Start with what’s already familiar, accessible and perhaps even beloved, shift the lens for a more customized interpretation, then harness the quickening excitement that results.That’s been chef Jason Goodenough’s approach to Southern flavors at this consistently impressive Riverbend bistro. Roasted black drum is plated with savory, garlicky bread pudding, Creole cream cheese gives cavatelli pasta a light tang under crab and ham ragu and the foie gras is set off by Ponchatoula strawberries. Presentations on the plate are especially beautiful. Professional and personable, this is a warmly intimate cottage restaurant with elegant touches you’d expect from a bigger place.

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by Ian McNulty

The New Orleans Advocate