3 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Rum House

Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 3128 Magazine. 504-941-7560. Map.
Very Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Everybody knows Mexican food, but the market has filled up with chains. This triggered the rise of a related but different style of Latin American cooking, usually described as Caribbean. However, the menu at the Rum House–a great example of the new genre–is enough like Mexican that people feel comfortable about it. The restaurant is also free of imperatives to do anything authentic (whatever that means). The flavors of Jamaica and Cuba dominate, but not the forms. You eat tacos and platters with rice and beans.

WHAT’S GOOD
To a large extent, the menu here is of small plates. The tacos–ordered individually at $3 each–must be considered as tapas. You need a few of them to make a meal. Tie that in with the many appetizers, and you have your own grazing spread. The entrees are, by contrast, not nearly as exciting.

BACKSTORY
With some assistance from Restaurant 101–a network television show wherein an out-of-town chef comes in and tells a local restaurateur how to run his place– Michael Buchert and Kelly Ponder opened the Rum House in 2009. It was slow at the beginning, but it wasn’t long before it grew into something of a phenom. They got good advice from Restaurant 101, and had the good luck to be in the center of an explosion of restaurants in the stretch of Magazine Street between Washington and Louisiana Avenue.

DINING ROOM
An old storefront was intentionally left free of anything that smacked of newness or slickness. This, of course, appeals to the current vogue for minimal surroundings, and the Caribbean set-pieces make it unique. The restaurant has a wide frontage on Magazine Street, and has taken full advantage of it with sidewalk tables. They seem to always be full, and so is the inside dining room.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Fire roasted salsa
Queso blanco dip
»Avocado mango dip
Sweet potato and conch fritters
Mahi mahi fingers
»Jerk chicken and black bean quesadilla
»Chorizo roti flatbread
»Curried mussels, pomme frites
Nachos (pork, black beans, jalapenos, tomatoes, lime cream, cheese)
Jamaican beef patties
Fried calamari
Spicy puffy tuna ceviche tacos
Rum house salad
Manchego Caesar salad
Simple green salad
Jerked chicken chopped salad
Grilled mahi, hearts of palm salad
Seared tuna salad
Argentinian beef salad
Crab, corn and cho cho chowder
Tacos
Choice of brisket, duck and goose, jerk chicken, creole rib, lamb vindaloo, chopped shrimp, marinated steak, smoked pork, molé pork, fried fish, flaked fish, chili glazed shrimp, seared scallops, vegetarian
Sandwiches
»Cuban
BBQ rib
»Blackened mahi
»Crab melt
B’s brisket melt
»Trinidad chicken roti
Vegetarian roti
Entrees
»Rustic curried lamb shank
Red curry shrimp “rundown”
»Jerked roasted chicken
Barbeque ribs
Louisiana style Cuban steak
»Pollo asado
Jerk fish with lime garlic jerk butter
Grilled fish
»Seafood pepperpot
Cowboy ribeye

FOR BEST RESULTS
Order a lot of small plates. Also Caribbean beers. They make much of rum in the bar, but this hasn’t impressed me as much as I expected.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The service staff seems to be on Island Time. However, the menu says this is intentional. Soon come, mon.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service-1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Sidewalk tables
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The owners are fraternity brothers from LSU, and took a liking to the Caribbean islands. Knowing that adds a deeper understanding of the concept.


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