Saturday, May 17, 2008

O Sole Mila

Next week I am going to New York; last night I got a taste of the Big Apple. My sister found a babysitter and wanted to go out for an adult evening. Why she chose to spend it with me, I lack an answer for. We tossed around a few ideas before settling on Mila.

Mila operates in the space that was formerly Rene Bistrot but long before that the original home of Jesuit High School. The space is sleek, but comfortable with large banquettes circling the walls and huge picture windows. Golds, blues, and chocolates dominate the color palate; while serious food rules your palate.

We started with some cocktails. A madras for my sister, a Louisiana 75 for Lady, and a mint julep. The Louisiana 75 missed the mark. An amuse arrived. A crawfish and lobster empanada. Really tasty start right there. The buttery crust serving as the de facto "drawn butter" normally served with lobster.

Appetizers got a little larger. A Tian of Louisiana Crab for sister displayed the utter sweetness of crab this time of year. New Orleans Barbecue Lobster revealed perfectly cooked lobster with just enough flavoring to make the dish interesting without overpowering the taste of lobster. I got a salad; albeit, one with house cured duck ham. Would have liked a touch more acid on the mizuna greens but maybe that is just me.

Entrees really displayed the entirety of the Rushing's vision. Based on the portions sizes up to now, we were all expecting a rather minuscule main (which would have been fine) instead we each received a sizable and satisfying main dish. Tea smoked duck with a sweet glaze on top. Love duck prepared this way, Lady said she would have liked some more vegetables on the plate (so all of a sudden you are a health nut). Sister enjoyed her lemon fish in what looked to be a ramp or other spring onion vinaigrette; although she found some pieces of the fish tasted more fishy than other pieces. I rocked and I do mean rocked the veal medallions. Beyond tender pieces of veal served with a mushroom cream sauce.

2006 Acacia Pinot Noir paired nicely with all the above; the wine cellar of the restaurant is really unique. I can not describe it other than to say, "cool."

A Cheese plate with an eggplant marmalade satisfied Lady. I chose to go another more adult route and got the peanut butter and chocolate tart. If I had to pick one last sweet to eat before going to the great gig in the sky, it would probably be a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (or egg if Easter). This dish was a sophisticated, damn fine version of that.

Service is incredibly efficient and approachable. Besides the New York vibe of the space, this restaurant is within arm's reach of familiar New Orleans cuisine. Hopefully, Mila will continue to push the New Orleans food scene further.

Even better, walking in we ran into Tom Fitzmorris who was also dining at Mila that evening. What is that saying about great minds?

Birdie on a really difficult par 5.

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