I returned home from NOLA yesterday and had a wonderful visit as usual. Thanks to all of you who helped me decide where to dine with my pals.
Thursday I got in a little late so we went to Frankie & Johnnies. We had crawfish, calamari, and fried chicken. The crawfish were nice and hot (which I prefer) and fortunately for me in season. They were wonderful. I didnt eat any calamari but I devoured the fried chicken, which is so amazing compared to what you find in Boston. I was in fried food heaven. I liked the laid back atmosphere and the better than Im used to beer options. It was a homey and enjoyable experience.
Friday we went to Cuvee. Loved the room, the exposed brick really added some warmth. The extensive wine list is one of the most impressive Ive seen. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the white wine I had by the glass, it was moderately priced but absolutely wonderful. I felt it was a real bargain. Will try to recall and update later. Im also having a difficult time recalling exactly what we ate I know we had an app of crème brulee of foie gras that was rich and heavenly. We also had a tuna carpaccio and heart of palm salad that had a very nice flavor. The tuna was perfect. I cannot recall the other appetizer. For entrees we feasted on the mustard and herb crusted salmon that was served on a bed of crabmeat and brie orzo, and the gulf shrimp with creamed parsnips and pasta. Everything we had was outstanding. I would go back here again and again if I were in town. I wanted to try everything. Highlight here was really the foie gras. I loved it. It seems like something Im not going to find on another menu.
Saturday we went to Lilette. I thought it was a cute little bistro with wonderful service. We had an early dinner that last for a couple hours. Toward the end of our stay it did get very loud in there. We shared the following apps and salads; grilled beets with goat cheese and walnuts (wonderful!), Braised veal cheeks with mixed greens and horseradish vinaigrette, and the heart of palm salad with parmesan and vinegar. We followed that up with the roasted duck breast with cabbage, chorizo and black olive sauce, and the potato crusted black drum with mixed mushrooms, baby vegetables and beurre rouge. Everything was mostly wonderful. The apps and salads were wonderful, and the black drum was perfectly cooked. The duck had good flavor but was overcooked and tough, a real disappointment. The big highlight was the veal cheek salad. It was absolutely delicious. The veal was very tender flavorful, slow roasted for what seemed like days. The horseradish vinaigrette was a good choice as it could stand up next to the veal. If you havent had this salad go and get some lunch now!
It was a marvelous trip. My hosts managed to swindle some tickets to the NOWFE so I had a chance to sample items from many local restaurants. When I return in the fall I must go to Peristyle. The chef served a desert that actually didnt care for but she was sooo pleasant and the restaurant menu looks too fabulous to miss on my next trip. Restaurant August was also highly recommended by my houndie friends and Ill try to make it there as well. Thanks so much for all the recommendations.