Johnny Sanchez Mexican Restaurant in New Orleans serves fabulous food in gorgeous surroundings!
After our huge Sunday Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace we should have realized that we would not really be all that hungry for dinner. We cancelled our 10pm reservation at Justin Devillier’s new bistro Justine but by 9pm we realized we wanted a little something. I had Johnny Sanchez, Aaron Sanchez’ restaurant, on my lunch list but we were happy to hear that they served late. So we took the short drive from our hotel to the Mexican restaurant not really know what to expect. Most Mexican restaurants are very casual and not particularly beautiful. Johnny Sanchez Mexican Restaurant is most definitely an exception! It is gorgeous. Soaring ceilings with interesting lighting including magnificent Chihuly glass chandeliers astound you as you enter. And yet the dining room still feels welcoming and intimate. One entire wall has a mural that reminds me of the Day of the Dead with colorful artistry.
The establishment is smart, chic and authentic embodying the warmth of traditional Mexican cooking, and the joy and genuine hospitality that defines New Orleans. It bridges traditional Mexican food with a cutting-edge, modern approach to dining that utilizes the very best ingredients. They use the finest ingredients creating serious food in a fun environment. On their website the say that :Stepping through the door will bring guests out of their everyday routine and into an inspired atmosphere reminiscent of Mexico City” and I couldn’t agree more.
As soon as we were seated we were served excellent fresh salsa with very light crisp tortilla chips. So naturally we had to order margaritas to go with our salsa and chips. We followed this up with two fabulous tacos and I really couldn’t choose which one was better. The Oyster Taco had plump, crispy fried oysters, avocado, red pepper aioli, and jicama-chayote slaw and the Albondigas Taco included Aaron’s grandmother’s luscious meatballs with. Both tacos were truly outstanding. What’s your favorite taco?
While we were eating Steve noticed that there were a couple of very tall men seated at a booth near ours. He commented that they must be basketball players. Sure enough he was correct. Star New Orleans Pelican’s player Anthony Davis came in and joined the group. The team had just finished playing and came to Johnny Sanchez Mexican Restaurant for a celebratory meal. Very cool.
And though we were close to being very full we managed to inhale a slice of Louisiana Citrus Chess Pie with Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Nutella! And yes. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds.