recent (quite chilly) visit to New Orleans
brrr (in early January) . . .
few days in New Orleans; first trip in awhile. Couple trips to Mother's for Po-Boys and also to Johnny's; reliable, fresh (although I confess to being much more partial to mufalettas than Po-Boys as a general matter).
Terrific trip to Cochon's butchery. Extremely impressive. Had an okra-laden gumbo (sublime); duck sliders (delicious); black-eyed pea hummus ('nuff said). Superb butcher shop with a great in-store menu and, get this, a full bar. Some say that the restaurant next door is unevent. All we can say is that the butcher shop is excellent. Check it out: http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/
Brigsten's on a weekday night: Very good; A- on the whole. Comfy, carefully constructed menu; fine service. Menu is a tad limited for a place that obviously excels at neo-Creole cooking. But can't really take much away from a reliable good restaurant.
Acme: Very good oysters, et al (dispensing here with the ultimately unresolvable question of whether Gulf oysters compare favorably with east coast/west coast bivalves). Never has figured out how to move clientele; the result being that folks stand outside in line -- not a great idea in 20 degree January temperature.
Commander's Palace: There is much said about whether this iconic restaurant has faded, is overrated, worth the steep price, etc. . . . but let me just say that the Friday night dinner in the Garden Room was spectacular, truly a culinary highlight. Table ordered, among other dishes, different versions of shrimp, duck, foie gras, oyster dome, vegetarian dishes, and, of course, wide variety of cocktails. Everything was excellent; service was top notch. The entire experience, even to a reasonably jaded bunch prepared to approach CP with healthy skepticism, was extraordinary.
A footnote: Delightful imbibing at French 75, Bombay Club, and Whiskey Bar at W. As many others have said/will say, there is simply a culture of excellence among New Orleans bartenders, perhaps unlike anywhere else. Every drink amply testified to this unique culture.
thnx for the glowing report.
next trip, belly up to the bar at Desire Oyster at the Royal Sonesta if you're in the FQ. if in the CBD, head to Luke's.
Nice report and thank you for loving Commander's Palace. Even if the food weren't as good as it is the place would be utterly memorable, I love it!