Another person back from NO
- Joanie Nov 6, 2001 09:02 AM
So I'll give my quick review of the places we hit in our 4 nites there. Started at Bayonna where we had a very pleasant meal, duck w/ great risotto and rare tuna, split a nice salad w/ pancetta and goat cheese and an okay pumpkin pecan tart w/ white choc. ice cream. The main server was a little reserved but the other was very nice. Fri. was beignets and about 3 inches of sugar at Cafe du Monde, done better than the ones at Cafe Beignet I think. Fri. lunch we didn't have the patience to stand in line in the sun at Uglesich so we walked around the corner to the St. Charles Tavern for oyster and catfish po boys. We probably missed the great ones but these were okay and they gave discounted beer of a brand they're no longer carrying. That nite we sat at the bar of Redfish Grill with a very nice bartender. I got an overdressed salad and the best praline bread pudding, Steve got gumbo and whiskey. I liked the bar area there, very modern looking.
Sat. was a good and inexpensive choc. croissant at Croissant d'Or and iced coffee from one of the Royal St. cafes. That nite was the other big dinner at Brigtsen's, far removed from the French Quarter but a nice ride looking at those amazing houses. The place reminded me of restaurants I ate at growing up in VT with all the dining rooms in the house. A little too quaint for me personally. Very nice waitress, very tasty smoked salmon on potato pancake and salad w/ fried oyster appetizers. I got some seafood platter w/ stuffed oysters, a crab thing and the best was a fish called pompano which I should have just gotten as a main entree. Steve got stuffed veal and we split banana bread pudding but Redfish's was better. Sun. was a fun breakfast at the Clover Grill with our waiter Earl providing entertainment. Steve got chicken fried steak and grits, I got a huge cheese omelette and delicious hash browns. I esp. loved the HB cuz those aren't offered up here in Boston. That nite we wanted a basic cheap meal and had read the lunch menu at Mr. B's by mistake thinking that was where we should go. The waiter was very nice when we said it wasn't what we had in mind (entrees >$30), so his co-worker suggested Coops down around 1100 Decatur which was perfect. Funky place with a pool table and nothing over $11. I got rabbit and sausage jambalaya w/ a great side salad and Steve got a platter w/ gumbo, jamb., fried chicken and red beans and rice. I got dessert at Pere Antoine's on Royal, an okay pecan pie.
Overall it was all very good but I feel like Boston's on par. And our chowhound board sure yaps about stuff a lot more than this one which surprises me. Now if we could just get a beignet place, we'd be all set.
I would certainly agree that you can get excellent lobster, scrod, Indian Pudding, gourmet treats by the likes of Lydia Shire, et al., in Boston. And you have the Sox. But you might consider another look at New Orleans in the future to sample crawfish, oysters bienville, Ramos Fizzes, sazeracs, mint juleps, alligator soup, jazz at Snug Harbor and elsewhere, cafe brulot, Bananas Foster, and muffelata sandwiches. You might also consider places like Commander's Palace (where many of the better chefs in town apprenticed), Gautreau's, Galatoire's, Emeril's or his NOLA, breakfast at Brennan's, Mother's, the Grill Room at the Windsor Court, etc. You definitely hit some terrific spots but the great news is: there's more!
re: michael (mea culpa)
Yes, I do feel bad about missing turtle (or alligator) soup and I didn't eat a muffaletta sandwich this time (altho I made it to Central Grocery years ago), but I can't eat that much in 4 days (I only gained half a pound which was nice). Yes it would have been nice to hit all those big places but there's only so much time, money and room in my stomach. The next vacation will be somewhere I haven't been yet, finding the good restaurants in Dublin or Florence hopefully.
Thanks to Bob W. for the Times-Picayune suggestion. Wish I'd known about it before.
Joanie: check out the New Orleans Times-Picayune's message boards. They are very active and the people are very opinionated about restaurants, as you'd expect in a city that lives to eat.