New Orleans Meets Chicago “Nouveau Tavern” is Ready to Take Its Place

lRecently River North has become a plethora of dining meccas. It seems each lately a new place has been opening up. After a while, all the flatbreads and nachos all blend together. Each place has a gimmick of its own, designed to catch the attention of the diner and party goer.

The other day we were given a real treat. We got a chance to try some of the yummies and get a sneak peek at River North’s next hot spot.  Noveau Tavern gives foodies a twist on Southern New Orleans cuisine.  Chef Norman Hargrove, formerly of the Peninsula learned about Cajun when he was working at the Mariott in New Orleans. But don’t be fooled, Hargrove is definitely the one in command when it comes to the kitchen. “I treat the kitchen like its my own restaurant.”  he laughed when we visited the establishment last week.  Right now  the restaurant is in the soft open phrase, with the club opening on Halloween officially.  Norman has definitely made the rounds from DC and back around to Chicago.  He was pleased to give us a sample of the food to come from Noveau.

Things started to kick off with a delicious caesar salad, chock full of grilled chicken , garnished with cheese, and dusted with a delicious vinagrette. The wings proved to be something extraordinary  though. It must be the sauce in most cases, it was in this one. The sauce was truly original . It had a zesty but sweet taste at the same time.Norman explained that it was a mixture of Asian and chili. The honey neutralized the cayenne pepper making even people who can’t stand the heat able to much on these wingies.

Our next dish was the totally amazing crawfish fritters. The fried delights resembled the common Southern delight, hush puppies. But these were so much more.  They were accompanied with a lemon cayenne mayo dip. With their tempura coating, each fritter was stuffed with pieces of crawfish.  It was like eating tiny little lobsters.  Definitely something to write home about.

Meat seems to just fall off the bone, like it did with the pork chop we were served.  The pork chop was accompanied with macaroni and cheese, greens, and red eye gravy.The greens didnt disappoint at all and the greens were not too spicy. The crowning glory was the red eye gravy. It made me smack my lips and say “more please.”

The perfect ending to a perfect meal was a complete surprise. Chef Norman proudly paraded in a skillet filled with an apple cobbler that was piping hot. It was cooled down by a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  With its aromatic smell, it was obvious that autumn has arrived. It made me homesick for the fall tastes of Ohio.

I would say that if you love the South and all things Cajun, run right down to 358 W Ontario . But a warning , be prepared for long waits when the place kicks into full swing next week.  This is gonna be the next big thing.

food 006Noveau is a combination of down home and chic metropolitan. This sneak peek shows a use of textures and rich tones to convey that message.

food 008 Future stars include these awesome crawfish fritters. The sauce is something to write home about too.

food 010 There will also be old favorites like Jambalaya.  This is rich with chicken and andoule sausage. Delicious

food 012 The best tastes of fall include this mouthwatering apple cobbler. It came fresh from the oven and was it good!!!

UntitledBravo to Chef Hargrove!  The meal was a memory that we won’t soon forget. And we will stopping in for one of those hurricanes soon.

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About chitownstarconnections

Melanie Christy is am actress/singer who came to Chicago to pursue her dreams of acting. Coming from a small town in Ohio she has been enjoying the things that city life has to offer like great cuisine from all parts of the globe, parties with great people including celebrities, gorgeous fashions and of course fun! Follow her, read her blog and learn about all the amazing adventures you can be a part of throughout Chicagoland! Jennifer Hedrick is the photographer and techie for our blogs. She was born and raised here in Chicago. Her love of photography started when she was a child. She has photographed many celebs, events, fashion shows and more. She also considers herself a bit of a foodie and loves food porn. Her other loves include her nieces and nephews, animals and the shows Castle, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
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