If I lived in New Orleans, though, I’d be at the restaurant Carrollton Market every week. Another New York import in a way—the chef/owner Jason Goodenough, named by New Orleans Magazine as Chef of the Year last year, is originally from New York’s Upper East Side but is a longtime resident here who learned the basics working in Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant NOLA—it is, instead, self described as a Southern bistro. But Goodenough’s travels and imagination take it other places reflected in dishes such as pan seared sea scallops with Indian spiced potato and cauliflower, tamarind chutney, carrot salad and cilantro chutney, the result of a recent Indian restaurant experience in London.  His Oysters Goodenough, crisp, greaseless flash fried oysters with the southern smokehouse Benton’s bacon, creamed leeks and sauce Bearnaise, are one of the most decadent versions of the dish anywhere; I couldn’t argue with my server’s description of them as legendary. But everything I tried here was absolutely luscious: the crabcake with scallop mousse, orange braised fennel and sauce Maltaise (Hollandaise flavored with blood oranges), pan seared foie gras with cinnamon roll pain perdu brought back from the edge of too much sweetness by an Amarena cherry gastrique, Hamachi crudo with soy-sesame emulsion, Plaquemines Parish orange, cilantro and jalapeno, pan roasted Rohan duck breast with stoneground grits, braised greens, and pecan caramel gastrique. The open kitchen adds a certain energy to the otherwise calm, classic décor of the Riverbend cottage, and the staff is knowledgeable, helpful and warm as is Goodenough who circulates regularly around the floor. People choose to have their birthday dinners here and many are regulars. I can definitely see why.


by Laurie Werner