Vessel New Orleans in Mid-City
Vessel New Orleans is fun!
I felt uninspired when it came to cooking dinner last Saturday, so we decided to go out. Vessel New Orleans was our to-try list for some time. I went to their page on Open Table, and easily booked a table. Almost too easy, in fact, to the point where I feared the place might not be so hot.
I was wrong!
The place was active, in spite of the wide open options on Open Table. For now, at least, it’s a place where Mid-City folks walk in. As I sipped my “Violent Delights Have Violent Ends” cocktail, people began to come in. The cocktail, made of Sheep Dip Blended Scotch, Liquore D’Erbe Tosolini Amaro, St. George Spiced Pear Liquor, Lime, and Ginger Beer, was refreshing. I’m always worried about Scotch-based cocktails, but this was nice. Mrs. YatPundit had a French 75. It was cool that they asked her if she wanted it based on gin or brandy. She chose gin.
We started with a cheese plate with three cheeses. Left to right in the photo were a buffalo cheese with housemade strawberry preserves, pecorino with honey, and a Mediterranean Farm Cheese. The buffalo was creamy and smooth, a good pairing with the strawberry preserves and grilled lavash bread. The pecorino and honey was Mrs. YatPundit’s fave, and I enjoyed it as well. The farm cheese on the right had a nice peppery crust to it that paired well with my cocktail. Conclusion here: Mrs. YatPundit said next visit, she’ll likely order the cheese plate as a main, as it’s a good small-plate/light entree. I could probably do the same, but there are a lot of other interesting small plate and flatbread options.
No photos of the mains, alas. My family does not indulge my #foodporn habit well. After taking pics of the cocktail menu, the lovely copper mug, and the cheese, then putting them up on Instagram, I figured I should give it a rest.
Wife got the house fettucine, shrimp, oyster, crawfish, house tasso, and creole cream. She didn’t care for the fact that the shrimp were whole and unpeeled. It’s easy to toss 15-count shrimp on a grill, then on top of a pasta bowl, but then the diner has to peel it. So, the dish would have been better with the shrimp peeled in the kitchen. Once she got past that, however, it was all good. The oysters were chopped fine, and the crawfish were a good size. Vessel New Orleans’ tasso is spicy, and it does the job tasso is supposed to do, spread out through a sauce, reducing the need for additional salt or pepper. Since I didn’t get any of the shrimp, I got all the good stuff to taste, minus the peeling experience.
My entree was the house pappardelle pasta, louisiana wild boar ragu, with pecorino. Very tasty. Pappardelle is a fun, broad-noodle pasta, and the ragu (Shouldn’t that be ragout? Nevermind.) was very flavorful. Good base, and the shreeded boar was thick and tasty.
While the cocktails carried us though the cheese, wine was naturally necessary. We chose a white, Planeta La Segreta, from Sicily. One of the managers stopped by to check on us and asked after the wine. He said it was new for them. It was a Pinot Grigio blended with something else that I don’t remember now, but that’s OK. I’ll look for it at Pearl and/or Martin on my next wine run.
We split the Isot chile Vairhorns chocolate cake. It came with a white chocolate pudding and a taste of cherry sorbet. I could have had a full scoop of that sorbet and been happy. The cake was good. The dish looks like one of those silly deconstructed things, but it was just a cool presentation.
In addition to the tasty dessert, I had a cup of coffee (French pressed) to round out the evening. Next time, we’ll arrange a ride home, and I’ll have another cocktail.
Vessel New Orleans is in the 3800 block of Iberville, in the old church behind Schoen Funeral Home at Canal and N. Scott Street, therefore it’s easy to get to from downtown. Take the Canal Streetcar (either City Park or Cemeteries), and get off at the funeral home.