Evaluate: Miss Toya’s charms with New Orleans-style cooking

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At Miss Toya’s Creole Home, a server pours a combination of Casamigos Blanco tequila, blood orange juice and bitter combine right into a smooth, silver-lined, black cocktail coupe in entrance of a younger lady dressed for an evening in town. The scarlet liquid, triggered by dry ice, bubbles like a witch’s brew and releases a billowy fog into the air that crops a message into my mind: I’ll have what she’s having! Quickly I’m sipping alone Girl Voodoo cocktail, created by Toya Miskiri, who, together with her husband, chef Jeffeary Miskiri, opened the Silver Spring restaurant in August. I attempt to hold it firm with an order of deviled eggs spiked with pickle relish and topped with big lumps of Venezuelan crab meat, however the tasty bites vanish virtually earlier than my drink’s bubbles subside. To not fear, oysters Rockefeller on the half shell—six plump bivalves loaded with garlicky creamed spinach and Parmesan and broiled to golden brown—are proper behind them.

The Miskiris’ restaurant background is spectacular. That is the couple’s sixth below their Miskiri Hospitality Group. Their different spots are two areas of Po Boy Jim, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Columbia, Maryland; Suga & Spice in Hyattsville; Creole on 14th in Washington; and Home of Creole in Cleveland, Ohio. Three different ideas are within the works, together with Miss Toya’s Southern Kitchen in Gaithersburg’s rio growth. (Jeffeary’s uncle, Jason Miskiri, is a restaurateur, too; he owns The Indignant Jerk in Silver Spring, and his new place, The Breakfast Membership, is slated to open by the tip of this 12 months.) 

The gumboo entree. Picture by Deb Lindsey.

Miss Toya’s replaces Eggspectation, which closed in September 2020. The 5,200-square-foot restaurant seats 204 inside and 16 outdoors. The 15-seat rectangular bar, embellished with boldly patterned grey and white Spanish tiles, divides the big area into two sections. The inside evokes the sensation of being in a spacious home. Within the entrance home windows are black hanging rattan chairs such as you would possibly discover on a large Southern porch. Some partitions are brick, and others are coated with grey siding. Fake greenery abounds, both suspended from the ceiling or in white picket planter containers behind camel-colored tufted pleather banquettes. Small stage lights (which might stand to be dimmed to boost the dinnertime ambiance) beam from uncovered ductwork. 

A neon signal on the wall subsequent to the open kitchen says, “Feed your soul,” which is a straightforward command to heed, due to Jeffeary Miskiri’s expertise. He began studying the restaurant enterprise at 17 by working in one of many eight McDonald’s franchises an aunt supervised in D.C. and Maryland. Born and raised in Takoma Park, Miskiri attended Montgomery Blair Excessive Faculty in Silver Spring, graduated from Montgomery Faculty and earned undergraduate and graduate levels in enterprise administration from, respectively, Prince George’s Group Faculty and the College of Maryland College Faculty. 

“The meals at Miss Toya’s represents my Southern roots and my mom’s Caribbean [Guyanese] heritage,” Miskiri says. “I used to be making gumbo and shrimp and grits at 8 years previous. Cooking grew to become my ardour.” After graduate faculty, he spent two years together with his great-grandfather Jimmy Franklin in New Orleans, immersing himself within the tradition and refining his data of the area’s cooking. Miskiri returned to D.C. to pursue his dream of constructing a restaurant there and opened his first Po Boy Jim, within the H Road hall, in 2012.

Along with deviled eggs and oysters Rockefeller at Miss Toya’s, barbecued shrimp is an effective solution to begin. Don’t count on gooey, ketchup-y barbecue sauce—that’s not the NOLA means. These crustaceans—5 massive ones per order—are perched atop a wealthy butter sauce enhanced with a fancy seafood inventory, Worcestershire sauce, white wine and Miskiri’s housemade Cajun seasoning. (I detect onion, garlic and celery seed.) Fried inexperienced tomato slices, their flesh tangy and juicy inside their crunchy breadcrumb coating, hit the spot, however you’ll want to request further remoulade sauce.

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