Wonderful experience at Dante's Kitchen
This was my first dinner of what turned out to be a sadly shortened trip (thanks to Tropical Storm Lee). After a lovely hour at the Ogden Museum's Thursday After Hours, I boarded the streetcar for the Riverbend neighborhood and walked to Dante's within 5 minutes from exiting the streetcar at Maple. The place was a lovely unassuming cottage, directly across the street from Brightsens. I was in dire need of a cocktail, and the menu was full of enticing, creative offerings. I settled on the Polar Negroni, a modern twist on an old recipe (using Aperol instead of Campari, and jazzing it up with some sparkling wine and a few other ingredients). So nice, I had to have another -- at which point I reconfirmed my love of New Orleans! My waiter, very professional but without a hint of pretense or attitude, guided me through the menu. I chose as my appetizer the escargots served with chopped house-made bacon, goat cheese, basil and vermouth. This was, as the waiter suggested, rather rich, but quite delicious. Next came the complimentary molasses spoonbread, served in a miniature cast iron skillet, topped with melted butter. This alone would be reason to return! My main course was Redfish on the Half Shell -- named because it's cooked in a very hot skillet skin side down so that the skin becomes like a shell, from which the fish lifts out very easily. The fish was heavily spiced (a la Paul Prudhomme) -- but was topped with generous quantity of chopped fresh herbs -- cilantro, dill, parsley and perhaps one other -- and sweet crabmeat. By itself, the fish would have been overpowering, but the added ingredients balanced it out and I thought the dish was a great success. For dessert I had 3 house-made sorbets from local produce - watermelon, plum and peach-blueberry. A perfect end to a very impressive dinner. Also, VERY reasonably priced.
736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
We were there the Wednesday night before Lee/Labor Day/Decadence- and it was great! Really fun cocktails (the Plum Luck "Plum-infused brandy, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, thyme black tea, lemon, Peychaud’s bitters, cinnamon garnish" and the Gentry Fizz "House infused peach bourbon, Dubonnet Rouge, lime, honey, Peach bitters" were especially enjoyed) and excellent food.
Our starters were excellent- the corn and crab soup, the (head-on) shrimp and grits, the roasted sweet pepper salad.. I had the watermelon salad which seemed so interesting with the following ingredients: "griddled halloumi cheese, kalamata olives, mint & parsley, huckleberry balsamic vinegar & oil" that I had to try it. I mean, watermelon and olives? With FRIED CHEESE? All righty. It was a good call thankfully, because it was excellent.
As is the case in many places, we enjoyed the entrees too, but not to the extent of the appetizers. Two members of our party had the local farm vegetable plate which had many veggies along with a quite large and tasty goat cheese and onion croquette, another one of us got the Confit Pork Steak and Spare Ribs plate. I had the chicken under the brick, which I'd heard amazing things about here on CH (I don't normally order chicken at restaurants), which was tasty. We were intrigued by dessert, but quite full, so instead we ordered a dessert cocktail which I can't find on the website, but it was called Goodnight Moon and it was OMG DELICIOUS.