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Random Ramblings 12/24-12/26

We arrived in NOLA on Christmas eve and had reservations at the Pelican Club (thanks, Kukubura and others for the recommendation!) It was really good, although the Revillion menu proved to be way more food than we could eat. Turtle soup, quail, duck, fish, creme brulee...it was all good! DH was glad I'd insisted he "dress" and felt very comfortable in his jacket and tie.

Christmas Day was lunch at August, and again, it was very good. The crab gnocchi wasn't quite as orgasmic as I'd expected, but then my expectations were extravagant based on the reviews I've read here. Loved the organic greens with pumpkin seed brittle and Point Reyes blue cheese. The pheasant was excellent, but as usual, y'all serve way too much food! We left some of the entrees on our plates to have room for the chocolate Napoleon with salted toffee ice cream which truly *was* orgasmic.

A group of friends arrived Christmas night, and yesterday we wandered the quarter. They wanted to eat at Bourbon House, so I kept my reservations to myself like a good group member. Unfortunately, that was a mistake....after a very mediocre meal and bad service, one of the busboys slammed us with an insult as we left.

We had a Sazerac in the bar at the Roosevelt; what a gorgeous place! On the way back to our condo, we passed Bar Uncommon, and stopped in. Chris McMillan was working, and he made a Sazerac which will now be the standard by which I judge all others. The man is a master, and the bar space is lovely and modern, and the ambiance was so much nicer than the zoo over in the quarter. We're here for a few more days, so will report more later....

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  1. Y'know, I had the same feeling at a recent August lunch. Three courses proved to be too much food for me...all were delicious, but I left half my entree uneaten so I could taste the dessert. Next time, I'll ask for a half-portion (I hate leaving food on the plate).

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    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      That's been our experience (too much food) everywhere, it seems, so we're sharing everything so we don't waste food. We've also moved to a time-share condo with our friends, and the leftovers in the fridge are communal. Breakfast today was coffee and pumpkin bread made by one friend. Lunch was Cooter Brown's as DH had to watch the Bengals win and everyone else unfortunately watched the Saints lose :-( The crawfish pie with gravy and the onion rings were good; the oysters were very good, the hot boudin was tasty--the best part was the Creole mustard on the side, and all the beer drinkers loved the selection. Some of our gang wanted to go back to the Quarter, so we walked with them as far as Bienville, then stopped in the French 75 bar which was a quiet oasis. One drink was plenty, though, and then DH and I headed back toward the condo. Rambla was closing as we walked in at 10, so we came home and ordered from Verti Mart. Now, the green beans, spinach, salad, and chicken aren't anything I couldn't cook better, but hey, I'm on vacation, I didn't cook it, and it all tasted just fine; better than any delivery I could get back home in Dayton for sure! Our friends will be happy with those leftovers, too, because of course, there are plenty!

    2. "They wanted to eat at Bourbon House, so I kept my reservations to myself like a good group member."
      "Unfortunately, that was a mistake....after a very mediocre meal and bad service, one of the busboys slammed us with an insult as we left."

      Niki, I'm sorry to hear of this experience. I'm a little confuse by this 1st sentence in quotes. Did you eat at Bourbon House on Christmas night & cancelled your reservations elsewhere? Curious where if that was the case. Also wondering what kind of insult the busboy slammed you with..... that is something we need to know about. I do not tolerate this kind of behaviour. I'm a life long local btw.

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      1. re: Isabella

        I believe by "reservations" he did not mean an actual reservation to eat at another restaurant, more so his "reservations" about eating at Bourbon House, or his apprehension.

      2. I'm assuming Christmas Day lunch at August was a bigger-than-usual August lunch, but maybe not. I've had lunch at August 4 or 5 times in the past couple of months, and except for once when I didn't order the special $20.09 three-course menu, I thought the portions were just about right. BTW, you mentioned several of my favorites. I do love the gnocchi, but agree that that salad w/pumpkin seed brittle is divine, and the salted toffee ice cream . . .out of this world.

        May I make a suggestion for when you get home: go see Anne Kearney who, with her husband Tom, opened a restaurant called Rue Dumaine (after the street on which she operated the top-rated Peristyle for many years) just outside Dayton. She is a fabulous chef, James Beard award winner, F&W best new chef one year, etc.,etc. Her food is divine.

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        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Not sure if it was more food or not; we did an app each (the gnocchi and the salad), an entree each (the pheasant and my husband got a drum fish dish), then shared the dessert.

          We've been to Rue Domaine in Dayton 3 o4 times and always enjoyed the food. It's not Peristyle quality (which we'd loved during a visit to NOLA), but it's also not Peristyle prices. We don't eat out very often at home as we both love to cook, but Rue Domaine is one of the go-to places when folks ask about good dining in the Dayton area.

        2. Glad you checked out Pelican (and that you enjoyed it!) I think it's underrated around here.

          I wonder what the busboy insult was... And I need to have that Sazerac! I just gave my gal a "save the sazerac" t shirt from Dirty Coast for xmas and we make our own, but we need to learn from the best...

          Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip.

          1. Yesterday we decided to try to "nibble" our way around town. We hit Cochon for fried boudin and wood-fired oysters, then got to Luke for happy hour. Our friends enjoyed the 25 cent oysters and a plate of the various pate; we shared the moules et frites (mussels and fries) which were fabulous. We sat at the bar, and the charming Tomasso talked us into dessert. We shared the duck egg creme brulee and the gateaux with quince caramel....and all four of us were licking our spoons afterwards! We'd discussed visiting Rambla, but were too full for more food last night, so just came back to the condo. We leave today, and intend to pick up a muff at Central Grocery for the trip home. We're already planning our next trip back!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Niki in Dayton

              Cochon Butcher is at the Farmer's Market today if you want more!

            2. We're back home again, and as someone said in a post above, already missing NOLA (and planning our next trip back, of course!) I forgot to mention our group dinner at Mandinas on Saturday night. We had 10 folks (took the Canal streetcar out), and everyone loved their food. I had a roastbeef po boy as I wasn't very hungry and shared it with the table; I had a bite of DH's impeccably fried oysters and shrimp, another bite of one friend's veal parm, and some of another friend's Italian salad. It was all good, and service was very good. Our last meal was another breakfast at Luke as those skillet potatoes were calling out to us again. Unfortunately, timing was such that we missed picking up the muff from Central Grocery, but the good thing about missing out on the chow is planning for next time :-)

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