Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
3025 Magazine St., (504) 520-8311
3301 Veterans Blvd., (504) 834-2277; shopsucre.com
Bread pudding is a New Orleans classic, but to Sucre chef Tariq Hanna that doesn’t mean it must always play by the same rules. During October, he’s serving a special menu at his two dessert emporiums that reworks a whole realm of sweet flavors through the lens of bread pudding. One standout is a pineapple upside down cake ($7), with a dome-shaped core of bread pudding layered with finely shaved pineapple. Under a shiny glaze it looks like a giant amber jewel. The cake’s nutty sweetness is tamed by a fat bauble of sour cherry gelée, which, when heated, melts into its own sauce to further coat the creation.
Salu Bistro & Bar
3226 Magazine St., (504) 371-5809; salurestaurant.com
If it’s true that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, then plenty of restaurants get a bit more German this time of year. So it follows that Salu, ostensibly a tapas-themed restaurant, has a seasonal Oktoberfest menu of Bavarian dishes, available as a four-course prix fixe ($40) or individually. Theschweinshaxen ($25) is a centerpiece that’s as hefty as it is hearty. Two burly-looking pork shanks arrive on the bone, banded with fat, and yielding dark, unctuous, deeply roasted meat to mix with soft, tiny bits of pumpkin spaetzle and sauerkraut. Definitely pair it with a beer.
Shrimp with Pan-Fried Noodle
Doson Noodle House
135 N. Carrollton Ave.
Back when it was on Oak Street, this longtime eatery did business under the name “Chinese’s Restaurant,” and while the proprietors’ Vietnamese heritage is much more in the forefront now, the menu is still different from the tide of modern Vietnamese cafes. The shrimp with pan-fried noodle ($9.95/$12.95) is a good example, with plentiful shrimp awash in a very garlicky, peppery brown sauce over a braid of noodles that start off crunchy and gradually soften into a slippery, peppery base. When you want something like Chinese take-out but with a different edge, this fits the bill.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.