Three Great Meals in 32 hours July 25-26
I want to thank all the regular CH posters to the New Orleans board for all your great advice. Did a quick weekend trip to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago with my GF and her sister. We landed at 11 AM and had 1 PM reservations for Saturday lunch at Bayona. Hit the hotel first and were able to check in early so we did that and changed for lunch. Lunch was fabulous and very reasonable with the three plates for $25. I had the pickled shrimp with deviled eggs, seared scallops and Drum with cauliflower puree and chorizo chick pea ragout, and Smoked Duck and Crawfish Gumbo with potato salad. My GF had Bayona Salad, Grilled Asparagus with Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese stuffed wild rice crepes, and Chocolate Mascarpone mousse in brandy snap cups. Her sister had Cream of Garlic Soup, Tomato, Avocado, and Onion salad with Blue Cheese vinaigrette, and Pork Saltimbocca. We ordered a bottle of 2005 Weinbach Riesling, Reserve Personelle which was crisp and light and went well with all of the foods. We all tasted each others choices and all were fantastic. After lunch Chef Spicer paid a visit to our table and we told her how much we all enjoyed the great meal. Overall I would rate Bayona very highly and can't wait to go back for dinner.
Saturday night we had plans to go to Rock N' Bowl for some great live music and still quite full from lunch we skipped dinner. Sunday AM we had reservations at 11 for the Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace. We arrived about 30 minutes early since we were all up and hungry anyway and the maitre d' told us "we are on your time" when we asked if we could be seated early. Now understand this is summer and not the busiest time of year, but it was a very nice touch. On the way up to the Garden Room (thanks for all of the recommendations to make that request at the time of reservation) we were greeted at least 15 times by all of the staff along the way. Commanders has a way of making you feel really special. The Garden Room is fantastic and the musicians playing at Jazz Brunch were great, entertaining, but not so much as to be too over the top. The food was out of the world. I couldn't limit myself to just one appetizer so paid the extra to have both the Shrimp and Tasso Henican and the Turtle Soup. For a main I had the Cochon du Lait eggs benedict and we all had bread pudding soufflé for desert. Added to this a bottle of Tattinger's champagne. This meal was the highlight of the trip and I would definitely recommend brunch at Commanders if you are in town on a Sunday.
Sunday afternoon we made a pit stop at the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt which was pretty quiet. The place is beautifully restored and Jamie behind the bar made a great Sazerac,
Dinner Sunday night was at Galatoire's. Given that it was Sunday in July there was no wait to get in at 7 so we were seated right away after being asked if we had a regular server. Since this was our first time we told them we did not. Rochelle was our server and was very friendly and knowledgeable. We tried all of the classics for appetizers with Oysters Rockefeller, Crab Maison, and Shrimp Remoulade. For mains we had filet with bernaise, Poisson Meunière Amandine, and Sauteéd Poisson with Crabmeat Yvonne. All were very good, but I have to say I was not totally wowed like at the other two places. I understand that Galitores is classic New Orleans dining and for that I enjoyed it, but with so many other great places to eat in town I think I will cross that off my to do list and head elsewhere next time we come to town.
Thanks again for the great recommendations and I hope other visitors to this great food city will find this review useful.
Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130
nice! you are official New Orleans Dining Rock Stars (tm)! wish i could get my guests to go for that...
re: edible complex
Don't worry I will....I come to New Orleans just to eat. Back in May we hit August, Brigsten's and Conchon and I am totally deliquent on posting a report from that trip, but the readers digest version is that August the degaustation menu was amazing though I agree with Bill Hunt that the wine pairings in a few of the cases were a bit off. Brigsten's was great had the "Gulf Beach Diet" platter and gumbo and both were fantastic. Cochon I know gets a lot of mixed reviews and I am on the side of good, but not great. Had the fish and it was very good, but after the experience at August and Brigtsen's it just didn't measure up.
So again thanks to the both of you and the other frequent posters here for all of the great recommendations. It makes sorting through all of the great choices in New Orleans a little easier. I still have many great places on my to do list so will be down again in a few months.