The Carrollton Market
This is a great hidden spot on the edge of the Black Pearl neighborhood right off the Riverbend along the levee.
It was 5pm and they had just opened when we got a chance to visit. Light was streaming through the restaurant as the sun was starting to set. That magic hour when the weather is nice. What was once a double shotgun and then we assume a boutique at some point has become a white marble dining space. Not too stuffy. Casual enough to wear a t-shirt. White marble, wood floors and wood chairs are the decor. It has a classic feel but contemporary with the kitchen open. Chef's table seating at the counter so you can watch the show.
To start off I ordered a glass of Rock and Vine from Three Ranches. A Cabernet Sauvignon from the North Coast. I don't know much about wine but I know what I like and this was some nice wine. A soft butter roll was brought out. God, how I love good bread. This was good bread.
The Gazpacho I ordered next was excellent. Perfect temperature. The olive oil was tasty. Chunks of fish. Went great with the buttery bread.
The black drum appetizer was beautiful in presentation and tasted even better. It lays on a crispy base that had a bread feel - cornbread with pepper jelly I find out. Topped with caviar and pickled radish the favors as savory and sweet. Highly recommend it. It also has substance and isn't going to go unnoticed in your belly.
When you visit some restaurants there seems to be a bread shortage. Empty plates sit without more being brought around. Not here. Endless buttery bread. I am not on the Atkins diet.
At first the scallops were too understated for me in flavor but bite after bite the vermouth emulsion made the dish taste buttery and brought out some nice flavors with the Carmelites could flower and bacon. Like any scallop dish the portions are not large but don't need to be. There is weight to a scallop and 4 was plenty.
Just now writing "vermouth emulsion" made me feel pretentious.
There is a cocktail menu, but I did not hit it. I like my drinks simple - red wine, brown liquor neat, vodka dirty. However in the desert offerings they do have some in-house made Liqueurs. If you are a fan of Cello they have lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. I politely asked and was given the flightcello. Tried all 4. Each had a great nose and was very smooth on the tongue. Of the 4, the lime is the strongest in flavor with Grapefruit following close behind and being the most interesting. Grapefruit bitter to start and then a nice warm smooth finish.
The staff were very friendly and attentive but of course at 5pm with me as the first dinner there was no telling the way the staff handles a rush. But you can tell when a restaurant has a nice touch with the customers and I am going to bet these folks carry the cool through all levels of madness.