Sneak Peek at Lafayette's Music Room

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When I received an email invite to Monday night's soft opening of Lafayette's Music Room, I immediately searched the web for a menu. I'm vegan, and I wanted to see if there were options before committing to a reservation.

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But the website for Overton Square's newest (and, perhaps, oldest since it's based on the 1970s music venue of the same name) concert hall is still a bare-bones placeholder site. No menu. But I responded back to the invite asking about vegan options and was informed there were none on the menu, but they could make something vegan.

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On Monday night, my partner Paul and I were seated at a table on Lafayette's second floor indoor balcony, which overlooks the stage and tables below. A gypsy jazz band was playing, and nearly every table in the joint was full. And the crowd even spilled out onto tables on both levels of the outdoor balcony. The music from the band (and later from the sound system when the band was taking a break) was a little too loud for making conversation, but Paul and I typically spend most meals looking at our individual cell phones anyway. It's 2014. Who talks to each other anymore, anyway?

We ordered beers — me a Wiseacre Ananda IPA and Paul a Bud Light — which arrived at the table quickly despite the large crowd. When I informed our server that I was vegan, he retrieved someone from the kitchen who said he'd be more than happy to throw together a wood-fired vegetable pizza without cheese. Cheese-free pizzas really allow the crust to shine, and thankfully, this was some fantastic crust. Chewy and soft and crispy all at the same time.

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The only pizzas on the limited soft opening menu were a Cajun Crawfish Pizza, a Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and a Shrimp & Andouille Pizza. But the kitchen staff just combined some of the veggies from each for my vegan version.

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Paul and I also split a Lafayette's Salad — bibb lettuce, roasted tomatoes, crispy wonton strips, and citrus vinaigrette. This typically comes with feta, but I asked for that on the side so Paul could have it all. The roasted tomatoes paired well with the citrus dressing, and that bibb lettuce was so tender. And nothing beats a salad with fried stuff on top.

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Paul had the Amberjack with Corn Maque Choux and Pickled Okra. I didn't get a picture, but he said the fish was delicious, and it reminded him of chicken, whatever that means. It was served in a cast iron skillet atop the creamy corn.

And for dessert, Paul had the Chess Pie. Again, not vegan, so I didn't photograph it or try it, but Paul really enjoyed it. He secretly loves dining out with me because he doesn't have to share his food.

Overall, the atmosphere was light and fun. Although the music was a bit loud for dining, Lafayette's is primarily a music venue, so I think that's okay. It'll be fun to see what acts they book in the coming months.



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