The one time that Tom was not wearing a jacket was the time that I insisted we do the Caribbean Room, and that is our final recollection of the Caribbean Room: Tom Fitzmorris borrowing a jacket and the Mile High Pie.
The Mile High Pie is maybe the only visage of the Caribbean Room that remains in this space, now home to ultra-hip Jack Rose. The pink and the lattice have been replaced by what I call a psychedelic trip that everyone but me seems to love. That could be because Jack Rose is a hotspot for people way younger than me. Whenever we get a call on the show about Jack Rose from someone who is a longtime listener, it’s because their kid or next-generation relative is having a party for graduation or engagement or just a birthday.
But the food at Jack Rose will win anyone over. Brian Landry, formerly from Borgne, is in the kitchen serving up the same kind of innovative and polished food, but less casual. We went here with good friends who were also familiar with the Caribbean Room. We all thought the change more amusing than offensive. And we all agreed the food was outstanding.
The first course was soup, and here is a great duck and andouille in a very dark smoky roux, but not so smoky as to have that burned taste. Good stuff. Even though we were four, only two entrees were at the table. Too much double ordering that night. There was a lamb shank at the table, a great steak, and two delicious fish dishes. All were terrific.
But it was a later dinner that impressed us more. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, more just fascinating in its interpretations of everything.
The presentation of bread and butter is never this exciting, but it certainly was here. First, the bowl is brought to the table and coated with butter. Then a dusting of sea salt. This is riveting and very full of anticipation for something usually mundane. Except that the bread did not live up to expectations in and of itself. And the salt content was ridiculous, rendering the whole thing inedible. Such a disappointment after all that. This was a few months ago and I’d be surprised if they are still doing it.
They recovered with a torn mozzarella Caprese salad. This was exactly as billed-the cheese was literally torn into pieces. Very different presentation and really delicious. The Chicken Parmesan had an unusual spin on it-fried chicken, on the bone. Hmmm. This was accompanied by a pile of pasta with a marinara sauce, and the entire thing, both plates, buried under a drift of parmesan cheese. This was good, but the presentation better. Also at the table was Pompano en Papillote, something also saved from the Caribbean Room, but hardly recognizable here. Not something we would get again, and it was ordered by a very enthusiastic fan of the old version. All of this was flanked by an enormous pile of cracked smashed red potatoes with Calabrian chilies. Ironically, this was not really spicy.
And last, the Mile High Pie was familiar. And the same. And worth the trip all by itself, though there is much else here worth it too.
2031 St Charles St. New Orleans
Friday & Sunday 11-2 lunch