Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce
Pêche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine St., (504) 522-1744; pecherestaurant.com
The restaurant is named for fish, and since opening last year it has been celebrated for its original treatment of Gulf seafood. So what are you doing ordering the chicken here? Because these skewered chicken thighs ($9) are incredibly delicious and fit right in with any meal built around small plates. They’re cooked over the same wood-fueled grill that fires off so many of the seafood dishes, imparting a smoky flavor and a touch of char to the succulent meat. The white barbecue sauce, a traditional Alabama style mixing mayonnaise and vinegar, is spiked with horseradish and bits of pickled chiles.
Seafood-Stuffed Mini Peppers
Tony Mandina’s Restaurant
1915 Pratt St, Gretna, (504) 362-2010; tonymandinas.com
This West Bank classic is related through family, though not through business, to the older and better-known Mandina’s in Mid-City, and while it too serves Creole-Italian fare it has a different style. These peppers are among its distinctive dishes. It starts with the premise of stuffed peppers ($11 lunch, $12 dinner) but uses sweet, springy, bulbous cherry peppers as the vehicle for a creamy blend of crabmeat and chopped shrimp bound with bread crumbs. Breaded and fried, they come with a Creole mustard dipping sauce, though I recommend them with a side of the house marinara, too. Note the restaurant’s limited hours, serving lunch Tue.-Fri. and dinner Fri. and Sat. only.
5433 Laurel St., (504) 267-3260; toastneworleans.com
This petit tucked-away Uptown breakfast café is a spin-off from the nearby café Tartine found in the old Laurel Street Bakery address. It does indeed serve toast — fashioned into breakfast sandwiches — along with omelets, crepes and baked goods. One specialty bound to catch your eye, though, are aebelskivers ($8.50), a traditional Danish dish that resembles orbs of pancake batter roughly the size of ping-pong balls. The format accentuates the fluffy interior part of the pancake, rather than the frilly edge, and the shape is a hit for youngsters, who can have fun learning the name, too.