Dining Review: Mosquito Supper Club – New Orleans
When Seb Modak of NYTimes 52 Places highlighted his extended stay in New Orleans and mentioned that Mosquito Supper Club was *the* meal he was looking forward to the most, I immediately saved it for when we went on this trip. I had no idea what it was about but I knew it had to be something special.
The menu is a predetermined tasting menu that showcases old world cajun cooking styles of Louisiana seafood, a fading art according to the chef and owner as cited in her cookbook.
When you make this reservation, you need to pay in full at the time of booking and it is non-refundable. This certainly made me hesitate – dropping $85 a person for a mystery meal where the website was pretty vague on the menu but the reviews were all very positive – we took the risk. There are two seatings to select from – 530P and 830P. We chose the 530P seating – I can only eat that late in Europe! This place books up fast so I figured the risk was very low in this case. I had no issues booking a month out but I curiously checked before our trip and every spot was sold out for weeks.
A very unlikely spot for a restaurant, it is situated unassumingly smack in the middle of a residential street with only a sign on the gate indicating the true identify. It felt like we were going into a secret club, a speakeasy dinner club and we were beyond excited.
When we walked into the house, we were immediately filled with joy – this was going to be a special meal. The house is beautifully appointed with art, distressed wood, and farmhouse decor.
From a COVID stance, these guys get two thumbs up. We were seated at the far end of a giant table that ended up being completely ours and the next and only other party dining in our room was at the other side of the room. The staff were great about mask wearing and we felt very safe.
Ok, time to get started!
Sweet Potato Biscuits with steen’s cane butter
Our first dish! Three little orange pillows – one for each of us. It would have been tempting to pop the entire thing in my mouth at once but I know better – small bites for small portions with big flavor. After generously applying the butter, I took a bite and it was as expected, an instant burst of flavor! The sweet potato biscuit had a nice crunch on the outside and was soft, fluffy, and delicate on the inside. The sweet potato added just enough sweetness to notice it and contrasted so nicely with the saltiness of the butter. We were in for a good night and I could not believe I hesitated booking here!
Indian River Lagoon Oysters with a red wine vinegar mignonette
An oyster is an oyster, right? At first, it is hard to tell the difference between oysters but having had oysters earlier in the day and these a few hours later, it was easier to spot the difference. These oysters were all large and perfectly shucked – free of any unwanted shell pieces. But the water suspending the oysters was different. The Indian River Lagoon is where ocean sea water and river freshwater meet so the water in these oysters is less salty. That with the red wine vinegar mignonette on top – delightful!
Crawfish Sliders with benne rolls and micro celery
Our eyes lit up with excitement when these beauties were placed in front of us. This reminded me of a spin on a lobster roll, the really good ones that let the lobster shine. But in this case, the crawfish was the star and these were simply delicious! And a bonus that these were not spicy even though they could have been – they were seasoned well but it was not over powering to allow the crawfish to really shine. When one of the staff came to clear our plates, we could not stop praising this dish. And here we find out it is the debut night for it – how lucky are we!
2020 Field Recordings Dry Hop Pet-Nat
This selection was probably not best suited on me as I do not enjoy carbonation or beer but I appreciate the creativity!
Cast Iron Royal Red Shrimp with kale, swiss chard, garlic confit, chili flakes, pea shoots
Oh how beautiful are these! I love peel and eat shrimp but I could tell by the red hue I was going to have a hard time with these – the chili flakes were everywhere. The boys dug in immediately singing the praise of this dish. I gingerly peeled a shrimp, trying to pick off as many flakes as I could, and ate one – the burn hurt but the shrimp was so darn good. I was able to make it through two shrimp and the boys happily consumed the remaining shrimp. The only thing missing was some wet wipes!
Wine- 2020 Teutonic Wine Company “Pear Blossom Vineyard” Riesling
We love Riesling so we were so pleased to see one of these on our pairing list! Even though the name indicated pear, I think we were all caught off guard how pear forward this riesling was. It was really fun and paired nicely with the spicy shrimp.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with green beans, pickled peach and spring onion, parsley, poirier’s cane vinaigrette, edible flowers
Farm fresh salad was as farm to table as you can get – tasted as though it was just picked from a garden in the back.
Fried Higgins Softshell Crab with sorrel, covey rise corn succotash, lemon butter
I think we collectively audibly gasped when this dish appeared. A full fried softshell crab over a pool of creamed corn – ugh this plate! It was a fight to pace ourselves – to take our time and enjoy every bite. The corn succotash had no right to be as delicious as it was, swimming in the lemon butter sauce – it was amazing. And the crab was just perfection – prepared wonderfully and absolutely delicious until the last piece. We all took pauses to avoid inhaling this dish and making it last just a little longer. We all wished for more – definitely the highlight of this meal.
Wine – 2019 Maître de Chai “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Chardonnay
Another white wine – what a delight! This Chardonnay reminded me of some of our favorites, nice and full bodied smoothed out with a touch of oak to give this wine a caramel sensation. Crowd favorite!
Cider Glazed Brown Sugar Cake with strawberry gelato and lime sorbet
If you have read any of my dining reviews before, you know I am a chocolate fanatic and this dish did not leave me wanting. The cake was fantastic – it looks dense like a pound cake but it was very light and the cider glaze was a great addition. The double ice cream was a fun treat – both the strawberry and the lime were balanced and not overpowering. The strawberry reduction with the cake was my favorite combo. We all really enjoyed this dessert!
Wine – Henriques and Henriques Madeira Seco Especial
I was certainly happy with this choice of after dinner drink – a fortified wine that was very nutty and smoky, which paired wonderfully with the cider glazed brown sugar cake.
Just, wow. WOW. What a dining experience! We yearn for these gems when we travel and it is certainly what we have been missing in our recent outdoor adventures and certainly through the pandemic.
The service and staff were phenomenal and made this such a fun, comfortable experience that let the food be the star. The staff exuded excitement and pride for their menu, like they were genuinely happy that we were dining there tonight. They kept the atmosphere completely relaxed – a place like this could get away with enforcing dress codes and whatnot but they are just here to serve up some delicious, authentic food.
As for the drinks, there were a ton of options and an extensive menu of cocktail, wine and local craft beer. We opted for the wine pairing, which was $45 per person. The sommelier was awesome and very passionate about the choices of wine selected for the pairings. Tonight, he was featuring all domestic wines, a fun challenge on his end that worked extremely well. And he even topped off the wine glasses throughout the meal – which was greatly appreciated!
I think it comes to no surprise that I highly recommend adding this meal to your New Orleans trip. While this style of dining is not for everyone, if you are looking for an exceptional dining experience, snag a reservation and prepare yourself for a memorable meal.