Oysters & Angel Hair – Crispy fried Louisiana oysters, grilled wild mushrooms & tasso, in a Parmesan black pepper cream over fresh angel hair pasta, topped with Bottarga gremolata
Gumbo du Jour – Dirty Rice, Dark Roux, Duck, Chicken, Andouille
Soup du Jour – New England Style Gulf Seafood Chowder
Gnocchi with Mushrooms
Shrimp & Eggplant – Shrimp boulette stuffed jumbo Gulf shrimp wrapped with Japanese eggplant, lightly battered and deep fried, Cajun boiled pine nuts, Creole tomato glaze and braised pork belly “cracklin” tossed with a sugar cane pepper jelly gastrique
Seafood Platter du Jour – Blue Crab stuffed Soft Shell Crab with Crawfish Hushpuppies and Lobster Maque Choux
Double-Cut Tomahawk Pork Chop – Heritage Farms Cheshire pork, Nueske’s bacon braised haricot verts, brabant potatoes, crispy shallot rings, sugar cane Creole Glaze
Chocolate Torte – Candied Orange and Berries
Café au Lait Crème Brûlée – Beignets and Chocolate
White Chocolate Bread Pudding – Strawberries, Streusel and Caramel Crème
Not precisely the easiest place to find in New Orleans, GPS coordinates leading potential patrons to a parking space on the exact opposite side of a row of buildings in the rejuvenating Warehouse District, Restaurant Rebirth represents a modern look at Creole-Cajun Classics crafted from Farm-to-Table ingredients, dinner on Halloween seeing everything from a Kill Bill Ninja to Darth Vader enjoying dinner in a space that is at once rustic and elegant, but not pretentious in the least.
Toqued by Chef Ricky Cheramie and featuring a menu that evolves seasonally to offer the very best of his native Louisiana, Restaurant Rebirth at first looks a lot like many hip eateries in bigger cities, but for those who sit down at one of several white-clothed tables surrounding the walk-in only bar a decidedly different sort of place is soon evident, the servers offering genuine “Southern Hospitality” with purchasable art on the walls showing off Mardi Gras photography and modern Jazz playing lightly overhead.
Justifying slightly elevated pricing with locally sourced goods from the region’s top purveyors, it was with a smalls slice of Corn Cake doused in Molasses that the meal got started mere minutes after seating, three appetizers to follow including two daily specials and one ‘signature’ item, the Oysters & Angel Hair a briny amalgam of Crispy fried Bivalves, Tasso and Bottarga nicely balanced by grilled Mushrooms and Pepper Cream Sauce over housemade Noodles, the Gumbo du Jour a spicy pot of Dirty Rice in nearly black Roux dialed up in Duck, Chicken and Sausage while the Soup du Jour saw Cajun spices enliven Fish, Crab, Oysters and Crawdads in a New England Style Chowder.
Not shorting patrons on printed descriptions of plates, entrees all large enough for two adults to share, it was with wide eyes that a juicy and tender Double Tomahawk Pork Chop from Heritage Farms was brought forth atop porky Green Beans and cubed Potatoes beneath a veil of house-squeezed Sugar Cane Glaze, the eggplant stuffed with Shrimp Meatballs crispy yet oilless with Cracklin’, and Pine Nuts all lightly drizzled in lightly spiced Red Pepper Gastrique.
Nabbing the very last Seafood Platter du Jour that evening, a pair of fried Soft Shell Crabs packed to the point of bursting with more Blue Crab Meat alongside Crawfish Hushpuppies and Lobster Maque Choux, a side of pan-seared Potato Dumplings were simple yet compelling when tossed with pan-seared Mushrooms.
Foolish to ever pass on dessert in New Orleans, the menus almost universally offering some sort of Bread Pudding or Beignet, Restaurant Rebirth’s only flaw was three ‘beignets’ that were hard, cold and oily atop Café au Lait Crème Brûlée, the Chocolate Torte a masterpiece of flourless fudge presented simply with candied and fresh Fruit, the White Chocolate Bread Pudding amongst the city’s best that was completely soaked with custard, yet still managed to maintain a springy consistency.