- by Lisa Monti
- photos by Maria Vieages and Ellis Anderson
Fans of Maria’s Multi Regional Cuisine, her pre-Katrina takeout venue in New Orleans, were especially excited that she is returning to the area after spending 14 years cooking in California’s wine country.
“I cannot believe how fortunate we are to have you come to the Bay,” one part-time resident posted.
Photos of internationally inspired dishes that Maria posted caused a frenzy, too. There were stuffed bell peppers and stuffed artichokes like her Sicilian mother made; award winning shrimp and artichoke cheesecake; cinnamon pork tenderloin; and crab bisque, to name a few.
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“It makes me so happy that I have so much interest and excitement about my business. When I was doing this in NOLA, it was a blast and it will definitely be the same in BSL,” she promised.
Maria will bring the tastes from all corners of the world. She will cook her dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients and take requests from customers for future menu items.
The two weekly menus will be different and broken down into what Maria jokingly describes as “healthy and unhealthy” items, plus Maria’s Whim, which might be fresh fish tacos or whatever she’s in the mood to cook.
People will be able to order in advance – in fact, that's suggested if they're planning on feeding several people or hosting a dinner party (and a must for catering). But folks are also welcome to drop in at the spur of the moment during the 4 - 7pm time frame.
Menu dishes will be finished on the spot and served up hot for take out. She'll also have additional refrigerated items for take-home, including various soups, small shrimp and artichoke cheesecakes, her signature salad dressings and chicken salad.
On occasion, she'll also offer themed pop-up dinners with sit-down dining in the Buttercup. Folks will make reservations and pre-pay in advance.
For the grand opening on Second Saturday (March 13), Maria will be offering free samples of her favorite specialties to tantalize local tastebuds. In addition, she'll have some take-home items available for purchase.
On Wednesday, March 17, Maria will serve corned beef and cabbage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. On St. Joseph’s Day (Friday, March 19), her menu will highlight Sicilian favorites.
Maria’s also planning to hold cooking classes and crawfish boils on the restaurant grounds.
“We’re going to shake it up in the Bay,” she said.
You can contact Maria through her Facebook page, email or phone: 504-613-8505.