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New Orleans Cont'd: Acme, Bourbon House, Stella

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On our third day in New Orleans, we started with breakfast at the Sheraton (fine), then oysters at ACME for lunch, then a place where we were guests of some very kind and generous people, so I'm going to skip a review.

On our fourth day, we started with breakfast at the Marriott (fine), then more oysters, this time at Bourbon House, then dinner at Stella.

Nothing extra to say about the hotel breakfasts -- they were good for the genre, but not something to go out of your way for.

ACME was terrific. There was a line outside, but it moved quite quickly, making us sorry we'd been put off by that line the day before. We had absolutely the worst seats in the house -- right outside the women's restroom (which, frankly, SMELLED like a restroom), but the oysters were outstanding. We had them raw and char-grilled, and I'm not sure which I liked best -- I just wished I'd had more of both. Also had a cup of seafood gumbo, which was fine. If I find myself in New Orleans again, I'll be back for more oysters -- and maybe get a tiny bit fussier about the seating.

The next day, I wanted to return to ACME, but my Mom, who'd agreed that the oysters were great, had been sufficiently put off by the seating that she wanted to try another oyster place. So we went to the Bourbon House just up the street. Much fancier and quieter, which suited my Mom, but the raw oysters were much less generous in size (and no better in flavor), and there were no grilled options, just the baked stuffed kind, which were tasty, but not at all the same thing. It was perfectly fine, but I wouldn't rush back.

Later, had coffee at CC's, which was just what we needed at the time, though it seemed like just another coffee place. (Not a criticism, just not necessarily a destination place.)

Finally, wound up our trip with dinner at Stella!, which was flat-out terrific (and also the most expensive meal to date). We were early, and the restaurant hadn't filled up yet. We were treated like queens, and had a terrific meal. My Mom started with a trio of oysters with three different granitas. Best oysters so far, and the granitas offered a lovely, subtle, twist. I started with what they called their "Asian Tasting," sort of a sushi dish, but with extra panache. For dinner, my Mom had a veal dish which she liked (I didn't taste it), and I had the Duck Five Ways, which was fun (I like to graze). In particular, the seared duck breast and fois gras wontons were to DIE for. The sommelier quietly paired a glass of wine with each dish, and the choices were excellent.

We couldn't handle dessert, though, so no comments there.

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  1. So glad you liked Stella. If you need another oyster spot, try Remoulade on Bourbon St. Shouldn't be as much of a madhouse as Acme. Ignore the burger and pizza type stuff on the menu, and get the shrimp remoulade or turtle soup.