Whitebox Eatery has been opened for nearly a month and within walking distance of my condo, so why haven’t I been there sooner? It was an oversight I corrected this week with lunch at the tony, new restaurant on Carondelet, in the shadow of the Ritz Carlton.
It was a tough choice deciding between such offerings as Roast beef with melted manchego and peppadew relish, or the Chipotle Chicken Salad, or one of the salads—Kale, Miso-Mushroom, Couscous, and Mediterranean Potato. I went for the Crispy Eggplant with fresh mozzarella, roasted pepper-walnut spread, pickles, Bibb lettuce, and za’ata sauce on toasted ciabatta, ($9.25). My lunch companions opted for the Ham and Brie with fig mustard.
(Extra points if you know that manchego is a made from the milk of sheep grazing on the hillsides of La Mancha, home of Don Quixote; peppadew is a sweet, tangy pepper from South Africa, that looks like a cross between a pepper and a tomato; and za’ata is a Middle Eastern blend of spices: oregano, cumin, sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, salt and pepper.)
Their spiffy website reads: “We believe in the extraordinary lunch, a midday meal that’s unforgettable, and a breakfast with the power to brighten your day.” Me, too.
In an effort to add another dimension to your eating experience, a special menu called Outside the Box features the offering of a guest chef. This month is highlighted by Chef Ben Poremba of Olio and Elaia, who created the Italian Banh Mi, an Italian-Vietnamese fusion of pate, mortadella, Calabrian chilies and giardiniera (an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in oil or vinegar).
The sleek, comfortable space is complimented by stunning bamboo flooring and attentive servers. What’s more, WBE caters…they deliver…they have a kids’ menu and a bakery case of scrumptious pastries. Whew! It’s enough to bring you back for more.
Whitebox Eatery, 176 Carondelet. Open Mon.-Fri, 7a-4p and Sat.-Sun. 8a-3p. Breakfast and lunch only. NO LONGER IN BUSINESS.