Well, it's been a week since we got back from NO and the food-induced high is starting to wear off. Thanks to everyone who assisted with our decision making process. We thought our adventure was a resounding success. Following are the highlights.
12/25 Christmas Day dinner - Rene Bistrot:
The scene was festive, yet very relaxed and the set menu was excellent. After an amuse bouche of duck confit bouchee with truffle vinaigrette, I had a lusty Onion Soup with a Gruyere Custard and my man had plump Roasted Oysters with Leeks, St. John cheese and Horseradish. Next was the salad course which found us both opting for the perfect but not original Frisee and Endive with Roquefort, egg, apples in a Bacon Vinaigrette. Mains were Snapper with a bernaise-like "Mustard Tarragon Emulsion" and Salmon with a Lavender Honey Glaze. Both were quite good, though we both agreed the snapper was far superior.
12/26 Cafe du Monde - Beignets, Cafe au Lait, and OJ. Just as yummy as remembered and we got two paper hats for this year's Halloween costumes!
Friday lunch - Restaurant August: Wonderful and quite decadent. Prim and proper, our server, busser and runner fluttered around us from beginning to end. And John Besh stopped off at our table for hellos! Highlights included Buster Crab Tempura with sweet chili oil, a creative salad with Organic Greens, Point Reyes blue, and Pumpkin Seed Brittle. mmmm. For mains, I had the Rare Grilled Beef Flank Steak with Oyster Dressing and Sauce Moelle and my boyfriend had the Pot Au Feu of Bobwhite Quail. My steak was a little tough but the oyster dressing was unbelievably good and the quail was moist and tender with the sweet cornbread stuffing and spicy andouille sausage a perfect pair.
Friday dinner - Brigtsens: Great, cozy little cottage with just the sweetest servers. The butternut shrimp bisque was rich, creamy and exquisite. The gumbo was just ok. We split the Broiled Sheepshead with Bernaise which was good but the richness of everything was beginning to weigh us down and we couldn't even finish our split portions! Dessert was not an option as we could barely roll out the door.
Saturday: coffee and banana bread at Royal Blend then lunch at Johnny's for po-boys. Crowded, chaotic, and ok po-boys..
Dinner: Peristyle - aaaaah, heaven! We were expecting perfection and were not disappointed. I'm having trouble articulating the experience at Peristyle. In LA, the big restaurants feel like top restaurants, full of pretension, attitude, glamour, and drama. At Peristyle, the staff couldn't have been more helpful, genuine, and unpretentious. The apps were incredible - carmelized onion bisque for me and Mussels Bourride for him that tasted like the sea..steamed in an aioli enriched saffron-shellfish broth with provencal vegetables. The mussels were huge, smoky, and clearly exceptional.
We split the thyme and garlic marinated Loin of Lamb which left us giddy and speechless. Served with a griddled lamb crepinette, haricot vert, and Anna potatoes, it was undoubtedly one of the best dishes either of us had ever consumed. Had a lovely Pierce Point cheese to finish our best meal in NO.
Sunday: early lunch at Port of Call for hearty and tasty burgers - we split one and it was more than enough.
Sunday dinner at Galatoire's: arrived around 6pm and were amazed and amused for the next 3 hours. While we waited for our downstairs table, we had cocktails upstairs. As I read before, the scene at Galatoire's has no equal. While we had to wait an hour, we were entertained the whole time observing the old-money crowd in their natural habitat. Men with big bellies and ladies with big hair and even bigger rocks dressed in their best St. John ensembles. We felt like we were at an exclusive cocktail party in someone's Garden District mansion.
Our table downstairs was against the mirrored wall within arms reach of a fabulously wealthy family who obviously dined at Galatoire's frequently and for generations. I have to say, the food was good but not great. However, watching all of the ladies and gents mingle with other tables, cheek-kissess galore with guests and staff alike, and just the fact that this has been going on for generatons made it all worth it. I'll come for the show again next time!
Monday: Breakfast at Petunia's. Great cinnamon and maple laced french toast.
Lunch at Uglesich's: Tremendous and worth the hour wait. Devoured the Fried Green Tomatoes, BBQ Shrimp, 6 oysters on the half shell, and an Oyster po-boy..
Pre-dinner dessert (i know.) : Brown Butter Banana Tart with Fleur de Sel Caramel at Herbsaint. Perfection.
Jumped back on the streetcar to put our name on the list at Jacques Imo and wait it out at the Maple Leaf with pool and Abita beers. 2 hours later and so not worth it, we sat down. Our server, David I think, was energetic and very cool. We ordered the alligator cheesecake and calamari and ended up too full to order anymore. This was ok however because we need to get going to Mid-City lanes for a killer Rebirth Brass Band show!
Tuesday: Last breakfast at the Monde, taking our beignets to go and ate long with everyone else on the banks of the Mississippi. Tried for muffaletas at Napolean House but they didn't get a bread order so no luck. Opted instead for Central Grocery which was better than I had remembered. Took one home for stepdad. And grabbed some Brocato cookies for stepmom.
Ended our day and our trip with cocktails at the Sazerac bar in the Fairmont.
Whew, are you still with me? Much to my boyfriend's dismay, I'm already thinking about the places we missed and our plan for next time!
Again, thanks to all of you who helped with our trip. It was unforgettable.