Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ciro's Coté Sud

In this month's issue of offBEAT, we wrote about Ciro's Coté Sud - a much underappreciated French cafe/brasserie/pizzeria on Maple Street. While some of you may have already read our report, I felt that a few additional notes were worth mentioning.

I love France, and if I had the means I would make an annual pilgrimage to Europe with an obligatory stop in either Paris or Lyon. But seeing as such is not possible, in New Orleans the closest recreation of a French dining experience can be found at Ciro's - complete with sidewalk tables in the summer heat. Even our waitress was a French ex-pat whose casual slips into her native tongue caused me to respond with "oui" and "merci beaucoup." This is the perfect place for a leisurely paced, low-key meal of classic French fare that will not break the bank.

Salade de Chevre Chaud - French bread rounds smeared with goat cheese and then toasted, romaine, tomatoes, and crushed walnuts. Good, but the vinaigrette could use a generous sprinkling of salt.

Sure, they serve escargots, onion gratinée, and charcuterie, but the pizza is where it's at. (So much so that quite a few people stop in to pick up one to go.) The dough is made in house, and the toppings are generously applied without crossing the line into overkill. The above Bianca - mozzarella, feta, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and artichoke hearts - disproved my theory that all good things must include meat.

I'll admit, the kitchen cuts some corners on the menu. Yes, the charcuterie is not made on sight. But the specials prove that the chef has talent, so you would be wise to venture out. The above veal stuffed with fontina alongside roasted fingerling potatoes was worth the $20 price tag.

But that's as expensive as the menu gets. Couple that with a wine list that does not extend beyond $30, and you are looking at a most affordable date night. Ciro's is still under the radar, kind of an only locals in-the-know type of place. But those who do know keep going back.

Ciro's Coté Sud - Birdie.


The Decayed Gentlewoman said...

I adore Ciro's and have been going there since I moved into a house on Broadway. Two notable points: 1) they don't take credit cards- only cash or checks, and 2) they deliver!!!
There is nothing more lovely on a lazy Friday night in than a big bowl of mussels and a loaf of garlic bread delivered to your door! :)

Peter said...


Thank you for pointing out the cash only policy - we made note in our offBEAT article but I forgot to mention that on the blog.

But I had no idea that Ciro's delivered. I think that I have found a new go-to place for pizza.

Pompo.com said...

man man that pizza looks yummy! I make my own all the times (being Italiano) and THAT there looked freaking good!