Lilette | Restaurant | French Italian | New Orleans | Louisiana Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Restaurants and bars
New Orleans
Open: Lunch Tue - Sat, dinner Mon - Sat
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 504 895 1636
Address: 3637 Magazine Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Country: United States
Food Style: French and Italian influences

Lilette in New Orleans is a fresh, bright suburban bistro serving good food influenced by Italy and France. Good, knowledgeable service backs up an interesting menu and a short but serviceable wine list. The cooking style is assured.
The heavy sauces and gargantuan servings of Creole food in New Orleans soon has you searching for the lighter, more focussed food of Italy or France. It was therefore with some joy that we discovered this pristine bistro in the Garden District on one of our many restaurant-hunting expeditions in this southern city.
We arrived for an early dinner at this small and intimate bistro and were warmly greeted and shown to a small table near the bar.
The menu and wine list materialised quickly as did a glass of pinot gris to help us peruse the offerings. A black board listed the specials of the day, including (we were delighted to see) a boudin noir - the traditional blood sausage from France.
The sausage was a highlight. Served with a very hot home-made mustard it was light, crumbly and very, very tasty. A bowl of white wine-steamed mussels with wilted escarole and tomatoes was flavoursome and satisfying. A minor complaint was the winter tomatoes had tough skins which probably should have been removed before being used in this dish.
The signature main course was a braciola that was pounded round steak that had been rolled with prosciutto and served with a rich and appealing tomato sauce.
A dish of veal was less successful. Butterflied veal has been cooked well and was quite flavoursome but it was perched on a mixture of stalky pea shoots and other greens that were riddled with a large number of extraneous olives whose flavour dominated the dish. We felt that the design of this dish was flawed.
A Perrin Reserve Cote du Rhone was a perfect accompaniment to the meat courses. There are many other good wine choices available with stars of the natural wine firmament such as Alice and Olivier de Moor, George Descombes and Domaine Richaud.
Overall, a good restaurant with a nice ambience that should grow into a neighbourhood favourite.
They also run Bouligny Tavern which is next door to Lilette.
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