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Restaurants & Bars 3

Trip Report -- Long

Taylor | Mar 22, 2004 08:45 PM

Reflections from a Friday morning to Sunday night trip.

Got to hotel Friday morning and stowed bags until room was ready.

Immediately headed to Acme so as to start the weekend right. Got there in time to beat the lunch rush and were seated in the front room with no wait. Wife had shrimp and I an oyster Po-boy with a round of beer. Great food, and a perfect way to start the weekend.

I made a tactical error in that I had not made reservations for Friday night as we planned to wing it. Big mistake. The city was packed and the earliest we could get in anywhere was 9:30 at Pascal Manale. We had had a long day and there was no way that we would make it that late, but we lucked out in that Cobalt is in the hotel where we stayed and the concierge was able to get us in at a reasonable hour. I had the Grilled Salmon with Haricot Verts, Oyster-Andouille Dressing, and Creole Musard Sauce. My wife had the Filet with a crabmeat-gruyere twice baked potato, and a peppercorn port reduction. Both meals were outstanding. Perfectly cooked and well presented, and the Salmon was well matched by the Joseph Phelps Sauvingon Blanc. I would highly recommend Cobalt to all. The only comment I would make is that it did not feel "New Orleans-y", mostly becaise of the contemporary decor. That is not a criticism at all, just that I felt as if I was in San Franscico or Chicago as opposed to New Orleans.

Saturday Breakfast was Mothers. Thanks to Hungry Celeste for the tip as it was great. Amazing atmosphere, and darn good food. We both had omlettes with all the sides we could stand.

Saturday Lunch was a Muffaletta at Central Grocery. Nothing specacular, but a nice change of pace from the gorging that we had done all weekend.

Saturday night was Brightsen's. I was concerned that it might not live up to its reputation, because I have never heard or read of a bad experience there. Well, my concerns were worthless as we had one of the most memorable meals of our lives. This place is a well oiled machine, and from the moment we hit the door until they called us a cab, I was overwhelmed.

My wife started with the Butternut Shrimp Bisque and I had the Rabbit-Andouille Gumbo. We ended up fighting each other for the last bites as they were both sublime. I wont waste effort attempting to describe the layers of flavor in each.

There was no letdown when the entree's arrived. She had the Gulf Fish (sheepshead) in a parmesean-crabmeat crust topped with bearnaise. It came with sauteed asparagus and shitake mushrooms, and mashed new potatos. I had the seafood platter: Drum with a pistachio lime butter, Baked stuffed oysters, Gratin of crawfish, and a new potato salad with smoked salmon. OH MY GOD.

I could write a book about the multitude of ways that Brightsen's impressed me. Most importantly, I love the fact that there was absoultely no stuffiness. The service was attentive and friendly, and the prices (especially on the wine list) were more than fair. Needless to say, I can't wait to go back.

Sunday was kind of a letdown. We did coffe and benginets at Cafe Du Monde and then had brunch at the Palace Cafe. We were impressed with the efficient service at Palace Cafe, but the food was unremarkable save for the crabmeat cheesecake. I will echo the comments of others in that it is a great deal for what you get.

As you might tell, we had a ball and look forward to a return trip.

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