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Beau Noppatee | May 19, 200403:04 PM

Enjoyed a family dinner at Victor's in the Ritz Carlton. I have to say I was wonderfully surprised by the renovation of the old Maison Blanche department store. I never thought there could be rooms constructed where there never had been rooms, all with handsome architectural details that are usually associated with age and authenticity. Anyway, I had duck confit on polenta and people sitting near me had Caesar salad as a first course. The polenta was rich and buttery and the duck confit was tasty and well seasoned. However, I was surprised that the duck meat was shredded. It's served on the bone at Lillette's, and this preserves its juiciness. The Caesar salad is what I would have next time. It was a good one and my family is real particular about Caesar salad (no vinegar, boiled eggs, bacon or mayonaise, please, and the parmesan should be freshly grated or shaved). There was a corn soup and also sweet potato ravioli that received some compliments. The big hit was an appetizer of avocado and crab meat. The gulf fish was yummy. On the other hand, the side of sauteed spinach (a simple dish) was heavily oversalted and half of the leaves were fresh and unwilted. It's a lovely restaurant with a fine jazz bar, but the menu wavers between very good and poorly prepared. It deserves a second chance just because the good dishes were so good and you can move next door after dinner for entertainment without having to go into the quarter. It's surely better than average for a hotel restaurant.

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