Turning Tables: MaMou Opens in New Orleans with Charlie Trotter’s Alum Heading the Wine Program

With the opening of MaMou near New Orleans’ historic Louis Armstrong Park, wine lovers have a new go-to spot in the Lower French Quarter’s vibrant dining scene. Since November, the restaurant has been serving classic continental cuisine with local flair, true to executive chef Tom Branighan’s southern Louisiana roots. Branighan looks to provide a taste of the charm, sophistication and verve of the Crescent City with his food, which is paired with a wine program from his business partner, sommelier Molly Wismeier, whose prior experience includes Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and R’Evolution in New Orleans.

Branighan’s menu highlights Louisiana ingredients with a limited number of dishes: seven starters, five mains and a trio each of sides and desserts. Standouts among the small plates include a cassoulet, braised celery hearts with beef tongue and an escargot tartlet with suet and romesco sauce. Entrées highlight fresh fish with dishes like poisson à la Florentine with caviar beurre blanc and Gulf fish court-bouillon with oyster dressing. Chicken, pork and beef each get a single, classic preparation.

The compact but heavy-hitting wine list focuses on France, especially Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, with a healthy dose of Italy and the occasional New World gem. Enophiles will relish mature offerings from Domaine Leroy, Château Monbousquet, Château Pavie and Château Léoville Las Cases. Rounding out the 80-bottle list are just over a handful of wines poured using a Coravin system, including two mature Vintage Ports: Croft 1963 and Warre 1970. Beyond the main list, 18 affordable by-the-glass offerings join eight whimsical cocktails fit for a range of palates.

Wismeier told Wine Spectator that her goal “is to create a list that is both exciting and approachable with wines from the classic regions.” Her philosophy considers both the focus of the cuisine and the atmosphere of the restaurant, and she says her role as sommelier is to be “a translator [who] strives to bridge great food with great wine in a warm and gracious environment.”

MaMou is open Thursday through Sunday from 5–10 p.m. The corkage fee is $25, with a two-bottle limit, and reservations are highly recommended.—K.M.

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Capital Grille Arrives in Louisville, Gaining Its First Foothold in Kentucky

With 61 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners spanning 26 states and Washington, D.C., the Capital Grille has helped set the bar for wine programs at American steak houses. On Feb. 3, the group is finally coming to Kentucky, opening its first Bluegrass State outpost in Louisville.

Executive chef–partner (and Louisville native) Chris McIntosh leads the restaurant alongside managing partner Petru Bester, who has been with the Capital Grille for six years, most recently as manager of the Cherry Hill, N.J., location. “We are thrilled about the excitement we have received from Louisville so far,” Bester told Wine Spectator. “We look forward to introducing guests to our hand-cut, dry-aged steaks, world-class wine list and an overall exceptional fine-dining experience.” As at the sibling restaurants, the menu centers around steak, carved each day by an on-site butcher. This includes a bone-in New York strip, filet mignon with cipollinis and porcini-rubbed Delmonico steak with 15-year-aged balsamic. Diners can also expect dishes such as lobster mac and cheese, pan-fried calamari and coconut cream pie.

“I am proud to be a chef in this exceptional food city, and our team looks…

Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/turning-tables-mamou-opens-in-new-orleans-capital-grille-arrives-in-kentucky

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