Nola, short for New Orleans, is the name Rachel Moeller from Rachel’s Cake gave to her new project: a bistronomic restaurant that is the product of a meeting in Louisiana with Ryan Pearson who were the executive sous-chef at Bâtard*, a one Michelin star restaurant in New York.
“I was on holidays in the USA when I bumped into Ryan. We met several times and I asked him to come to Paris. He said yes the day after.”
Together, they decided to make people in Paris discover the Cajun cuisine and this is how the opened Two Stories near the Canal Saint-Martin. The building features a wooden façade and two stories and two stories to tell: the ice-cream corner and bar called the POBoy Café, on the first floor, and a semi-gastronomic restaurant on the first floor, the Nola.
Once you walk through the door, you leave the Quai de Jemmapes to discover a South-USA canteen where you can come at any time throughout the day to enjoy on the spot or to take away the famous ice cream strawberry cheesecake, drink a coffee roast on the spot or try the delicious Po’boy sandwich with smoked sausage.
Climb up the stairs and travel through time. Here you are, 100 years earlier, in a setting worthy of an American movie set where you can easily imagine the sweet smell of brandy and cigar. Dark woods, soft lightning and a blues pianist top it off and come along the 6-course meal. For our vegetarian friends, be rest assured because a special menu is offered.
Do not miss the homemade cocktails: refreshing long drinks such as the wonderful Hurricane (rum, pomegranate liquor, passion fruits, orange juice, lime) or liquor-like wines like the Sazérac, the blend of Whisky, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters and cane sugar. For your record, this blend is said to be the very first known cocktail. But the team will tell you the story better than I do.
First things first, the starters with watermelon served fresh and pickled, fresh basil served with oil, the whole is served with ricotta. Let’s stay in the fresh part of the starters with heirloom tomatoes served with crab flesh (or without for the vegetarian version), a passion fruit vinaigrette and toasted bread: smoothness, sourness, crunchiness… a three-part pattern we will find in each and every plate that we will be served. Coming up, the foie gras pressed with pig head, pig ears are then fried.
If there is one dish to symbolize Nola’s cuisine, it would be the incredible wild sea bass filet cooked with a brioche crust and served with maque choux (corn, onions, green bell pepper, a traditional dish of southern Louisiana) and a smooth corn sabayon. So delicious! Vegetarian gourmets will not be left over with the wonderful agnolotti filled with mashed potatoes, a few chanterelle mushrooms and parmesan.
After a cheesy break and an unexpected pairing with ash-coated Parthenay goat’s cheese, celery and pecans, it is now up to the female pastry chef and Ryan Pearson’s life partner: Emma Alden. She will end this gourmet adventure with strawberries and short cake or maybe with chocolate served as a brownie or a granita.
The wine list is overabundant and we advise you to give a free rein to the excellent and passionate staff.
This address will surely leave its mark on the Parisian gastronomic landscape by bringing this touch of genius, freedom and the typical boldness of American chefs mixed with the excellent quality of products of the French terroir.
Count about €80 for a cocktail – starter – main dish – dessert – 1 glass of wine menu and about €120 to live the complete experience with the tasting menu. Here is another tip, ask for the table next to the window to enjoy the view on the canal Saint-Martin.
72, Quai de Jemmapes
Reservation: +33 (0)6 98 21 28 45
72 Quai de Jemmapes
75010 Paris 10
M5 Jacques Bonsergent
menu végétarien: 65 €
menu dégustation: 85 €