|Take out the “N” and add in another “L” and a “C” and you go from NOLA to Local.|
Somehow this post feels all too familiar. Same location. New name. NOLA Oyster Bar is no more. In its place is the second location (first is in Fairfield) of Local Kitchen & Craft Beer Bar.
But like I said, something feels sort of the same. I actually reviewed NOLA a year ago during Restaurant Week and now, in the present, I went to the new spot under a new name from the people behind Southport Brewing Company.
Before I get into it, let’s reflect back on NOLA. It was good. The Dudes and I went and really did enjoy it (see that review HERE). The only problem with NOLA was that it lacked New Orleans cuisine aside from a few selections on the menu. Frankly, I’m glad they’re back and operating a restaurant that is geared towards well-done pub comfort food and local craft beer.
Much like a year ago, I thought taking advantage of Restaurant Week here was a wise choice, especially this time around. Local SoNo offered three small plates and a dessert for $19.99. Add another person to the mix and those three plates turn into six, allowing me to try way more food.
I typically never review food this way but considering I tried a bunch of different smalls, this is the only way (the only way I can think of right now). Ready? Go!
Fish Tacos (crispy cod, coleslaw, pickled onion, roasted salsa): This giant piece of fish in a soft tortilla lived up to its “crispy” description. This was perfect white cod with not too many overpowering flavors from the other fillers. I loved the added texture from the slaw and onions. I would order this many times over. (Ordered two, counts as two small plates)
|Fish is almost bigger than the tortillas!|
Country Disco Fries (fries, spicy sausage gravy, melted Vermont cheddar, pickled peppers, scallion):Oh. My. God. There are many good orders of fries in this area but at the moment I was eating them and still a few days later I’m thinking these are my favorite. These are a full-fledged fat boy dish and I particularly loved the fries the more the savory sausage gravy soaked into them. When I return I’m chowing down on these again for sure.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts (bacon, cider, maple gastrique): It seems like everyone is charring Brussels sprouts lately so why the heck shouldn’t Local do it too? I’m glad they did. This portion of baby cabbages benefitted from the sweetness from the cider and maple and the salty/fattiness from the bacon. Order the sprouts with your meal, before it, for dessert, whatevs.
Liked. A Lot.
Swedish Meatballs & Grits (creamy gravy, scallion, organic grits): The Swedish meatballs were a nice change-up from the typical meatballs and tomato sauce. The gravy was indeed creamy and the grits would not be outcreamed and were super silky. I pretty much scraped the bowl clean.
|Smooth. Silky. Creamy.|
|Like being a kid again 🙂|
Magic Bar (dessert):Dessert for Restaurant Week was the only item Local selected themselves. Usually I’d scoff at this but the Magic Bar was a welcomed surprise. Confused as to what it is? The best way I can describe it is…A barely cooked brownie with crumbled Heath Bar and whipped cream. If you liked licking the cake or brownie mix bowl clean as a kid, you’ll love this.
Meh. It Was Just OK
Pulled Pork Sliders (with coleslaw, served on a potato roll): I ate it. The pork was tender and juicy but it was under seasoned.
|Other than pulled pork sliders, Local offers a shrimp version too.|
I tried a lot at Local Kitchen but I know I still have work to do. They offer so much more including other small plates, salads, burgers and sandwiches, and a handful of hearty entrées. My only other gripe was the beer selection. I scanned the menu but couldn’t find anything that called to me that night. However, they do have over 20 taps and most of you will find something to get into. What I do like about the selection of craft beer is the emphasis on beer from this state and others that are “close enough” to Connecticut.
|Instead I had a cocktail. Nothing complicated, just a whiskey and root beer. It tasted as you probably imagine, like boozy root beer!|
It looks like I’ll be back for a burger or a full plate based on the quality of the smalls. Local Kitchen, I’ll see you in the very near future.
Local Kitchen & Craft Beer Bar
68 Washington Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854