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Mila


TAPrice
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The rumors have been floating around for a while, but now it's official that Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing are opening in the old Rene Bistrot spot. From the TP today:

The restaurant will be called Mila, and it will open in the space that once housed Rene Bistrot in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.

"We're working now," Allison said last week. "The whole restaurant has to be built out, and we have to do some kitchen renovating. We're hoping we'll be open by mid-October, but definitely by early November."

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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The rumors have been floating around for a while, but now it's official that Slade Rushing and Allison  Vines-Rushing are opening in the old Rene Bistrot spot. From the TP today:
The restaurant will be called Mila, and it will open in the space that once housed Rene Bistrot in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.

"We're working now," Allison said last week. "The whole restaurant has to be built out, and we have to do some kitchen renovating. We're hoping we'll be open by mid-October, but definitely by early November."

So Todd, why is it called Mila?

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The rumors have been floating around for a while, but now it's official that Slade Rushing and Allison  Vines-Rushing are opening in the old Rene Bistrot spot. From the TP today:
The restaurant will be called Mila, and it will open in the space that once housed Rene Bistrot in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.

"We're working now," Allison said last week. "The whole restaurant has to be built out, and we have to do some kitchen renovating. We're hoping we'll be open by mid-October, but definitely by early November."

So Todd, why is it called Mila?

Lorin,

MI-Mississippi

LA-Louisiana

Slade hails from MS and Alison is from LA.

I really like the name for some reason.

B

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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The rumors have been floating around for a while, but now it's official that Slade Rushing and Allison  Vines-Rushing are opening in the old Rene Bistrot spot. From the TP today:
The restaurant will be called Mila, and it will open in the space that once housed Rene Bistrot in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel.

"We're working now," Allison said last week. "The whole restaurant has to be built out, and we have to do some kitchen renovating. We're hoping we'll be open by mid-October, but definitely by early November."

So Todd, why is it called Mila?

Lorin,

MI-Mississippi

LA-Louisiana

Slade hails from MS and Alison is from LA.

I really like the name for some reason.

B

I think the name is odd given that MS = Mississippi and therefore it's a bit of a stretch for me. However, MSLA is not pronouncable versus MILA, so okay. Really and truly I couldn't care less what they call it, I'm looking forward to having the Rushings in New Orleans. I know one thing though, MI is NOT the "abbreviation" for Mississippi. Do you think they just forgot that MI is the state abbreviation for Michigan?

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MI-Mississippi

LA-Louisiana

Slade hails from MS and Alison is from LA.

I think the name is odd given that MS = Mississippi and therefore it's a bit of a stretch for me. However, MSLA is not pronouncable versus MILA, so okay.

I'm just glad they're not cooking Michigan/Louisiana fusions food! :laugh: Although for all I know there might actually be some good eating up in Michigan.

Msla sounds like some sort of pseudo-Aztec restaurant, doesn't? Perhaps pre-Columbian small plates?

Lams would have worked, but perhaps a bit rustic for the Central Business District.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying it. I never got across the lake to eat at Longbranch. Wish I had. The second-hand opinion I heard about the place ran in both directions. Most loved it, but some opinions ran strong in the other direction. I'm looking forward to seeing what they're up to for myself.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I liked the food, but it did not blow me away as I was expecting it too. I may have built it up in my head too much. In their defense, it was the first night back after a return from a vacation. I did not know this when I made the reservation or I might have moved it a week. I was determined to go back and give them another shot, but did not get to it before they closed.

It will be interesting to see if the move across the pond will make a difference in what they try to do.

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I'm really looking forward to Mila. I never got a chance to make the long haul up to Abita Springs for The Longbranch, and I'm really hoping that I haven't built this up more than it deserves.

On a related note, does anyone know whether October/ November is a realistic opening date, or is this the original opening date before it gets set back for the multitude of reasons every restaurant gets sidetracked?

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On a related note, does anyone know whether October/ November is a realistic opening date, or is this the original opening date before it gets set back for the multitude of reasons every restaurant gets sidetracked?

I always add two months to any projected opening date. When I read the article, I said to myself that we won't be able to dine at Mila in this calendar year.

But who knows. They've got a big hotel behind them, which might speed the process. I also don't know how much work was done on the space when it was, at least in name, still Rene Bistrot.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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  • 1 month later...

I got a press release yesterday about MiLa. It's opening November 7. I don't believe much of what I read in press releases, but I don't think they'd announce the opening if the date wasn't reasonably firm. Looks like they will be open before Thanksgiving. Good work.

Here is the only part of the release that's not fluff:

Signature dishes include cultivated Southern classics such as: Oyster Rockefeller "Deconstructed," Pig Cheeks & Langoustines, and New Orleans Style Barbeque Lobster. Bar dining includes delectable Southern-inspired small bites such as Blue Crab Fondue and Hushpuppies and Caviar. The wine list features selections not easily found in New Orleans.

The couple prides themselves on cuisine based on purity and impeccable technique - a European approach to preparation. They already have local farms growing fresh fava beans, shitake and morels mushrooms, French melons, and lettuce for their use. One such farm is Lujele Farms in Mount Hermon, La.

Sounds good to me.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I was in there last night. I believe that they are on schedule.

And, as far as dining rooms go, the place is knocked out. It's gorgeous. Easily one of the nicest, most comfortable spaces in New Orleans. And, unlike most places in town, it would seem that a quiet dinner is possible here. Even in our finest, most old school spots, it can be pretty damn loud (never have figured that out and sometimes don't even mind the din-I, in fact, love the racket at Galatoire's) and it's nice knowing that we have a shot at something different.

Also, as it's in the Pere Marquette, parking will be really convenient. That's a big plus for the locals (for tourists staying downtown, it doesn't get much better located-one block off of Canal-really convenient).

I'll go sometime next week and report back. Really looking forward to it (I"ve seen much of the menu, but I can't talk about it-don't worry. It's going to be swell. They can both cook like crazy).

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I think the name is odd given that MS = Mississippi and therefore it's a bit of a stretch for me.  However, MSLA is not pronouncable versus MILA, so okay.  Really and truly I couldn't care less what they call it, I'm looking forward to having the Rushings in New Orleans.  I know one thing though, MI is NOT the "abbreviation" for Mississippi.  Do you think they just forgot that MI is the state abbreviation for Michigan?

It's a pleasant sounding name, combining the first letters of their home states. Is there some unwritten rule that only official state abbreviations can be used for such things?

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Well, today should be the opening for Mila, if they're on schedule.  Anyone have any word on whether this will be the case?

I just called. It's open. I'm working on getting a menu from the PR agent. I'll post it here if I get it.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Here are the opening menus (NOTE: This menu posted with the express permission of MiLa);

The dinner menu:

dinner

cold starters

our farmer’s garden salad, meyer lemonette      8

frisée salad, shaved butternut squash, goat cheese, spiced pecans  9

smoked pepper dusted tuna, soybean puree, molasses-soy            15

pate of venison and duck liver, cornichons, creole mustard            12

hot starters

oyster rockefeller “deconstructed”                14

new orleans style barbeque lobster            19/38

pan roasted sweetbreads, black truffle grits, bacon jus            14

turtle soup à prudhomme, finished with sherry    9

entrees

pig cheeks and langostines, collards, pepper vinegar    29

roasted duck breast, verjus glazed mirlitons, cornbread gnocchi    30

sweet potato papardelle, local shitakes, shaved Georgia cheese  24

pompano amandine, haricot verts, tomato confit, brown butter sauce  26

roasted grouper, creamed turnips, roasted cepes, brown chicken jus  27

sautéed redfish, fricassee of vegetables, escargot, herbsaint nage  25

grilled new york strip, sweet potato truffle gratin, red wine sauce  32

Lunch menu:

lunch

appetizers

our farmer’s garden salad, lemonette, toasted sunflower seeds  7

chicory salad with goat cheese, shaved butternut squash, spiced pecans  8

pate of venison and duck liver, cornichons , creole mustard    9

turtle soup à prudhomme, finished with sherry    8

sandwiches

mrs. summerville’s burger, texas toast, sweet potato fries    14

lemony chicken salad sandwich, griddled croissant, mixed greens  12

braised duck leg poboy, satsuma mustard, garlic fries    15

fried grouper sandwich, french tartar sauce, coleslaw    16

entrees

     

chicken and dumpling “en croute”        16

pan roasted scallop salad, local lettuces, warm grapefruit vinaigrette  19

molasses glazed salmon, white sweet potato puree, baby mustard greens  20

grilled flat iron steak chopped salad, blue cheese, cornbread croutons  18

kobe beef pot roast, fall vegetables, natural jus    22

Dessert:

desserts

selection of artisanal cheeses with housemade condiments    15

mississippi mud galette, coffee ice milk      9

creamy vanilla rice pudding with rum soaked raisins      7

banana pudding brulee, cat tongue cookies, chantilly cream    8

meyer lemon icebox parfait, fresh raspberries, crème anglaise    8

new orleans coffee custard, brandy snap tuile, orange confit    7

red velvet financier, cream cheese ice cream, praline    7

muscadine wine jello, tropical fruits, sweet cream      6

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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My girlfriend and I had dinner at MiLa last night, and I have to say that as high as our expectations were, they were absolutely and completely blown away. MiLa, after three nights open, is serving food on or above the level of any restaurant in New Orleans.

Our server was helpful but not overbearing, and the general manager, Jim, was informative and exceptionally welcoming. The service all night was friendly and spot-on.

But the food is what we were there for, and was more surprisingly delicious than anything I've had in a long time. The venison and duck liver pate, when combined with the cornichons, creole mustard, and okra was interestingly textured, and the acidity in the condiments phenomenally contrasted with the pecans and meatiness of the pate. My girlfriend started with the sweetbreads. The truffled grits were one of the most sublimely rich things I have ever experienced. If anyone has ever had the grits at Dante's Kitchen, imagine them plus truffles.

The entrees were, impossibly, a step up from the appetizers. I had pig cheeks and langoustines, and it arrived in a cast iron pot, in stew form. The pig cheeks literally fell apart at the touch of a fork, and the langoustines were like the sweetest fresh-caught crab in the world. Both were presented in a broth. I can't find an words for this beyond amazing. My girlfriend had the grouper, which I didn't try, but she thoroughly enjoyed.

Dessert was a cheese plate for me, with a blue, a sheep's milk, and a third I don't remember. These were served with chestnut bread and an eggplant jam, which was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. My girlfriend had the sublime muscadine jello. You wouldn't believe how good jello can be. It was shocking.

I'm exhausted from thinking about the meal again, so I think I'll skip any conclusion. Just go. You won't regret it.

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Here's something interesting. I was googling MiLa to find the website (still pretty under construction) and I found this blog for the restaurant:

Mila blog.

No real entries yet, but it might be worth watching.

access forbidden

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Here's something interesting. I was googling MiLa to find the website (still pretty under construction) and I found this blog for the restaurant:

Mila blog.

No real entries yet, but it might be worth watching.

access forbidden

I swear it was there just a few days ago, but it didn't have any real content. Just a single post announcing the opening. Too bad. It would be interesting to see chefs blog about a new restaurant.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thats a beauty of a menu!

Here are the opening menus (NOTE: This menu posted with the express permission of MiLa);

The dinner menu:

dinner

cold starters

our farmer’s garden salad, meyer lemonette      8

frisée salad, shaved butternut squash, goat cheese, spiced pecans   9

smoked pepper dusted tuna, soybean puree, molasses-soy             15

pate of venison and duck liver, cornichons, creole mustard             12

hot starters

oyster rockefeller “deconstructed”                14

new orleans style barbeque lobster             19/38

pan roasted sweetbreads, black truffle grits, bacon jus             14

turtle soup à prudhomme, finished with sherry     9

entrees

pig cheeks and langostines, collards, pepper vinegar     29

roasted duck breast, verjus glazed mirlitons, cornbread gnocchi    30

sweet potato papardelle, local shitakes, shaved Georgia cheese   24

pompano amandine, haricot verts, tomato confit, brown butter sauce  26

roasted grouper, creamed turnips, roasted cepes, brown chicken jus   27

sautéed redfish, fricassee of vegetables, escargot, herbsaint nage   25

grilled new york strip, sweet potato truffle gratin, red wine sauce   32

Lunch menu:

lunch

appetizers

our farmer’s garden salad, lemonette, toasted sunflower seeds   7

chicory salad with goat cheese, shaved butternut squash, spiced pecans  8

pate of venison and duck liver, cornichons , creole mustard    9

turtle soup à prudhomme, finished with sherry     8

sandwiches

mrs. summerville’s burger, texas toast, sweet potato fries    14

lemony chicken salad sandwich, griddled croissant, mixed greens   12

braised duck leg poboy, satsuma mustard, garlic fries    15

fried grouper sandwich, french tartar sauce, coleslaw    16

entrees

      

chicken and dumpling “en croute”        16

pan roasted scallop salad, local lettuces, warm grapefruit vinaigrette  19

molasses glazed salmon, white sweet potato puree, baby mustard greens  20

grilled flat iron steak chopped salad, blue cheese, cornbread croutons  18

kobe beef pot roast, fall vegetables, natural jus     22

Dessert:

desserts

selection of artisanal cheeses with housemade condiments    15

mississippi mud galette, coffee ice milk       9

creamy vanilla rice pudding with rum soaked raisins      7

banana pudding brulee, cat tongue cookies, chantilly cream     8

meyer lemon icebox parfait, fresh raspberries, crème anglaise    8

new orleans coffee custard, brandy snap tuile, orange confit     7

red velvet financier, cream cheese ice cream, praline     7

muscadine wine jello, tropical fruits, sweet cream      6

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MiLa again tonight... Amazing, again. I'll refer you to my last description for the details, but I just wanted to tell y'all that I was told tonight the current menu is a temporary, "get everyone on track" menu, and the full menu will have 5 or 6 more entrees!

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  • 4 months later...

We hadn't been at the IACP conference in New Orleans 24 hours before we'd heard about this new place of Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing (late of Longbranch on the North Shore) three times -- the first from local blogger Blake Killian; the second from Lolis Eric Elie; the third from legendary mixologist Chris McMillian (who hosts the bar at the attached Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel).

After due consideration, we demurred on the spring tasting menu (which included seared filet of veal, foie gras, madeira sauce -- something I'm loath to pass up) for the ala carte -- mainly so we could try the "Oysters Rockefeller Deconstructed," which both Blake and Lolis had described as the culinary equivalent of the second coming.

They weren't wrong. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We were seated immediately -- an occurrence that's becoming increasingly rare in New Orleans. The room is simply done, with a few dramatic banquettes floating among simpler tables. A deep blue lighting scheme accented with soft drum-like hanging fixtures makes the room feel like just past dusk on the bayou. Within seconds we were greeted by servers three times, a pattern that would repeat itself throughout the evening, though it never felt stuffy or forced. Despite that level of attention, three waiters and two runners handled the entire room (I'm guessing fifty diners, though I didn't count) with ease.

We ordered glasses of Mumm's Napa Cuvee to start, and stayed with that through the first course. The bread basket arrived, an equal portioning of sweet potato rolls and cornbread, with a good, unsalted (I think) butter that had been properly sprinkled with fleur de sel. The rolls were great; the cornbread was denser than I prefer, though nicely savory rather than sweet. I do wonder, though, why New Orleans restaurants seem to prefer to serve these sorts of baskets, unleavened with the very good French bread that's available in the city. Something light and crunchy along with the sweet and dense would provide a good contrast.

The amuse was a single seviche-style bay scallop dressed with truffle oil, tobiko (and some sort of microgreen that was gone before I ascertained its species). It's a perfect little gift from the kitchen -- I wanted about five more.

Now back to the oysters: four (maybe five) fat specimens, having been poached in beurre fondue, rest on top of a bed of spinach. A half-inch square of thin, crispy bacon crowns each oyster. The dish is finished with a foam (no emulsifiers or stabilzers; just beaten into a froth with an immersion blender) made from the poaching liquid. The lightness of the composition is a complete surprise; the balance is impeccable. A bit of licorice root sharpens the softer oyster and butter flavors without letting the iron of the spinach get out of hand. This is a dish that all by itself makes a visit to New Orleans worthwhile, at least when the oysters are good.

Luckily, the rest of the meal adhered to the same standards, though perhaps it didn't reach the same heights. A white asparagus veloute, garnished with tender crawfish tails (too many places overcook them) and spicy lobster oil, was notable for its impossible texture -- absolutely lacking the graininess that often characterizes vegetable purees, yet full of asparagus flavor. Again, the accompaniments were of a piece with the dish's concept: light and piquant, balanced in texture and taste.

For mains, we had Rotisserie Sweet Tea Brined Duck and Seared Rouget. The duck, as you can imagine from the description, is marinated in sweet tea for a couple of days, then set over an open fire and lacquered with (I'm guessing) date reduction. Then it's carved into nice plump chunks and set on a bed of greens. Cubes of red and gold beets are scattered about; date reduction completes the dish. It's as rich as the veloute is light, but no less balanced. The greens are spicy (arugula, I think), and the date reduction isn't nearly as syrupy as one might expect. Perhaps the skin of the duck wasn't absolutely top-notch in crispness, but robust flavor and perfect roasting (no rare duck here; this is cooked through, but remains tender and moist), with overtones of tannin and smoke from the tea and the fire.

Time now to explain a private joke we like to play on restaurant staff: at restaurants, we almost always make our choices with the intention of sharing. We'll place the order as a piece, and tell the waiter what we're doing. Sometimes this results in extra plates; somtimes it doesn't. Regardless, it's always amusing to see who gets what. In this case, the runner placed the duck before me, and the fish in front of my female companion. This is the most common pattern -- the guy gets the steak, the beer, the duck; the girl gets the chicken, the wine, the fish. In this case, though, I figured that the joke was on me, as our usual habit is to eat half of what we get, then trade plates. There was no way the rouget would stand up to dates, duck and beets.

I was wrong. Rouget is a small fish, but its fat level stands up well to robust treatment. At MiLa, they pan fry it skin on, pile up the small filets with ribbons of ramps like a piscine napoleon and set the stack on a pool of black-eyed pea puree. More lobster -- this time in the form of an emulsion -- completes the dish. It's every bit the equal of the duck.

We didn't stay for dessert, but the Root Beer Float (vanilla bavarois, gingersnap tuiles, root beer sorbet) was tempting, as was the rhubarb clafoutis with lemongrass and white chocolate sherbet.

That last entry is telling: rhubarb, lemongrass, white chocolate. Though MiLa is at heart a southern (specifically Mississippi and Louisiana, hence the name) restaurant, the Rushings are unafraid to look at ingredients from outside the region (though the actual provenance of many ingredients is less than a half-day's drive away) and apply them using their expansive talents and exceptional palates.

Go now -- before you can't get in.

+ + +

MiLa

817 Common St

New Orleans, LA 70112

(in the Pere Marquette Hotel)

Reservations: (504) 412-2580

Website: milaneworleans.com

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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