Put a Spring Roll in Your Step



Here's a view of a good portion of the bar snacks on offer at Marigny Brasserie, the restaurant with a new chef that I reviewed recently. These are available only up front at the restaurant's stylish and spacious bar, and they make great happy hour fare or an interesting alternative to a full-on dinner.

Front and center are toasts smeared with goat cheese and topped with mushrooms. In the middle, at left, are a pair of "sliders," part of the strangely long-lived miniature burger trend. At least here they are made with an interesting patty of ground lamb and topped with a tart tomato relish. In the middle right, is a plate of falafel.

And in the rear -- for some strange reason the furthest from my reach -- are the best things on the table: the lobster egg rolls (left) and the spicy smoked duck spring rolls.

The new chef here, Dan Esses, got the idea for these last two while on a post-Katrina gig in New York at the super-sized Chinese restaurant Buddakan.

You can get a few other things at the bar here, like a bowl of mussels or, of course, a burger. But for a quick, casual bite I think assembling a table full of these small plates is the way to go. If you're on your way to a club down along Frenchmen Street, a few smoked duck spring rolls can be just the thing to start off the evening.

- Ian McNulty

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