Ask New Orleanians of a certain age about the Caribbean Room and the reminiscing begins. The storied dining room in the Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue was a place for milestones, for... Read More
Ask New Orleanians of a certain age about the Caribbean Room and the reminiscing begins. The storied dining room in the Pontchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue was a place for milestones, for celebrations, for special occasions feted between bites of chile-spiked crab Remick and impossibly rich Mile-High Pie. After being treated to a $10 million renovation that took the better part of two years, the hotel and its infamous Caribbean Room, Bayou Bar, and Silver Whistle coffee shop reopened in June 2016. John Besh and his team run all the bars and restaurants with chef Chris Lusk, last of Restaurant R'evolution, in charge of the kitchen. Gents are still required to wear jackets (there are loaners available) and Lusk's food is worth gussying up for. Admittedly walking a fine line between retro and relevant, Lusk has lightened trademark dishes - trout Veronique is served with an ethereal Hollandaise on the side and offers sophisticated additions like crispy oysters with lily salad and stuffed squash blossoms with Camembert that would be at home on any menu. Yes, the Mile High Pie is still a skyscraper wedge, a memorable dessert no matter what the occasion. Chef Lusk just started serving Friday lunch, a revered tradition in New Orleans that is a fine fit for this newly reopened classic restaurant.