Chicken Biscuit – Calabrian Honey, Buttermilk Biscuit, Fried Breast
Scarpinocc – Roasted Pumpkin, Walnuts, Brown Butter, Sage, Orange
Rigatoni – Pork Shoulder, Collards, Pancetta, Garlic
Peanut Butter Pie Budino – Caramel Ganache, Graham, Pretzel, Peanut, Cream Cheese Whip
Owned and operated by Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer, the Memphis Chefs behind Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Hog & Hominy and more, Josephine Estelle at the ACE HOTEL New Orleans represents the chefs’ first foray outside Tennessee, their signature style of Italian by way of the South offering Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner in a lavish high-ceilinged room channeling the classic French Brasserie.
Selected for brunch in part due to outstanding meals at all three of the Chefs’ other restaurants, but also because of the Hotel’s proximity to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, it was just past 9:00am that doors were entered only to be told Brunch did not begin until ten o’clock, the eventual decision one of enjoying a pair of breakfast items along with a “bottomless” cup of Stumptown Coffee that nonetheless seemed to require begging in order to get topped off.
Listening to forgettable music play at an unobtrusive level, the ACE’s WiFi code available to those who ask, it was after a brief wait that the glass-encased kitchen sent forth a single plate featuring a fluffy Buttermilk biscuit with wrapped around a fried Chicken Breast rife with spice and a drizzle of heated Honey, the Pecan Croissant not much like the French would make it considering the Praline shell and filling – the texture something akin to Baklava and therefore not a ‘bad thing,’ just unexpected and different.
Waiting out 10am patiently, service finally getting the idea that Coffee cups need to be checked upon periodically, it was with water that two appetizer sized portions of Pasta that the meal continued, the seasonal thumbprint Pumpkin pockets each meltingly tender with a light hint of Citrus amidst Walnuts and Sage while tubes of Rigatoni were served in a Ragu of Pork Shoulder, Greens and Garlic.
Passing on a Cinnamon Roll and Scone, the entire dessert menu going live at ten, as well, eyes immediately gravitated to the word “Budino” flanked by Peanut Butter Pie and Caramel, the thick Pudding served Parfait style with salty Pretzels and Cream Cheese whip rich as can be, and most certainly necessitating another cup of Stumptown’s best.