Since March, upper east siders have had access to Masq, a new New Orleans style restaurant that has the look and feel of a place down south in Louisiana. I had the chance to try out some of their dishes, wines and cocktails and was impressed. There are not that many restaurants offering all of these types of fare in one place and of this quality.
The restaurant itself is owned by a husband and wife team and the kitchen is run by Marc Getzelman. Because the restaurant is situated in long narrow former townhouse, there are several different areas, each of which can be rented out for private events. A small stage offers live music on Thursday nights and every night is happy hour from 4 to 8 PM. There is something for everyone, but those over 21 will enjoy some splendid cocktails, both from the bayou and beyond.
For starters, we were served a single macaroni and cheese croquette, with a spicy remoulade. The crispy outer layer and creamy center were incredibly paired with the spicy of the sauce. Three come in a normal order.
Next we all shared a proscuitto and fig flatbread. Masq offers a few different flatbreads, two of which are vegetarian. The flatbread itself could have been a tad less crispy, but it was well prepared with the goat cheese and arugula to go with proscuitto and figs.
The first of the ‘main’ courses was an Asian marinated salmon with a bed of mixed greens. You could say this is one of the healthy options on the menu. I normally am not a big salmon person, as it’s usually boring, but the Asian marinade of honey, garlic and soy sauce was quite nice. Just ask for it rare if you really want to keep in the flavor.
A shrimp po’ boy came next, though a smaller version. Four different po’ boys are on the menu, but shrimp is what I would always want. The same remoulade that was on the mac n cheese ball came on this sandwich. Served with a nice slaw, it sure didn’t last long on my plate.
Finally, one of the most renowned cajun dishes arrived — jambalaya. A spicy version at that, all coming from the andouille sausage. It also features chicken and shrimp, for the full trifecta. I loved the spice of this dish, and don’t know how I could put down a full portion, but I sure would try. One interesting twist is the addition of goat cheese. Definitely not cajun, but gives it a nice richness and cuts the spice if you’re having trouble.
To send us home on a sweet note, we tasted a sabayon with fresh fruit. It was a nice end to the meal. Every dish did have that down home Cajun flavor, with the po boy and mac n cheese corquette being the winners in my book. If you’re looking to get a taste of New Orleans without the expensive plane ticket, come check out Masq.