By now you’ve probably heard that pop up restaurants have infiltrated New Orleans. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, I’ll sum it up: an already established business allows a chef to utilize their space during times that the kitchen is closed. Why dine at a pop up when we already have so many options? For starters, the chefs are usually restaurant veterans that are attempting to break out on their own. Many of them do it to flex their creative muscles, often serving underrepresented food in a city that frequently caters to tourists’ palate more than locals. You’ll also be supporting up and coming restaurant owners, winning bragging rights of discovering them first when they (hopefully) open a more permanent eatery. Think of it as being a satiated early adopter.
My friends at Splendid Pig, husband and wife team Brandon Blackwell and Jennifer Sherrod, have been running their pop up restaurant out of Carrollton Station every Monday night since November of last year. Even though Splendid Pig has only been in operation for seven months, the duo brings years of experience to the operation. Brandon was sous chef at Upperline, as well as a butcher at Cleaver & Co., while Jennifer filled the general manager position at Martinique Bistro for fifteen years. In other words, you’re in capable hands in terms of food and service. Splendid Pig’s menu is comprised of small plates, ranging in price from $6-$9. As the name indicates, pork is the standout, but their offerings are surprisingly diverse. The focus is Southern, utilizing locally grown and raised produce and meats. Inglewood Farms pecans graces the seared Louisiana drum this week, accompanied by a roasted summer squash polenta, charred tomato vinaigrette and mint. Covey Rise Farms supplied the corn for this week’s chilled corn soup with pickled squash, marinated crab claws and chili oil. For those of you with a sweet tooth, two desserts are always up for grabs. The boozy brownie, the mainstay option, is based on a different cocktail recipe each week. My advice? Bring a friend or two and sample the entire menu.
Last month Splendid Pig expanded, taking over Milk Fish in Mid-City once a month. Starting in July, they will be in Coulis every Tuesday night. I took these photos for them six weeks ago; keep in mind the menu changes weekly. For the entire month of June, Splendid Pig is participating in the Locavore Challenge, which challenges diners to eat 100% locally sourced ingredients. Several dishes adhere to the local stipulation, even down to the pecan oil.
Check out this week’s menu here, and make sure to get on their weekly mailing list. Catch them tonight at Carrollton Station, or this Wednesday at MilkFish in Mid-City. Pssst! Yours truly will be working Wednesday’s dinner service, so pop in (see what I did there?) and say hi.
Splendid Pig Schedule:
Every Monday 6:00-9:30pm (ages 21 and up):
Carrollton Station, 8140 Willow St.
Liquor: Carrollton Station is a bar.
Every Tuesday 6:00-9:30pm (starting July 1st):
Coulis, 3625 Prytania St.
Liquor: BYOB, mocktails and mixers available for purchase.
Wednesdays 6:00-9:30pm (once a month, date changes):
Milkfish, 125 N. Carrollton Ave.
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