The shrimp and poblano-cheddar stone-ground grits are still on the menu. Co-chef-owner Ross Coleman says there's no way he and the other half of the team, James Haywood, could remove their famous gumbo, rich with shrimp, crab, sausage, chicken, okra and crab, either. But he says it while proffering their newest soup, Dazzled by Duck, a rich broth that's by turns Thai and Chinese but filled with Japanese ramen noodles.
Welcome to the new Kitchen 713. The second version of the beloved Canal Street restaurant is missing what I called the "mysterious tiled nook" and serve-yourself drinks and utensils of the homey original space, but the 4601 Washington Avenue location gains an elegant new design, full service and a menu of the size and ambition the chefs had always dreamed of. That includes a liquor license which allows for some highly creative drinks created by Haywood. I was impressed with the Forbidden, which combines quince liqueur with Cognac, homemade quince jam, saffron bitters and an aromatic wash of rosewater.
Lunch dishes still include the hearty oxtail grilled cheese of Canal Street, but also ventures into more sophisticated territory such as a house-cured tuna sandwich with nduja and homemade giardiniera, and fish tacos served in handmade tortillas.
Dinner brings a menu that includes apps and small and large plates. Besides the dishes pictured above, starters include Shanghai ribs, Thai-style fried chicken with plantain-chile dip and Italy's famous egg-yolk ravioli, in this case served with chicken mousse and confit, crispy Brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds in a consommé. Among the five small plates, there's Ethiopian fish stew, seared scallops in fermented red bean sabayon and pork trotter served over ricotta gnudi. Large plates include a whole fried fish with Thai flavors except for smoked tomato-tamarind butter. Oxtail is braised in black vinegar for an Asian spin (a hit at the original location), while lamb chops are rubbed in Ethiopian mitmita spice mix and served over pumpkin gnocchi—after all, Ethiopia was once a colony of Italy.
Diners will get to sample it all beginning next Monday, December 26, with lunch beginning at 11 a.m. On weekdays, the restaurant will be open until 10 p.m. On weekends, the bar scene will extend to midnight. The beloved brunch begins next weekend, just in time for a most delicious New Year celebration.