Meauxbar is one of the most beautiful and romantic bistros in the French Quarter. Located on the corner of St. Phillip and North Rampart streets, across from Louis Armstrong Park, Meauxbar’s ambiance combines coziness with contemporary sizzle. The interior is intimately dark while sparkling with mirrors and urban chandeliers. Grab a booth, a table by the window, or a seat at the bar and enjoy one of the cities best versions of delicious bistro fare.
Chef Kristen Essig has solid New Orleans credentials; she has worked previously with Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse, and other renowned chefs. At Meauxbar’s helm, Essig has found her groove and her spot continues to gain kudos from both visitors and local fans. Although the restaurant is small (48 seats) it does not feel cramped or overcrowded but convivial and vibrant. Her crew is enthusiastically loyal — you can feel their pride and passion from the first greeting — as if they have found a unique place, and they want you to join in a special secret.
And, Meauxbar is special! Sure there are plenty of great bistros in town, but Essig has learned to stick to her strengths. The restaurant is only open for dinner but stays open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Entrees are limited to about eight dishes: French menu items such such as steak au poivre, moules-frites, and fish amandine — each with a New Orleans twist.
Let’s start with the beverages. Did you know there is a local custom to have that first cocktail in front of you before seriously addressing the food menu? Consider Meauxbar’s Old Square cocktail made with cognac, rye whiskey, amaro, and gingerbread bitters. Or, if you are really adventurous, ask for the Flambeaux 75 with mezcal, honey, cava, and grapefruit oil. Tart and powerful. The wine menu is weighted toward continental selections, primarily French, with a few nice domestic choices, particularly in the heartier red wines.
As for starters, don’t miss the the crispy pork belly and scallops with kimchi vinaigrette, topped with toasted cashews. This is a dish that emanates the balancing act of New Orleans’ new cooking techniques by combining the best sensations of chewy, crispy, and salty with touches of heat and citrus. If there weren’t plenty of other great small plates on Meauxbar’s menu, you could have two plates of pork belly and scallops with no regrets!
Main dish winners include a perfectly cooked steak au poivre with parmesan frites or the fresh Louisiana gulf fish of the day, delicately cooked Amandine-style, accompanied by rice pilaf and haricot verts — one of the most satisfying local fish preparations you will find in the Quarter.
Take your time dining at Meauxbar. Your servers will steer you in the right direction for desserts such as Meyer lemon icebox pie with graham cracker crust and crème anglaise, or gelato from a local purveyor. Relax with an aperitif or coffee. In the perfect French tradition – there’s no need to rush this bistro experience.