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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Riche by Todd English

228 Poydras St. (Fulton St.) Send to Phone
504-533-6117
Chef Todd English tries his hand at French bistro cooking with mixed results.
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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Riche by Todd English Restaurant Review

: New Orleans normally exports celebrity chefs, such as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. With the arrival of Todd English’s Riche inside Harrah’s, the city has its first celebrity import. English, best known for the contemporary Mediterranean cuisine at Olives, tries his hand at French bistro cooking. For a Creole city where amandine and meunière preparations are part of the daily diet, New Orleans actually has few pure French restaurants. Riche adds escargots, steak tartare and coquilles St. Jacques to the local culinary landscape. The style is very Vegas, with an over-the-top décor that looks like a theme-park re-creation of a bordello. The portions also show a Vegas-like lust for excess. A beet salad, billed as an appetizer, arrives on a platter filled with wedges of two entire beets. The entrée of skate meunière is piled high with three skate wings. The plates look pristine, but the food is often more pretty than delicious. One night almost every item was over-salted. Another time, the unifying theme of the evening was an excess of oil. The wine list focuses on French and Californian bottles. New Orleanians are notoriously suspicious of outside restaurateurs. Riche may appeal to visiting high rollers spending their comps, but it must raise the standards in the kitchen to win over the locals.

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