, basically something I'd whip up at home
on a weeknight--and a smoked duck quesadilla which tasted great but
was overcooked (dare I say burnt?). All in all, not a terrible option
but not a first rate place in my opinion. (They do very well on Yelp
so maybe I hit them on an off night or something, though that's not a
great excuse.)

Last is Mojitos ( in that weird triangle
between Esplanade and Frenchmen. We went here on a lark figuring
that, hey, it's right there, let's try. Gosh ... we should have gone
sooner. The small plate food was great, run by the chef himself, and
the drinks competently made if not crazy outstanding. (They also had
the Andygator on tap which is a win in my book.) The music scene was
a-ok, the Smoking Time Jazz Club played the earlier set and a small
brass band I didn't recognize played the later set. Big props for the
courtyard which did in fact summon up a Havana feel. I liked the
place more than the Three Muses (a place I find confusing: is it a
bar? a restaurant? do I order from the waitress if I'm just having a

Anyway, exciting times round these parts.

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