Just returned with friends from our first post-Katrina visit this past week-end and was happy to see most restaurants (at least in the Quarter)up & running. One general observation: many establishments seemed to be stretched on staff and the service definitely was not up to standards of previous trips.
French Quarter Festival:
Enjoyed sampling the various booths at the French Quarter Festival. Some of my favorites were the Smoked Duck Po Boy & Lobster Dumplings at the booths down near the Riverfront.
Had no interest in going here on my previous visit, but had to see what all my friends who had been there were raving about. Pretty much what I expected: A restaurant resting on its laurels. Had the Antoine's salad: blah. Pompano with crab - fish wasn't fresh. Peche melba for dessert - so so.
Traveling companions said they had heard that the place had gone downhill so I had to prove them wrong. Verdict: Still hands down my favorite restaurant in town. Had an appetizer plate with bacon-fried oysters/Shrimp Remoulade/Lump Crab - outstanding; Pompano with Crab (They should teach Antoines how to prepare this)and IMHO the best Bread Pudding on the planet for dessert. When I die, bury me at Galatoire's!!!
Had never been to any of the places in the Emeril empire, so why not. Overall, very mixed. Have to say the bread was excellent. Arugula Salad: pretty standard but good. Smoked Duck: Nice but the smoky flavor was a little overpowering and repeated itself into the next day. Friends' Pork Chops & Filet Mignon were both overdone. Service was atrocious (45 minutes between finishing apps and entrees appearing) and half our party left early. I stayed and had the Coffee Creme Brulee for dessert - the top was not properly carmelized or had been sitting out too long. Verdict: Methinks Mr. Lagasse is concentrating too much on TV shows and toothpaste commercials.
Nice casual lunch. Oysters Rockfeller soup was the perfect way to sooth my overindulgences of the previous evening. Fried Shrimp & Oyster Po Boy was pretty good. Service: Slow as molasses in January
Cafe du Monde: Significant other had to get his beignet fix so I obliged.
Brennans: Had to stand in front of the locked doors drooling and dreaming about having Bananas Foster again. Locals- when will they re-open?
Commanders Palace: More torturous salivating (guess I'll have to go to Vegas)
Uglitsches (Sp?): Missed this on the last trip and guess I'll have to wait again.
Croissant D'Or: Wanted to see if the Napoleon I had there last time was as good as I remembered, but by the time I found the place (on Ursalines), it was after posted hours. Couldn't quite tell if it was open at all - Locals?
OK back to my Los Angeles diet of Goji berry salads and tofu so I can return next time for another gorge-fest!