One of my all time favourite restaurants in New Orleans has always been Sylvain. I have been going there for years but I was tempted to try out the new kid in town – Angeline, when I heard that the former head chef of Sylvain, Alex Harrell, had opened his own place. Named for his mother, Angeline (1032 Chartres St.) has opened in the former space occupied by Scott Boswell‘s Stella! in the Hotel Provincial.
Unlike Stella, which was one of the fanciest restaurants in the Quarter, Angeline has a much more laid back yet refined atmosphere. The menu focuses on Gulf seafood with a modern take on Southern cuisine. Unlike typical Southern food that has been often stereotyped as heavy and fried everything, Angeline’s approach to Southern food seems cleaner, brighter and fresher. The menu focuses on local, seasonal produce (doesn’t every resto to this these days?).
Everything on the menu looked tempting but we had the butter-bean tortellini with red eye gray (so yummy) and the crispy cauliflower with olivade aioli and sheep’s milk cheese as appetizers. Next we tried the roasted mustard greens with pork cracklings featuring sweet potatoes, spiced pecans, blackberry molasses vinaigrette. Some of the best mustard greens I have ever had. I also had to taste my guests black eyed pea and collard greens soup featuring bourbon, bacon and a perfectly smoked pork broth. Great colder weather comfort soup.
For mains we tried Mississippi rabbit milanese with carrot purée, spoon bread, bacon braised collards and tomato gravy. Who knew tomato gravy could be so good? And we tried the gulf shrimp with creamed rice which featured LA popcorn rice, confit tomato, field peas, and some pork belly. So good! We were too full for desserts but they did look tempting.
The craft cocktail menu is very tight but well thought out. We tried A Promise’s Ghost (pimm’s no. 1, macchu pisco, ponchatoula strawberry, bubbles) and the Last Aviator (ny distilling co. gin, violet, campari, honey, lime). Both we exceptional. If I had been feeling more adventurous I would have tried the Off Beet (cabeza tequila, bols yoghurt, pelican produce beets, citrus) or Dope (del maguey vida mezcal, galliano, pineapple, fresh egg) – you should.