There's always something new in the Vieux Carré. This month, we're celebrating the opening of 3rd Block Depot Kitchen + Bar, just three blocks away from the Mississippi River, Jackson Square, Canal and Bourbon streets. After one bite, it will also have a place in your heart, whether you're a local or a visitor.
3rd Block Executive Chef Nick Ocheltree grew up in Belleville, Ohio – not the bayou – but his flavors are as authentic as it gets. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, he honed his craft in Florida at the Golf Resort in Northeast Florida, followed by 16 years the Sawgrass Marriott Resort. The Commander's Family of Restaurants handpicked him to be executive chef at SoBou in New Orleans, now reimagined as 3rd Block Depot Kitchen + Bar.
Chef Nick's newest New Orleans-inspired menu is delicious and creative, and the restaurant itself is quite chic. Our team recently met there for lunch. The verdict? Oh, we’ll be back alright.
We started with cocktails. We sipped and shared the Grand Duchess (pictured above), named in honor of New Orleans burlesque legend Chris Owens who just passed away this year. Made with empress gin, grapefruit cordial, lemon juice, rose water, and sparkling wine, it was sweet, purple, and delicious. We also tried a coffee cocktail called Espress Yourself (pictured below), made with 3 Roll Dark Rum, Banana de Brazil and Espresso Syrup. It was almost so pretty we didn’t want to drink it, but we did. Yum.
And, because it seemed like the thing to do, we sampled The Doctor’s Orders, made with Ketel One Citron Vodka, Aperol, and strawberry rosemary syrup. It came with little capsules with fortunes in them. Who knew lunch could be so fun?
Food-wise, we began our 3rd Block Depot adventure with Warm Crawfish Dip with crostinis and Smoky Brussels Sprouts for the table. It was such a treat having crawfish tails that tasted this firm and fresh in the fall! And these are not the Brussels sprouts your mother made you eat when you were a kid. With parmesan cheese and a smoky honey aioli, they were positivity decadent. Every bite a delight.
Entrees we sampled included the 16-hour Smoked Pork Cuban Sandwich, the Gulf Fish Tacos (made with blackened Gulf shrimp), the Debris Po-boy (with smoked cochon de lait and and pork jus gravy), the Watermelon Salad (with feta, crystal pulp and a Serrano/lime vinaigrette), and the andouille-crusted Fried Chicken Sandwich (with Crystal Hot Sauce Mayo). The fries were divine, BTW. You absolutely can’t go wrong here. Each dish was delish.
And because we’re true New Orleanians, we had to try the Peach Cobbler Bread Pudding with house-churned bourbon vanilla ice cream. They ought to call it “Happy Days Are Here Again.” We felt we had to do it for the sake of our readers. We hope you appreciate the sacrifice.
Drop by for happy hour in the courtyard or for a celebratory meal with friends. Or check out their Sunday Legs & Eggs Burlesque Brunch with Bella Blue -- we hear it is a must-experience even if you’ve got the kids in tow. You won’t be disappointed.
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