Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday 5 Road Trip NOLA: Chef Alon Shaya

It's not every week we get to introduce you to a James Beard Winner. Take a well deserved trip to The Crescent City and meet 2015 James Beard Best Chef: South, Alon Shaya. Blending the flavors of his homeland of Tel Aviv and drawing from Italian influences from his childhood home in Philadelphia, Chef Alon is turning NOLA on end with his interpretations of classics and new favorites at his two restaurants, Domenica and Pizza Domenica.

1. Special Occasions - When it's time to celebrate, hire a driver and head out to Mosca's Italian Restaurant. That place invented creole Italian dining. They serve some crazy amazing shrimp cooked with their heads on in butter, rosemary and black pepper. My favorite combo there is the Oysters Mosca put on top of the Spaghetti Bordelaise. Turn up the juke box, get loud with some friends, drink Chianti and eat some meatballs. Nothing gets better or more fun than that.

2. Guilty Pleasure - On late nights when I'm on my way home from work and haven't eaten all day, I stop at Brother's Food Mart and get some Fried Chicken and Meat Pies. It's a craving that cannot be replaced by anything else. I limit my visits to once every few months so I don't double in size.

3. Eating on the Cheap - Tan Dinh Vietnamese restaurant is absolutely addictive. I always find myself craving their Spicy Tofu, Chicken Pho and Grilled Pork Spring Rolls. It's all about sharing there so go with a group and order a big spread.

4. Neighborhood Hangout - I love Pagoda Cafe, which is a great coffee and breakfast spot. They turned a really charming little building into an anchor for the neighborhood. Since I work nights my wife and I love to walk our dogs there and get Cappuccinos and Smoked Salmon and Capers with Cream Cheese on Toast.

5. Dining Solo - Cafe Degas has one small outside table. If it's open, I will go and get a Hanger Steak and Fries while I catch up on some computer work. It's right in my neighborhood and is everything I want a French bistro to be. It's old school, it never changes and I find it very comforting and peaceful.

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