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Restaurants & Bars 14

Weekend Report - Coquette, Le Foret, Atchafalaya

BayouTeche | Mar 15, 201008:34 AM

My wife and I arrive at Coquette promptly for our 11:30am reservation Saturday morning. We are seated at one of the front tables facing Magazine…..perfect for people watching. With the sunny weather and the St. Patrick’s Day parade starting soon, Magazine is bustling. We start with a couple of the house specialty cocktails as we peruse the menu. I decide on the 3 course lunch special, for $24. My picks are, fried oysters w/ fennel, bass w/ gnocchi and the chocolate pot de crème. My wife starts with the roasted oysters, then the fried shrimp. We each go with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with our meal.

The fried oysters look and taste wonderful. They’re fried crisp with a very light batter, served piled atop shaved fennel, lightly dressed, and drizzled sparingly with aoli. The oysters in the thin crusts are still moist and creamy while the fennel partners perfectly. Best dish of the meal.

The menu had the fish option as snapper, but our waitress informed me it would be bass today. The fish was pan sautéed, nicely cooked. Served with some lightly wilted greens and tender gnocchi with a citrus butter sauce. Very nice.

The other oyster dish had them roasted on the half-shell, topped with bacon, fennel and horseradish. A quite good take on the all too familiar roasted oyster.

The fried shrimp copied the same frying style as the oysters…..lightly battered with a thin, crispy crust. The shrimp were sweet and tender. I don’t recall the accompaniment.

We shared the pot de crème, served in a ramekin topped with a barely sweetened whipped cream. It actually had a coffee flavor, giving it a “mocha latte” taste.

A very enjoyable lunch, in an inviting atmosphere, and a pleasant staff.

For dinner that evening, Le Foret. I’d been reading glowing reviews on blogs and forums about this newish CBD’er…..the “next big thing” it seems. As it turns out, a friend had eaten there with 5 other associates earlier in the week. He, nor the rest of the table, left impressed, in fact, quite disappointed. We discussed maybe changing our dinner plans upon hearing this, but in the end, decided to give it a try. Spoiler Alert! Hated it. When we arrived, we were told “ooh, we have a nice table for you by the wine room”……which evidently is code for, “lone two-top in a back hallway with a view of the emergency exit”.

Considering the report from my friend, we decided on the 6 course tasting menu (a seeming bargain at $60), as they had all ordered a la carte. The amuse bouche started things off promisingly. I believe it was a cauliflower semifreddo with crab meat and caviar. It was quite delicious. Then, the wheels fell off. I must admit, the rest of the meal is a blur of unfortunate combinations, underwhelmingly seasoned plates and poorly cooked lobster, highlighted by a snottily pretentious waitress. We literally couldn’t wait to get out of there.

To those who think this is one of the best new restaurants on the NOLA dining scene……you’re welcome to it. I don’t get it.

Sunday brunch on a crisp, sunny Sunday morning at Atchafalaya. 10:00am reservations, front door opened wide, greeted by a cheerful staff. We are seated in the sun-dappled dining room. It’s bright and airy…..a nice atmosphere. My wife isn’t yet hungry, so only one dish to comment on. After the coffee has been poured, I decide on the Eggs Louisiane. Two fried green tomato slices, topped with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and lump crab meat, served with home fries. I found the tomatoes to be hard… not firm, but hard. Tough cutting, even with a knife. Otherwise, the rest of components were great. Perfectly poached eggs, beautiful hollandaise and actual “lump” crab meat. The potatoes had been well browned with bacon and onions.

I only wish my wife would have ordered something so we would have another dish to taste. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable brunch and I certainly expect to return.

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