1st timers trip report
Thank you thank you thank you! I've been lurking, asking a few questions and doing lots of research to plan our recent first time trip. I really appreciate all the info.
I showed up on Sunday (3/1), for work until Wednesday (when my hubby was flying in). Food at the conference, Marriott lounge and House of Blues – not worth further mention.
WED EVE (hubby's first night): Arnaud's
Nice quiet cigar bar for a drink first, then in for dinner in the Jazz Bistro. We let the waiter guide us on what to have for our first real NOLA dinner. Appetizers: Oysters Bienville (delicious, buttery, fresh tasting), Souffle Potatoes (ok, not served hot enough) and Crab Claws Prov (ok). Entrees: Veal Wohl with Arnaud’s Crabcake and Crawfish O’Conner (veal was good, crawfish ok, crabcake was excellent) and Pompano Duarte (fish nicely cooked, good flavors). Dessert: Strawberries Arnaud (ok) and Chocolate Devastation (excellent – according to hubby, he forgot to share). Good service. We would both go back again.
THUR EVE: Progessive Dinner
Napoleon House (pre-dinner drink): Pimm’s Cup (refreshing)
K Paul (appetizer): Fried Green Tomatoes (delicious) and Alligator Sausage (good but couldn’t tell it was alligator). Sazerac's - too strong for us. Service OK, probably wouldn’t go back – too many other places to try.
NOLA (entrée): Hickory-Roasted Duck with Whiskey-Caramel Glaze, Buttermilk Cornbread Pudding, Haricot Verts-Fire Roasted Corn Salad, Natural Jus and Candied Pecans (very good, probably the best duck either of us have had) and "Shrimp & Grits" Sautéed Gulf Shrimp, Grilled Green Onions, Smoked Cheddar Grits, Apple Smoked Bacon, Crimini Mushrooms, Creole Tomato Glaze and Red Chili-Abita Butter Sauce (I really liked this dish). Good service, seated promptly without reservations, 2 top tables too close together. We would both go back again, and certainly try another Emeril restaurant.
Bayona (dessert): Apricot and Almond Beignets with Muscat Sabayon with recommended wine (food good, wine excellent – looking for a bottle to buy) and Dark Chocolate Pecan Crepe Gateau with Louisiana Strawberries (good – have to take hubby’s word again, as he forgot to share…again!). We will definitely go back again to try other food at this restaurant.
FRI LUNCH: Galatoire’s (upstairs)
Appetizer: Galatoire Gouté – two kinds of shrimp and a kind of crab salad (all cold, all excellent), Entrees: Crabmeat Sardou (excellent, first time for “sardou”, loved the artichoke, flavor combinations), Sauteed Redfish with Crabmeat Yvonne (excellent). Finish with Café Brulot – fun, delicious. Great service, lively place, excellent food. Worth another trip.
FRI DINNER: Acme Oyster House
Raw and char-grilled oysters, pound of crawfish, bread. Couple of beers. Simple, good, fun to talk to “Hollywood” the oyster shucker at the bar, and kids got a pic of us on the webcam. We’ll go back, and stick to the oysters.
SAT MORN: Café Du Monde (beignets and café au lait) – great, will be back!
SAT LUNCH: Central Grocery (muffaletta, bag of chips, couple of beers) – take them to the levee, eat, drink, watch people and the river flow by. Probably one of my favorite things we did, will do it again when we get back!
SAT DINNER: Restaurant August
Hubby: Appetizer was Hand-made potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab and Perigold truffle (he loved it) and the entrée was the “Whole-roast Rabbit” (excellent, he used to raise rabbits and thought this was very flavorful and done properly). Me: 5 course tasting menu - Warm salad of pieds du cochon, veal sweetbreads, hearts of palm and black truffle, Spaghetti Alla Carbonera (white sauce, peas, bacon), Lacquered Berkshire pork belly with Louisiana crawfish, olives and blood orange, Slow-braised Kobe beef short rib rapini, baby root vegetables and rösti potato, and Napoleon of nougatine with Valrhona chocolate bavarois and salted toffee ice cream. I never had sweetbreads or pork belly before, but I’m willing to try anything and had never done a chef’s tasting before. I loved it. The flavors were intricate, interesting, delicious and the experience was wonderful. I’ll be making a version of the spaghetti dish for my family. I will try a tasting menu again. This was our most expensive meal. The restaurant, service, food was excellent. We recommend this restaurant, but will save it ourselves for a special occasion.
SUN BRUNCH: Commanders Palace
Appetizers: Turtle Soup and Seafood Gumbo (gumbo good, turtle soup excellent), Entrees: New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp and the Sportsmans Special (roasted pecan pancake with duck debris) (both were very good), Dessert: Creole Bread Pudding Souffle and Ponchatoula strawberry shortcake with a warm buttermilk biscuit, Dixie crystals, whipped Chantilly (both were excellent, but again I will have to take hubby’s word as he didn’t share the shortcake). Excellent, worth another trip.
SUN EVE: Mr B’s
We split a Scallop appetizer (good) and BBQ Shrimp (excellent). The restaurant split the entrée for us, with extra bread, napkins, warm washcloth for both – they were very gracious about serving the split. Took a while to get the entree. Worth another trip.
MON (for travel): Verti Marte
We had an All That Jazz and a Royal Feast delivered to our hotel at 7:30am for us to take while flying home. We ate one on the way and one when we got home (Washington State). Both were excellent, we have a menu and would consider this an option for a late arrival, anytime we are too tired to go out and definitely for travel home again.
We had a wonderful time and some great food. We definitely want to visit again. BTW – hubby did not mean to not share desserts…at least so he claims…he forgot, however it is worth some guilt points I’m benefitting from! I’m sure I gained weight – probably didn’t need those tastes anyway!
Thanks again for all the great advice given here.
Thank you for the exceptional report! Now you've done it...I'm off to Delta.com to book a trip to New Orleans. Then, I feel a trip to the gym may be in order to pre-work off my intended multitude of sins.
You really put together an outstanding chow trip. I loved your idea of ordering from Verti Mart before heading out of town. That is the ultimate carry-on. I am definitely going to copy this one!
I hope this is one of many, many more trips to New Orleans for you.