The seafood platter was fabulous, darling!
It came with a small filet of drumfish, topped with an unusual sauce of pesto studded with dozens of tiny crawfish tails; accompanied by a ramekin of crawfish and maybe crab, in a rich creamy sauce under a tight breadcrumb gratin. There were the usual two baked oysters of different type - an Oyster Fortuna which comes on the halfshell, buried beneath a blanket of parmesian and breadcrumbs and another, lighter flavored baked oyster, also served on it's half shell and surrounded by bits of smoked bacon and lots of bits of leeks beneath a very light gratin.
The token sides were ratatouille and a grilled salmon flavored potato salad.
I watched the sauces very carefully because someone has complained about their mingling together on the plate. That actually does happen some by the end of the meal, but as I thought, it's only the token sides that are affected by the sauces and bits of gratin from the fish and oysters. The oysters are served on the halfshell and do not sit directly on the plate and the crawfish comes contained in a ramekin. Of course I may be more compulsive about keeping my portions organized and finishing the toek sides first than another might be.
There was one hitch at dinner, the Gulf Fish of the Day was a large filet of sheepshead, and although I begged for a dispensation to substitute the sheepshead filet (Frank's dad, Frank Sr., actually calls them Gaspergou) for the filet of drum on the platter, the heardhearts refused me because the sheepshead filet is a much larger portion than the drumfish, which is cut for the tasting platter-sized portions of the seafood platter.
LATER, after I was resigned to the very nice drum and it's excellent sauce, and was comfortably snorkling sauce-laden bites down, with sips of the very nice wine, FRANK suggests that I should have offered to pay a supplement. And where was this idea when it counted I huffed? But I have to forgive my dearly beloved, who made the arrangements and reservations for dinner last week, knowing that I needed something to buoy me after the trials of an awful work weeek - and the next three probably have just as bad an outlook.
Somehow people from Corporate find excuses to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, around the Superbowl, Final Four, etc. We have seven different people scheduled to come in between the beginning of last week and the end of Jazz Fest. They are conducting post-review audits, compliance spot checks, staff motivation studies, sales demographic studies and who knows what else. But you have to drop projects - or worse, complete them at deadline while also satisfying the useless curiousity of the visitors, taking them to lunch, dinner somEtimes. Introducing them to the customers who (in some cases) actually have the data they want. Oh, MY God!
Rant over, back to dinner. On arrival at Brigtsen's we ordered drinks, I had a Cosmopolitan and Frank had an Old Fashioned. With dinner we had the Gigondas.
I started dinner off with the fried rabbit tenderloin, served atop a jalapeno grits cake, and Frank gobbled down the soft shell crab appetizer - just one measly claw and a leg or flipper-thing came my way - the crab is HUGE, it take up an entire large plate! And at $15 it's somewhat expensive, but it's at least two or three times as large as the small soft shells that I usually order at Casamentos.
We skipped coffee, dessert and the usual digestif and went to Angelo Brocato's, which was slammed! Two espressos and two small blood orange ices were our dessert.
Then we drove the back streets of Lakeview looking for a nice house for sale, although we've agreed that it will be two years before we really need to be in one.
Later we docked at his apartment and opened a bottle of Dottore Taurino's Salice Salentino Riserva, 1997. I really like this wine, although I know, it's somewhat of the low-middle of southern Italian (Puglian) reds. It's my favorite Lola's wine.
It's time to get ready for Mass and then it's lunch at Frank's brother Sal and his wife Angelique's home.
Angelique's promised roast lamb and I'm told she's almost as good a cook as Mama Gina. We bring the wine, so I have to scurry to get what I want picked out before Frank gets done with his Sunday morning workout. Mama Gina and Frank, Sr. are in Waveland this weekend, coming back Tuesday. Maybe they'll hit it BIG at the casinos and we'll ALL be able to retire!
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