Let me start by saying WHAT A TRIP!! My husband and I had another fabulous trip to NOLA. reaffirming our love for this city! Here is our trip report:
-LUNCH: got into town at 12:30 and headed straight to MANDINA's for lunch. we both started with a cup of the gumbo, which was excellent. it was the real deal with lots of good sized shrimp, pieces of crab, etc... the flavors were spot on. for my entree, i had the grilled catfish with vegetables (green beans & boiled potatoes). the fish was very good, was seasoned well, but the green beans were definitely the best thing on the plate! soooo good! i grew up in mississippi and live in new york now, and you just don't get this kind of green beans in the northeast. they were just like my grandma used to make! my husband had the trout meuniere and the roasted potatoes for his entree, and he said it was great as always. this was one of his favorite lunch spots while in grad school at tulane, and he said 10 years later, it definitely didn't dissappoint.
-DINNER: DICK AND JENNY'S. this was the first night of their new "heat wave 2009" menu. i started out with a sazerac, my husband with an abita amber. the sazerac was ok. i switched to beer after 1 cocktail. the apps were amazing. simply outstanding. we ordered the gulf shrimp and andouille cheescake, which had just the right amount of red pepper and a gorgeous crust, and the filet beef tips with portobello mushroom and blue cheese. the beef was well cooked, and the flavors blended so well... the blue cheese was not overpowering at all. the cheesecake took best dish of the meal for both me and my husband. my entree was very good.... the bronzed LA flounder w/crawfish dynamite over garlic mashed potatoes and smothered greens. it had a great little kick to it. only complaint would be that the greens were a little dry. husband had the bouillabaise, which was good but now great. he would order something else next time but would definitely recommend the restaurant. we loved the low key vibe!
-after dinner: THE MAPLE LEAF for a fantastic (but late) night of cold beer and Rebirth.
-Breakfast: CAFE DU MONDE. we just had to get it in while in NOLA. beignets and chicory coffee. it never changes and is always such a great treat.
-lunch: IGNATIUS: this was a new spot for both of us, and we were both blown away. it was the best meal of the trip in my opinion. i loved the casual, authentic atmosphere, and the food was to die for. i had the red beans & rice, and my husband had the crawfish etoufee. all of it was gobbled up and washed down with a few ice cold abita ambers in paper bags! the red beans and rice was phenomenal, and my husband said his etoufee was some of the best he's eaten. highly recommend this spot for lunch!!
-late afternoon cocktails at the COLUMNS: one of our favorite places in new orleans. we love the beauty and splendor of the building as well as the variety of people this place attracts. i had 2 solid pimms cups, and my husband's gin & tonics were very good as well.
-dinner - MR B'S: more pimms cups for me and abita amber for husband. my cocktails were not nearly as good as at the columns. Gumbo YaYa and BBQ shrimp from Mr. B's is my husband's favorite meal of all time. i started with the creole tomato salad and also had the BBQ shrimp. my tomato salad was wonderful, so light and flavorful. the tomatoes were perfectly ripe, and the lemon vinagrette was very nice. my husband said his gumbo yaya was very good but not quite as good as he had remembered on previous occasions. the BBQ shrimp, however, was just as fantastically delicious as ever, with that to die for sauce for dipping bread into! we finished with the bread pudding, which was good but nothing special.
-after dinner - Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse for more cocktails and a lovely evening with Irvin himself. the cocktails and music were both great! so glad to see a classier place back on bourbon!
-Breakfast: SURREY'S: JUST FANTASTIC! one of the best breakfasts i've had in ages. we started with coffee and fresh orange, mango, pineapple juice, which was delicious. i ordered the Migas with chorizo, which was awesome. It was scrambled eggs, with cheese, corn chips, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and chorizo. so flavorful and good. it came with a choice of grits or hash browns and a biscuit. being from mississippi, i went for the grits, which did not disappoint. very buttery, creamy, and smooth. the biscuits were definitely homeade. my husband had the huevos rancheros, which he loved but admitted that my meal was slightly better. what an incredible way to end a wonderful trip to the great city of new orleans.
Thank you to all you chowhounders who helped in our selections!