Went to two new places when I was home for break. Both of them have opened very recently. Thought you guys might like to hear about them:
Tommy's is in the Warehouse district and is unofficially billed as Irene's II (apparently there's some kind of family connection--or schism--at work.) It is NOT as good as Irene's by any stretch of the imagination, despite having a menu and decor much like it. My parents are ga-ga for it, but that's because it's easier to deal with the Warehouse district than the FQ when you've moved out to Metairie to grow old.
It isn't particularly bad, but I think there are some kinks for them to work out. I don't really remember the oysters appetizer I had (much like Oysters Irene, but not as good), but my entree stands out. I had a gigantic duck leg-thigh quarter (very odd because I thought it was going to be a breast) that was slathered in a sauce that tasted a bit like KC Masterpiece dressed up. I also couldn't get over the quality of our table... not the location, but the physical quality of it. it was a big round table for 6 people, but the tabletop was as thin as a blade. i had never seen anything like it. it was a bit wobbly to say the least. i looked around the room and they all seemed to be like that. bizarre.
Ralph's on the Avenue had better food, but like Tommy's still has some first-month kinks to work out. for instance, there was the slightest taste of construction dust on both our charcuterie plate and a salad i ordered. i thought i was crazy for tasting it, but I turned to my brother who was making the same face I was--he tasted it too. a sort of plasticy non-organic probably toxic and not very savory taste. very weird. things definitely picked up afterwards. the chocolate cake at dessert was SO good. the kind that's thick without being fudgy like a torte, or hard like a stale cake. the warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream on top were pitch perfect.
The reason to go to Ralph's, I think, is the absolutley beautiful dining room on City Park. So far from the well-trodden tourist path that it was almost completely full of locals, which gave it an electric atmosphere. I have all faith in Ralph Brennan to work things out foodwise.
anyone else been to these spots yet??