This popular New Orleans private kitchen has been on our list of places to review for quite some time now, so as soon as a birthday party of 10 got together, one of us quickly claimed the coveted spot. And what a spot it was.
The evening began with complimentary canapés, a cocktail and conversations between three somewhat distracted groups who were more interested in the activities in the large open kitchen. Soon enough, we were escorted from the living room through the kitchen—whispers of “Wow, what’s that?” and “That smells amazing” drifted past the friendly chef—and up to the private rooms.
Our meal began with a warm and soothing bowl of a Na’lean classic: seafood gumbo. The texture was excellent and the subtle spice pleasantly lingered after we inhaled the entire bowl. Next up was a crab cake salad which sadly only consisted of two tiny yet deliciously crispy pieces and a somewhat out-of-place simple vinaigrette salad.
This was quickly overlooked when dish after dish began to cover our table. Ribs with the meat falling off the bone, bright orange jambalaya, creamy mash two ways (regular and pitch-perfect sweet potato) and the all-time Southern favorite, homemade cornbread, were the stars of the meal.
Overall, as a short-lived resident of New Orleans, this reviewer can whole-heartedly say that the food at Magnolia will have Cajun and Creole fans coming back for more. And for those who wonder if soul food can fly the long haul, just take a bite out of their pecan pie made with love.
Side note: BYOB and no pesky corkage fee.