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Restaurants & Bars 5

Trip Report

Ben Reiner and Mandy Lin | Jan 9, 200504:23 PM

Sunday morning we arrived. Breakfast at Cafe du Monde - beignets were delicious and coffee good as well. Lunch at Coop's Place. It was our first real (or imagined) cajun experience! Ben started with some local Abita beers that he enjoyed. He then ordered the Tasting Plate, consisting of seafood gumbo, rabbit and sausage jambalaya, red beans and rice with sausage, fried chicken and tomato okra shrimp. The fried chicken was my fave and Ben liked the red beans and rice the most. I just ordered a bowl of seafood gumbo. Good value and a nice spot to grab a beer in the Quarter.

Sunday night: Marisol! For the amuse bouche, we had a nice little sturgeon profiterole. We were then presented with warm bread flavoured with star anise. Ben loves star anise so he was super excited about that. I ordered the Thai coconut soup with lump crabmeat - yummmmmmmy! And Ben ordered the BBQ shrimp and grits. It was OK. Next I had the Tazmanian slow-cooked salmon with tempura avocado, tobiko jelly and slaw. It was the best salmon I have ever tasted! And I can't say enough about the tempura avocado! Ben had the surf and turf with diver scallops and braised veal short ribs with mascarpone risotto. Scallops were perfectly cooked, veal fell off the bone, very tasty but slightly fatty, and the mascarpone risotto was nice and al dente. At that point, I was too stuffed to eat anymore, but Ben really wanted to try a sample from their famous cheese menu. He ordered a soft sheep's milk cheese, encrusted with herbs. WOW! I couldn't resist a small taste. Overall, a great place to go! The service was very friendly but could use a little polish. Don't forget to print out the coupon off their website!

Monday lunch: Uglesich's! It was so good, I bought the cookbook (and got it signed by Anthony too)! My favorite dish was Ecstasy, and Ben's was the fried green tomatoes. We also had the fried oysters with blue cheese and Sam's favorite (catfish). This place is a must. But arrive early (before 11am) so you don't have to wait.

Pre-dinner drinks at Cooter Brown's: Shiner Bock (drinkable but weak), Dopple Bock (great taste, maple finish), Abita Andygator (distinctive lager, best of the Abitas), Rogue Mocha Porter (tasty). We also shared a dozen oysters on the half shell. Tasty but could use some cleaning on the shell.

Monday dinner: Pelican Club. Ben had the Reveillon dinner consisting of turtle and alligator soup, ceviche martini with jicama and assorted seafood, rabbit with madeira sauce (2 ways) with cornbread stuffing and butternut squash ravioli. For dessert he chose the Southern Comfort Pecan Pie. I had the Trio of Duck and nibbled on all of Ben's dishes. Butter served with the bread tasted strange and the drinks (Sazerac and Hurricane) weren't that great, but the food, mains in particular, was terrific. The pie was a little too drunk.

Tuesday lunch: Drago's! The dozen chargrilled oysters were well worth the drive and subsequent 20 minute wait. Best oyster dish we had during our stay, and there were some very good contenders. Drumfish Tommy was also very tasty with the crab stuffing. Eggplant shrimp stack was less memorable - too saucy.

Tuesday dinner: Brigtsen's!!!!! Mmmmm, butternet shrimp bisque. A must! Shrimp remoulade and guacamole, deviled egg with horseradish - an excellent start to the meal. For the mains, Ben had the seafood platter and I had the sheep's head with bearnaise, slaw and mashed potatoes. WOW! Everything was incredible. For dessert we shared the homemade sorbets (coconut, mango and strawberry). Too much food would not permit us to order anything more decadent, however the sorbets fit the bill just fine. Extremely friendly and professional service made us feel at home.

Wednesday lunch: Napolean House. By the time we got back from our Plantation Tour, we wanted something quick and yummy. We opted to split the muffeletta served warm. Decent sandwhich but not convinced it holds up to a hoagie or philly cheesesteak.

Wednesday dinner: Commander's Palace!!!!!! Tasty garlic bread to start followed by turtle soup with sherry, and crabmeat with local caviar. Turtle soup was fantastic and the crabmeat was delicate and sublime. Next came the Louisiana courtbouillon (trout, huge shrimp, oysters) and the Drumfish with popcorn oyster/shrimp with honey vinaigrette. The courtbouillon was good but the drumfish was delicious. For dessert, we shared the orgasmic bread pudding souffle with whiskey cream sauce, and the cafe au lait molten chocolate cake. Go with the souffle!

Thursday lunch: Galatoire's!!!!!! We shared the garlic green salad, crabmeat maison, oysters brochette, potatoes brabant, and pompano almond meuniere. All were enjoyed and the country club atmosphere was very amusing. Banada bread pudding and creme caramel for dessert.

Before we left, we managed to sneak in a 1/2 and 1/2 po boy at the hotel (Aft Deck). Likely not the definitive po boy in the city but it was tasty - next time we'll be sure to hit Acme.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions presented on this board - we couldn't have done so well without them!

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