I met four high school buddies in town for Jazz Fest weekend 2. We had a nice mix of experiences. Here is a report.
Night 1-Emeril's. I was excited to finally go here after hearing a lot about it over the years. The food was solid, if unspectacular. I had the Andouille crusted Drum, which was outstanding. The smoked salmon cheesecake was also good. Best of all was the banana cream pie. The service was spotty at best. I was not overly impressed with the experience as a whole.
Night 2-Dante's Kitchen. Outstanding experience, especially sitting on the patio on a spectacular evening. We shared several appetizers. Most were very good, although the beef heart was a bit tough. I had the Trois Mignons, which were good. However, the star was clearly the chicken under a brick. Large portion of very flavorful chicken. Worth going back just for that. Desserts were uniformly strong. The sides were also spectacular, especially the collards and duck-fat roasted potatoes. Great service. I haven't heard much of this restaurant on the board, but it is an outstanding find.
Night 3-Luke. Good bistro fare. The oysters were very tasty, but I would have liked some mignonette to go with them. I had the Choucroute Garnie, which was a substantial portion. Others enjoyed their meals as well. Service, however, was a major problem. Our waitress was harried and seemed to have too many tables to cover. They also made excellent drinks, especially their French 75.
Night 4-Commander's Palace. The food, was as always, spectacular. I had the tomahawk chop (1 pound pork chop) and turtle soup. Desserts were their usual yummy selves. However, the service was not up to CP standards. Perhaps it was because we were in the back room, but there were mixups on drinks, desserts and silverware. I have been to CP several times and this was the worst service I had received.
Day 5-Slim Goodies on Magazine Street. We were looking for a nice breakfast and one of our party had been here before. What a great find it was. Very innovative breakfasts in a funky environment. Definitely a neighborhood gem. Had the Jewish Coonass (yess, that is the name) and a side of sweet potato pancake. Later on I had a Roast Beef Po Boy at Johnny's in the Quarter.
Of course the food at the Fest was amazing. Cochon de Lait Po Boy remains one of my all time favorite sandwiches in the world. Can't wait until next year!