New Orleans' Chef Dominique is one of the most celebrated new chefs in America. He mixes inspiration of his native Mauritius with French, Asian, and New Orleans influences. Since Hurricane Katrina, he has been running his restaurant out of the Westchase Marriott. On my visit last weekend, the food was outstanding. His rock shrimp with foie gras emulsion appetizer was salty and rich. His tuna appetizer came with cubes of tuna sashimi mixed in a mysterious tasty green mayo sauce with an exotic tuna empanada. His redfish entree with lobster/lemon oil served on a bed of hearts of palm and crawfish was even better.
On the down side, the current location in a hotel atrium (way outside the Loop!) feels like a bad taste time warp back to 1984. The wine list is similarly bad -- in the storm, Dominique's lost an amazing collection of wines, including some Bordeaux dating back to the 19th century. But great food makes up for a multitude of sins. If you read this in time, you really should try this outstanding food before Chef Dominique and his team return to New Orleans. I was told their last day in Houston is January 26 or 27.