Quarter Lounge
909 Madison St, 332-0772
Sun-Sun 4 pm-2 am.

First there was the Terry Tavern (or Scary Tavern), which was dark and frankly criminal; the Terry was replaced by Adobo Taco Lounge, which was dark and mostly miserable; and then, a month ago, Adobo Taco Lounge was replaced by the Quarter Lounge, which is more dusky than dark and as warm as wood. The new lounge arrives just in time for fall, the season with which its new colors (deep purple and evergreen) and design best correspond.

The new warmness comes with a new menu, which is Cajun, the food of the deepest South. The substance of these dishes will not disappoint you; however, you will wish there was a little more to the size, which is by no means small but certainly not as generous as the broad sun under which the cuisine was conceived. During a recent visit, I ordered a bowl of gumbo, featuring chicken and andouille sausage ($9.25). It was not an inspired gumbo, but it was nevertheless satisfying. It did its job well. But I must admit that any gumbo without alligator meat is, in my understanding, not inspired. (I enjoy eating things that could, if given a fair chance, eat me--of course they are not given a fair chance, which is why they so easily end up in my shark fin soup and the most supreme form of gumbo.)

I also had a catfish sandwich that was soft and delicate to the touch and taste ($9.00), and a plate of excellent chicken strips, whose white meat was so soft as to be confused with fish ($6.75). The previous kitchen, run by Adobo, was, as everyone in the neighborhood knows, a complete disgrace; the Quarter's kitchen, on the other hand, has finally brought some light to this once cursed and dark place.

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