Hi folks - so apologies for the way overdue report, but I wanted to thank all of you folks that gave such great advice and tell you about the amazing food/drink my mom and I had in your fair city in July.
Just as a start, to show how food obsessed the town truly is - on our first full day, the first Saturday of Essence Fest, we spent the morning on the park ranger tour and then also in the courtyard of the French Quarter Visitor Center at an amazing African dance/drum performance, and the heat was oppressive. We hadn't eaten much (saving for Bacchanal in the afternoon), had a large daiquiri, and my mom ended up not doing well with the heat and actually passing out on the sidewalk right outside the Jax Brewery. This required a trip in the ambulance to Tulane Med Center (not a good start to the trip), but the food obsession comes from telling the paramedics/doctors/nurses that we had a reservation at Galatoire's that night, and when they heard that, they promised they would have us out in time for the 7:00 pm reservation, and of course gave us their recommendations and were jealous of our good upcoming meal. She did make it out by a bit after 5, and we took it easy with more eating/stopping/water/shade for the rest of the trip and all was well.
Galatoires: really great food and service, the lemonfish with crab and beurre blanc I had was to die for, if a little expensive. Loved the atmosphere and service, much birthday singing...
Emeril's: not super impressive again, wish we hadn't gone back for the nostalgia factor my mom had.
Clancy's: the absolute highlight, perfect in every way. Oysters with brie, such a weird combo but fantastic. And I still dream about the smoked soft shell crab, just flawless, along with the atmosphere and service.
Wine bars: we basically hit almost every one in the city it seemed. :) Loved them all, such great atmospheres: Orleans Grapevine (3 words - Bacon Happy Hour!), Bacchanal (with amazing food), Bayou Wine Garden, Patrick's Bar Vin (hit that twice, loved the couches), St. James Cheese Co., WINO.
Brunch at Arnaud's was superb as it was the first time, such an incredible value for 4 courses (that savory crab cheesecake!), and I love the jazz trio.
First dinner of oysters at Acme was good - chargrilled were awesome, raw were super fresh, fried were pretty mediocre.
Great lunch at Red Dog Diner on Magazine St. recommended by our Two Chicks Walking Tour guide of the Garden District, incredible salads.
Parkway's Surf and Turf Po-Boy - sheer perfection, worth the walk in the rain from the art museum, so stinking good. As was the warm muffaletta from the place in the French Market after another walking tour, can't remember the name.
As was the case the first time, your city is warm, friendly, colorful, eclectic, and I love it.....can't wait to come back soon! Thanks again!