Best Of 2020

Best Creole Cream Pasta: Pasta Monica

Best Creole Cream Pasta

From 2011 until 2018, owner Joby Bowman and chef Michael Shields ran BrewRiver GastroPub as a Creole and craft beer-focused eatery on Riverside Drive before the closure of longstanding Italian eatery Bella Luna opened up a bigger space nearby. The duo has now brought the spirit of New Orleans to that stately — and much larger — 150-year-old building on Eastern Avenue, changing their restaurant name to BrewRiver Creole Kitchen. Shields, who earned his chops under Emeril Lagasse, has added new items to the menu — broiled oysters, fried green tomatoes and jambalaya — but kept his focus on Crescent City cuisine. “People get confused by our restaurant because restaurants are usually Cajun if they are New Orleans-themed,” Bowman told CityBeat. “We called ourselves ‘Creole’ because it comes from the influence of French, Spanish, African, Italian, even Vietnamese in New Orleans food.” One of those Creole dishes is Pasta Monica, inspired by Crawfish Monica from the New Orleans Jazz Fest: plump shrimp are placed on spaghetti and generously coated in a spicy cream sauce; vegetarians can sub in mixed vegetables for a flavor-packed entrée. If the weather’s nice, try to snag a spot on the small patio and sip a Hurricane or Sazerac. BrewRiver Creole Kitchen, 4632 Eastern Ave., East End, brewrivercreolekitchen.com.