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Designated Diner: Southern comfort foods at Brown Butter

Designated Diner Walker Rosenberg (Photos: Renee Peck)

Designated Diner Walker Rosenberg (Photos: Renee Peck)

Designated Diner: Walker Rosenberg, native New Orleanian and lifelong foodie, because aren’t we all?

His day job: Associate E&P equity analyst at Iberia Capital Partners

The restaurant: Brown Butter, 231 N. Carrollton Ave.

Its MO: Southern comfort food with a twist. Think culinary hybridization, like waffles and ham or grilled cheese and chocolate.

What Walker looks for in a restaurant: I always like something new and different. We (with wife, Erin) spend weekends on restaurant forays. We’ll hit old favorites with friends and search out new places for the two of us. My brother Jonathan is visiting from southern California soon, and he’s already sent me Eater’s hot list for dining planning purposes.

On local restaurant trends: Things seem to come in waves. Peche brought a fresh take on fish and seafood, and that was followed by Sac-a-Lait and Angelina with similar styles. The city’s generally pretty saturated with high-end dining, so it’s nice to see casual places like this. I’m friends with a lot of chefs and bartenders, and I love people in the restaurant world. They tend to be creative and fun. And they’re investing incredibly in this city.

Worth shouting about: The vinegar-braised beef short ribs with stoneground grits, hearty and tender, and presented with an accent of shredded carrots, arugula and boiled peanuts on top.

Also: The truffled egg salad sandwich on a toasted croissant, which reaps interest from the smoky infusion of the title fungi.

And: The chicken and waffle sandwich, with smoked ham, Gouda and chicken confit on sourdough bread, the whole pressed with a waffle iron and then laced with a Steen’s mustard glaze and powdered sugar. Low country meets Southern brunch.

Side effects: Roasted Brussels sprouts are charred to perfection; hand-cut fries are not the goose-fat-white-paper tricorn kind, but more rustic, and served with a creamy homemade aioli.

Sweet ending: That study-in-contrasts approach culminates in a Chocolate Grilled Cheese with Brie. Sounds weird, yes, but, oddly, it works.

The surroundings: It’s in a small strip mall, with glass front that lets in plenty of light and a more intimate bar tucked into the rear. There are lots of booths long the walls for those who like dining that way. Friendly, casual and a handy stop for the MId-City crowd.

Bottom line: Solid comfort food in casual surroundings, with generous portions and interesting flavors.

Renee Peck is editor of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]