I was a bit skeptical about Square Root, Philip Lopez' Magazine Street spot, which has just 16 seats and serves a multi-course tasting menu as its only option.
To me, eating in New Orleans is about muffalettas and po' boys, grits and grillades. Tasting menus? Not so much.
But everything about this meal, from the airy, muffaletta-inspired amuse to more serious courses (the huitlacoche stands out in a procession of excellent, right-sized dishes), was so so right.
Go now--and go hungry.
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Modernist cuisine in New orleans at Square Root
New Orleans may have previously been known as the “City of 1000 restaurants and one menu” but the past few years have seen a new wave of chefs unafraid to push New Orleans’ culinary limits. At the forefront is chef Philip Lopez who pioneers with a modernist take on local flavors at his restaurants Root, Square Root and Root Squared.Serious foodies clamor for one of the 16 chairs at twice nightly seatings for a 9-15 course tasting menu with full view of the chef and his team. The food here is refined and technical but also has a bit of whimsy. Take the Southern Picnic- fried chicken cotton candy highlighted with mustard seeds and fried okra.
Looking for something a bit more casual?
Head upstairs to Root Squared for craft cocktails and house cured charcuterie. The staff is inviting and knowledgeable and the food is no less spectacular. In fact the the foie gras terrine with grapefruit-shallot jam is still on my mind.