Maurepas Foods (Restaurant)
In late August, we visited Maurepas Foods with Jeremy’s parents to belatedly celebrate Jeremy’s 30th birthday. Since his parents live in Upstate New York and only are able to visit a couple of times a year, we celebrate with them when we can. We always have a great time with them, and we typically have at least one nice dinner just the four of us during their visits. This was the first visit to Maurepas Foods for all of us, and we were all really looking forward to it.
Maurepas Foods opened earlier in 2012 with much excitement surrounding it. As with the food trends lately, they are focused on locally sourced top quality products prepared in an impeccable manner. Their commitment to quality is highly evident by their choice of local purveyors and suppliers – some of the best of the best local farmers and producers are on this list.
Maurepas Foods is located in New Orleans’s Bywater neighborhood, one neighborhood over from the Marigny and two neighborhoods over from the French Quarter. The Bywater neighborhood in New Orleans has been up and coming for years. It’s by and large a residential neighborhood, but restaurants like Maurepas Foods are helping to continue to change that. While the Bywater already does have its fair share of bars and restaurants, nicer restaurants like Maurepas Foods are helping to draw in even more visitors from other parts of the city.
Car or cab travel is the best way to get to this restaurant, unless you live in the neighborhood. If you’re visiting from out-of-town, take a cab or your rental car. Walking from the French Quarter is not recommended. Public transit exists but is limited: there are a couple of city bus routes that’ll drop off a couple of blocks away, but there’s no streetcar access at this time. (There’s a proposed line but that’s years away).
So, more about our actual visit to Maurepas Foods. We arrived for dinner early on a Sunday evening. It was rather empty when we arrived. By the time we left though you could tell that the evening crowd was just really starting to arrive and the place was feeling more alive with hustle and bustle.
The great thing about being one of the only tables seated in the restaurant is that food service tends to be quick and timely. Which I of course love. Our server was a very friendly gentleman who took very good care of us.
Jeremy and I started the evening with a cocktail each. His dad ordered a glass of wine and mom had some iced tea. I had the Jesus H. Christ cocktail (below)and Jeremy had The Gent & The Jackass cocktail. My cocktail was gin-based and flavored with cardamom, lemon, habanero and pear. Overall it had a nice subtle flavor and was very sippable. Really enjoyed it. Jeremy’s cocktail was bourbon-based and flavored with paprika, basil, lemon and peach. He enjoyed that one too.
Most of Maurepas Foods’s menu is made up of small plates. It definitely fosters a spirit of sharing and communal dining. We started off with the house made pickle plate and a cheese plate. This pickle plate was no ordinary pickle plate. It was a plate full of pickled items – eggs, mushrooms, okra, onions, edamame, and peaches. Each item had its own pickling flavor. All had good texture, flavor and salt levels. This was the best pickle plate I’ve ever had.
The cheese plate was also tasty. It had a selection of three cheeses, sliced baguette, sweet/spicy toasted pecans and a fruit marmalade type spread. I don’t remember exactly what the cheeses were but there was one blue, one hard cheese and one creamier cheese. They were all very fresh and very tasty.
We each got something different for our main course. Jeremy got the miso soup with crab dumplings. He loved it. He’s big miso soup fan so they were already 90% there and drove it home with a flavorful broth and crisp, light crab dumplings.
I ordered the crabmeat dish which was a slab of cornbread topped with shredded crab claw meat seasoned with lime curd and chile peppers. It was light, tangy and refreshing. I really liked it. The cornbread was sweet and the perfect level of density.
I had some vanilla ice cream for dessert but did not photograph it because it was really soft and looked messy. To be fair to the restaurant, I knew it was coming out that way. It was part of their prix fixe menu’s dessert that evening but they allowed me to order the ice cream à la carte. I think they were having trouble with it freezing to a cold enough temperature to become solid. Anyway, it was very tasty regardless. It was topped with house-made dark chocolate “magic shell” that just melted in my mouth as I ate. YUMMM.
So that was our visit to Maurepas Foods. If you live in New Orleans and haven’t been there yet, check them out. You’ll be happy you did. If you’re visiting New Orleans, this place is definitely worth the cab ride over to the Bywater.