At Meauxbar, nestled within the French Quarter of New Orleans, executive chef Kristen Essig serves high-end comfort food — such as pork belly and scallop with sherry-orange gastrique, kimchi vinaigrette, and cashews and beef tartare with chipotle, cacao, bacon aioli, and crisps — in an authentic French bistro atmosphere. A 2015 Food & Wine nominee for The People's Best New Chef, Essig also includes a sandwich as an entrée on her dinner menu, one that Elle called “impossibly chic and utterly satisfying:” a French onion grilled cheese.
To make one, the chef piles pasture-raised Painted Hills brisket, Gruyère cheese, and red wine and thyme-caramelized onions between two thick-cut slices brioche bread upon which has been spread with house-made garlic aioli.
Chef Essig spoke to us about the inspiration behind this culinary masterpiece and explained that it "came about when we opened Meauxbar and I fought putting a hamburger on the menu. We opened the restaurant in May — practically summer in New Orleans — so putting on a French onion soup was way out of the question. I decided to combine the two to create a hearty, comforting sandwich that fit both the feel of the menu and the restaurant. Also, it just happens to be one of the best hangover sandwiches ever!" A sophisticated savory delight and a helpful cure? That’s why it’s this week’s Sandwich of the Week.