Chef Michael Gulotta Debuts Non-Traditional New Orleans Brunch
Among the eclectic, chef-driven restaurants redefining dining in New Orleans is Maypop, home to Food & Wine 2016 “Best New Chef” Michael Gulotta. Sister to Gulotta’s acclaimed MOPHO, the restaurant, located in downtown’s South Market District, is known for its unique menu of elevated, Southeast Asia-meets-Southern Louisiana cuisine. Now diners can enjoy Maypop’s stylish, sublime and satisfying fare at a one-of-a-kind Dim Sum Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In the city where the tradition of brunch started (with Madam Begue’s Butcher’s Breakfast), Maypop’s Dim Sum Brunch is unlike any other. “New Orleans has some of the best brunch spots in the country,” says Gulotta. “For Maypop I wanted to do something different that really represented what the restaurant is about. Taking a dim sum approach was a no-brainer.”
Gulotta and Chef de Cuisine Nick Stackeni have created an array of non-traditional dim sum offerings ($6-$12), showcasing different styles, ingredients and flavor profiles. Pork and cane syrup sausage stuffed sesame balls are a savory play on the traditional Vietnamese dessert bánh rán. These bite size fritters are at once crunchy and chewy with a flavor that resembles pancakes and sausage. Traditionalists will enjoy turnip cakes, pan-fried and served with housemade XO sauce made with dried Louisiana Gulf Shrimp. Other options include bacon scallion pancakes made with a small amount of grits for extra texture and served with a spicy cucumber kimchi and oyster salad; salt and pepper shrimp with roasted chiles; and Octopus shumai—housemade octopus sausage stuffed dumplings topped with chili oil and spicy mustard. Head cheese and blue crab soup dumplings are made in-house and feature fresh blue crab and a spicy hog’s head cheese broth. Boasting a variety of flavors, the roasted eggplant and watermelon with blistered hot peppers and mint is spicy, sweet and refreshing. Those looking for southern brunch fare will delight in the crabmeat toast—warm crab and asparagus salad tossed in a green garlic vinaigrette, served on thick cut housemade bread and topped with a spicy roasted garlic and coconut oil hollandaise.
Diners can accompany brunch with one of the boozy Eye Openers ($8—$12) including a fresh fruit cava cocktail (raspberry or passionfruit); Maypop milk punch; the spicy curry and clove flavor of the vindaloo bloody mary; and the espresso sua da with hoodoo chickory liqueur—a powerful pick-me-up and Maypop’s twist on a Vietnamese iced coffee.