Mario Pacetti Thursday, October 19, 2017 Comments Off on Calla

1400 Market St. • Lake Charles • 337 419-1980

My wife Chelsea and I recently celebrated our anniversary. We decided to go have a nice dinner at Calla. Roman Seigel had taken over as executive chef, and we were curious about what fabulous creations he had come up with.

I first met Roman when he was the chef at Otis & Henry’s and my brother had recommended that I go check him out. We were extremely impressed with his food. So now, with the gloves off, I was very excited about our meal.

While we were looking at the menu, Chelsea noticed the beet salad and said she had been noticing a lot more menu items that were centered around beets. She was curious as to what the hype was about. As someone who’s not a huge beet fan, I really had no input. But we decided to give Roman’s beet dish a shot.

The salad, for one thing, had a beautiful plate presentation. But the real highlight was how fresh and bold tasting the beets were. And with the pistachio vinaigrette, the dish really just popped. We were both impressed and are now beet fans. But I’m not sure whether this new love of beets will only be isolated to this dish or we’ll be lucky enough to find more amazing beet dishes.

For our main courses, we decided to go with the Pesto Mascarpone Ravioli and the Pan-Seared Grouper. The ravioli caught my eye because of the antelope sausage. And I’m a huge mascarpone fan, so my interest was already piqued. What a great dish this was. The sausage was tender. Its flavor had a hint of game to it, but nothing too over the top; just enough to marry perfectly with the pesto mascarpone and create a sensational dish that I will surely be looking forward to eating again if I am lucky.

The grouper, which happens to be one of Chelsea’s and my favorite fish, was cooked absolutely perfectly. There was a nice crisp sear on both sides. The chef gave us a healthy cut of fish, so there was no shortage of this delicious fish.

He had a jicama slaw that he paired with the fish that I thought was the BOMB.COM. Jicama is a Mexican turnip, and I am in no way a turnip fan. But you give a skilled chef an ingredient you may not be fond of, and he turns it into something you want to make at your own house.

To finish our meal off, we got the house-made old-fashioned donut sticks with a house-made espresso ice cream and some pan-fried pancetta. This item wasn’t on the menu, so I’m trying to remember the ingredients as best I can; I’m off a bit, I apologize. But no matter what I remember, the most important thing was that this dish kicked ass, and I could have eaten two plates of it.

I’ve been to Calla four times, and this was by far my most enjoyable experience there. Roman has given it a new breath of fresh air. Ownership should feel lucky to have him running the show.

After our experience this time, we’ll be making more frequent stops in. Roman, I see some very big things for you in the future, sir. No matter where you are cooking, I believe we shall soon see you being recognized as one of Louisiana’s next big chefs.

On a closing note, our waiter Chris was great and will for sure be the go-to waiter on any future visits.

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