Before he and his partners opened The Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St., 504-352-4801; www.thethreemuses.com) on Frenchmen Street, chef Dan Esses made his name cooking at several local fine-dining restaurants. But it was the food of New York City that informed his tastes and grounded his perspective on cuisine.
In the wake of damage done by Hurricane Sandy, the Bronx native is paying tribute to his hometown with a special menu The Three Muses will serve each Thursday in November (excluding Thanksgiving, when the restaurant is closed). It features six dishes and New York-themed cocktails, and the Three Muses has pledged all proceeds from these items to City Harvest (www.cityharvest.org), a nonprofit hunger-relief group in New York that is feeding storm victims. Esses says the contribution is possible because local suppliers agreed to donate ingredients. The benefit menu is a mix of iconic New York dishes.
"This menu is basically my youth," Esses says of his selections.
His "Arthur Ave. chicken Alfredo" is a tribute to the main drag in the Bronx's Little Italy, where Esses said his family dined often. "Mott Street lemon chicken with broccoli" references Manhattan's Chinatown and late-night meals the chef's enjoyed at Chinese restaurants after his restaurant shifts.
A corned beef sandwich pays homage to the legendary 2nd Ave. Deli, zeppoles are the chef's favorite items from the city's colorful Feast of San Gennaro street festival, and Coney Island hot dogs speak for themselves. And the "Mamaroneck Ave. pizza?" That's a reference to the address of Sal's Pizzeria, a font for New York slices that Esses and many others hold in high esteem.
The bar is serving Buffalo Trace Manhattans, Ketel One Cosmopolitans and Abita Fall Fest beer, with all proceeds from these drinks benefiting City Harvest as well. The regular menu also is available.