New Menu for Mesón 923 in New Orleans

New Dishes Highlight Catalán Roots of Chef Baruch Rabasa 

If you’ve been to Mesón 923, you already know that Chef Baruch Rabasa’s approach to New Orleans cuisine is fresh and new, with minimal ingredients of the finest quality, and an emphasis on the cultural antecedents of the city’s signature dishes, rather than a dutiful adherence to the classics.  He creates simple food, executed and presented with precision and delicacy.  Like the culinary heritage of New Orleans itself, Rabasa’s classical European repertoire gets colorful, personal infusions from around the world:  his own Catalán heritage; the Haitian cooking of his high school buddy’s mother; the traditional Argentine mixed grill; his hearty appreciation of Nobu’s innovative Japanese cuisine.  Even if you’re a regular at the chic new hot spot, there’s a flurry of new dishes on the menu to complicate your choices…   

Rabasa has become known for his first-course crudos.  His Hamachi is enhanced by blood orange, fennel, pickled onion, radish and a blood orange vinaigrette; the Diver Scallops, by truffle, soy, cauliflower, and shallot.  Two new stars on the list are Tuna Tartare à la minute, whose quail egg is removed from its perch atop the mound of fresh tuna tableside, and promptly whisked into a mayonnaise accompaniment; and the Fruti de Mer of crab, clams, calamari, and shrimp with a saffron-lemon vinaigrette.

Appetizers range from a Duck Confit with port braised shallot - dolce gorgonzola ravioli, dandelion greens, and seasonal pear; to Pork Belly with sesame, tomatillo, orange, cumin, and manila clams; to Grilled Quail “Jamaican style” served with papaya chow-chow.

Just as Rabasa always creates a Soup du Jour, he also has a standing scallop appetizer prepared according to his daily inspiration.  There will always be a local Gulf Fish of the Day on his menu, depending on what fish, shellfish, or crustacean catches his fancy on any given morning.

New on the menu among the entrées is the Atlantic Reef Trigger Fish with butter poached jumbo lump crab served with quinoa and tomato vinaigrette.  Also a Filet of Beef “en sous vide” with Pomme Anna, Baby Spinach, and Perigourd Truffle Sauce.  The beef is so tender and delicately enhanced by the aroma of the truffles with each bite.

It’s difficult to limit yourself with a playful, thoughtful menu like this, whose every item is inspired yet deliberate.  But whatever you do, be sure to save room for dessert: Rabasa has recently added Churros to the menu, the classic Spanish snack of cinnamon-sugar dusted fried dough sticks served with dense and intense hot Cailler chocolate.

Mesón 923 - 923 South Peters New Orleans, LA 70130 -
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