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Restaurants & Bars 3

My New Orleans trip report.

gyppielou | May 28, 200809:38 AM

DRAGO: Lot's of people love the original, and we went to the Hilton branch to try our first local oysters, both raw and chargrilled. I have read about people eating dozens of these babies and was so looking forward to the experience. We started slow. Ordered a half dozen of each. What can I say? I am a cold atlantic ocean oyster girl. After forcing one raw down each, and then two overly seasoned chargrilled we paid the tariff and called the oyster adventure a day. Not that they are not fabulous to some people, but our tastes go to the briny coldwater oysters of the northeast.

Ducking torrential rains, we headed to Nola. Earlier we were told they were full, but called to see if they could seat us in an hour, so at 8:30 we arrived.

NOLA the restaurant was a HUGE dissappointment. Our third visit, and the food and service were terrible. Really terrible, which was a shock since I remember thinking Emeril should write a book on training staff. Our pre Katrina visits were amazing. Katrina is not excuse for the mediocre food and dismal service. The house made angel hair pasta with scallops was worse than chef boy ardee. The $38 filet was flavourless with an embarrassing side of stuffed mushroom which looked horrible. $150 later we thought - fu#k Emeril.

HERBSAINT wins the most arrogant restaurant award. We had reservations last night for 8:30 indoors. Arrived at 8:20 and were sent to the bar as it would be a wait. With two visits to the EXTREMELY unapologetic hostess and an hour later we chose to spend our money elsewhere. I cannot remember ever being treated so dismissively by a restaurant of this caliber EVER. I have emailed the owner/chef as well as the Tribune regarding this.

When we left Herbsaint, we walked over to

TOMMY"'S CUISINE: Tommy's which has its roots from the reknowned Irene's which we have enjoyed on our previous trip. The food was fine- just fine - but every member of the staff was fantastic!

TOMMY'S WINE BAR: We hit this place the previous night and had the most amazing service from our cocktail waitress Jamie and got some great jazz trio to enjoy. Nice sofas and lounging chair atmosphere, mere blocks from your hotel and a refuge to the FQ/Bourbon.

LILLETE was HEAVEN! Over two visits we had 4 apps, 2 entrees and 1 dessert. Everything was a homerun and the service was perfect, gracious and friendly. On our long walk we stopped in for gnocchi and duck confit with a peach tatatin finish. Fantastic. For our anniversayr dinner, we decided to return to the grand slam of Beet and Goat cheese app, a truffled parm toast that was very decadent finished with marrow and veal reduction. Entrees were steak frites, with perfect frites and Muscovy Duck with creamy polenta. It was a wonderful dinner with topnotch kind and gracious and friendly service. GO TO LILLETE!!!

(We wish we had taken the staff recommendation at Lillettes to go to Iris, a former sous chef of theres. Looks like a great place to try uptown.)

We also had a repeat visit excellent turkey burger at HOUSE OF BLUES.

Cafe Dumonde - never liked donuts, but an iced coffee and order of beignets is heaven.

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