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Jacques Imo's tonight!


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Jacques Imo's tonight!

kristintran | Jul 10, 2007 09:51 PM

I just arrived in New Orleans and began asking locals where I should eat. Several told me about Jacques Imo's on Oak Street in Uptown. Seeing that I was new to the city and staying in the French Quarter, I thought it would be worth the trip up there to get a change in scenery. I was under the impression that I could walk there from the Quarter, so that is what I did since the trolley no longer operates (post Katrina). Little did I know that after about a SEVEN mile walk up St. Charles street, I finally made it to Jacques Imo's --a funky little place in a hip but down-to-earth neighborhood. Since I was dining alone, I sat down at the bar at approximately 6pm and was instantly welcomed by the bartenders. Affer telling them how thirsty I was after my marathon walk, I glanced around and saw a fine mojito being sipped by another bar patron and decided to order one myself. I was not disappointed as it was very good as the mint had been freshly pummeled with just the right amount of tart lime to counterbalance the simple syrup. I knew this was going to be a good dining experience from the get-go, and since I like alternative 80's music (the good kind), I was happy with what was playing over the speakers, thought it was not too loud to interfere with conversations. I ordered my meal at the bar, a beautifully prepared, moist mahi-mahi served with a pistachio, asparagus and shrimp sauce (main courses are priced between $17-$25), which included a salad and two sides, so I chose the red -skinned mashed potatoes and the corn macquechoux. I could detect a small amount of worcestershire sauce in the plum-tasting viniagrette served on my baby spinach salad, which added a pleasant tang (and diversion from the typical balsamic vin.) to the dish. The accompanying single fried oyster and corn muffin were excellent, examples of simple things done right. But before my entree even arrived, I had begun chatting with a local couple (Paul and Dawn) who invited me to join them at their table, so I did just that. The owner, Jacques stopped by and asked how we were doing. I proceeded to tell him that I was visiting from Philly and had just walked all this way to visit his restaurant. He gave me a great big smile and told the waiter that a round of drinks and dessert was on him. Way to go, Jacques! Dessert, by the way, turned out to be a fine, not-too-sweet chocolate mousse with fresh berries and something else that I can't remember right now. Now that is southern hospitality. I would definitely return and tell my foodie friends to check it out. I have heard (and saw) that the place gets crowded fast, and that they only take reservations for parties of 5 or more, so get there early as it is first come, first serve. Oh yean, and the Maple Leaf next door is a great little bar for live music too.

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