At downtown restaurants, a string of Saints home games signals a new game plan

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

At downtown restaurants, a string of Saints home games signals a new game plan

Home and loving it

IAN MCNULTYIMCNULTY@THEADVOCATE.COM

As the Saints season got underway in 1992, Jim Mora was head coach, Bobby Hebert was quarterback and Gina and Rob Wilemon started what’s become a long-running tradition just outside the Superdome.

The couple had opened their Allegro Bistro earlier that year, and they were primarily courting a weekday business lunch crowd. But with the Superdome just a few blocks away, they decided to mark the first Saints home game in their new restaurant by opening on Sunday morning and throwing a party. (more…)

New Orleans Menu

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

New Orleans Menu

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY 
The widespread rumor (started some ten years ago in this newsletter) that Mr. John’s is the city’s best steakhouse made tables there irritatingly difficult to find. The solution to this problem was to open a second steakhouse with equally alluring food, close enough to get the overflow from the original but far enough away to have its own clientele, too. The concept is simple: the entire steak repertoire is USDA Prime grade (more of a rarity than is widely believed), and the steaks come out with New Orleans-style sizzling butter.

WHAT’S GOOD 
The menu at Desi Vega’s is a copy of Mr. John’s in its meaty core, but the rest of it is a bit different. Absent here is the array of Italian dishes at Mr. John’s. Desi Vega’s chef has developed a few appetizers and entrees that are unique to this location. On the other side of the hotel’s mini-lobby is Desi Vega’s bar, with a special menu of its own. It’s a busy place on Saint’s home game days.

(more…)

Sizzling On The Square

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

Sizzling On The Square

SIZZLING ON THE SQUARE

BY IAN MCNULTY
IMCNULTY@THEADVOCATE.COM
Nov. 20, 2013

What could be more elemental than the main act of the American steakhouse experience? You take meat, add heat, season it and bring it to the table with a knife fit for the battlefield.

Producing a really fine steak calls for a few more moves in the kitchen, and, when it comes to the particular sub-genre of New Orleans-style steaks, a dash of theatrics, as well.

That would be the bang-snap clatter of the steak sizzling away, the urgent guidance not to touch the super-hot plate, the ritualized raising of napkins to shield shirtfronts from shooting-star butter splats. (more…)

Unknown Food Critic: Desi Vega’s a true New Orleans-style steakhouse

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

This steakhouse is an offshoot from the very popular Mr. John’s Steakhouse just a mile up the road. It serves a similar menu in a very different setting.

Ambiance

This restaurant space in the CBD’s Lafayette Hotel is familiar – having been home to a succession of restaurants over the last few years – but it’s still surprising how well it works as a steakhouse. It doesn’t initially even look like a steakhouse, at least not the dark, clubby, downright masculine template so many others follow. This one is bright, airy, roomy and elegant, with big windows framing views of the streetcar on St. Charles Avenue and the oaks of Lafayette Square. Strategically located near the courthouse, it has a steady business lunch scene. (more…)

Make Sure You Try Desi Vega’s Steakhouse

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

Make Sure You Try Desi Vega’s Steakhouse

Sides from Desi Vega’s Steakhouse

I was always fond of Mike’s on the Avenue, though I appear to have been in the minority. I had some memorable meals there during its initial run, and I appreciated that Fennelly mostly pulled off the kind of “fusion” cuisine that normally sends me running for the exit. Mike’s has given way to Desi Vega’s Steakhouse, and although more than a few local diners will miss Fennelly’s cooking, the replacement adds another great steakhouse to the scene.   (more…)

Desi Vega’s Steakhouse gets sizzling in the CBD

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in articles | 0 comments

Desi Vega’s Steakhouse gets sizzling in the CBD

 

Filets, strips and giant porterhouse cuts are now sizzling up in the CBD at a new steakhouse from the owners of Uptown’s well-established Mr. John’s Steakhouse.

Desi Vega’s Steakhouse is in the ground floor of the Lafayette Hotel, and it replaces Mike’s on the Avenue, a fusion restaurant that quietly closed around the end of 2012.

The restaurant is named for Desi Vega, the managing partner of Mr. John’s and a front-of-the-house alum of Commander’s Palace, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Emeril’s Delmonico. He explains that customer demand propelled the expansion.

“We’ll have 130 covers a night (at Mr. John’s) and we’re turning away another 100 people,” says Vega. “We can’t expand here, so we decided to open down the street in the CBD.” (more…)