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Help construct epic progressive dinner in New Orleans area - only the best

j
johnstubbs Aug 17, 2010 10:30 AM

Okay - here's the challenge. You have a car and driver for the evening. You are a party of two. You can go anywhere. Construct the ultimate progressive dinner -- as few or as many stops and courses as you wish. This is to celebrate a special occassion. No budget limitation. And yes, I will actually do this in about one month's time and will report back.

  1. j
    johnstubbs Sep 11, 2010 02:50 PM

    Okay - so we didn't do this progressive dinner for the anniversary. Instead we went to Green Goddess, sat at the bar, and had an unforgettable evening. Largely due to the excellent advice from this forum, it became obvious that I was turning our anniversary into the Amazing Race.

    We'll do the progressive dinner another time when we are feeling more competitive. When we do so, we'll eat at the bar, quickly and without reservations. And I'll report back.

    -----
    Green Goddess
    307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. g
      GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 01:58 PM

      True, Bayona does not have a bar setting...though i would have a hard time omitting the sweetbreads from my itenerary, be it for one grand tasting...rather than Stella!, en route to Green Goddess for cheese, another option would be NOLA in the quarter...for a meat course I have enjoyed both the grilled double-cut pork chop & the filet with maytag blue cheese and demi

      -----
      Bayona
      430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

      Green Goddess
      307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

      15 Replies
      1. re: GDPhalp
        g
        GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 02:00 PM

        Perhaps others on this board can think of a more specatacular meat course to fill in for Stella! in regards to the bar requirement...?

        1. re: GDPhalp
          o
          ospreycove Aug 17, 2010 02:21 PM

          Start with Afternoon High Tea at Windsor Court.
          For the Meat Course Brigsten's works wonders with Rabbit, both as starters and main course.

          1. re: ospreycove
            c
            culinas Aug 17, 2010 03:15 PM

            Oooh, speaking of rabbit (and with a bar, and in the warehouse district), there's A Mano on Tchoupitoulas.

            This sounds like a pretty epic meal.

        2. re: GDPhalp
          g
          GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 02:24 PM

          It does limit the options considerably without a driver & with walking...

          1. re: GDPhalp
            j
            johnstubbs Aug 17, 2010 04:13 PM

            I'll get the car and driver. This is anniversary dinner for me and wife. I took a stab at places and dishes that held some memory for us. Both brothers just rejected the following itinerary as too ambitious:

            5pm
            Luke
            French 75

            5:30pm
            Cochon
            Wood-fired oyster roast

            6pm
            MiLA
            Oyster Rockefeller "deconstructed"

            6:30pm
            Bayona
            Crispy smoked quail salad with pears and bourbon molasses dressing

            7pm
            Restaurant August
            Hand-made potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab and Perigord truffle

            7:45pm
            Coquette
            Fried gulf shrimp grapefruit, niçoise olives, sambal vinaigrette

            8:30pm
            Dante’s
            Redfish on the half shell topped with crabmeat and soft herbs

            9:15pm
            Green Goddess
            Cochon de lait/lei

            10pm
            Herbsaint
            Banana brown butter tart with fleur de sel caramel

            10:45pm
            French 75 (bar at Arnoud's and importantly, near our house)
            Cocktails

            Even with car and driver, it appears impossible to move so quickly between restaurants, get seated, become acquainted with staff, order, eat, pay, move on. I'm worried CharlieH is right and this is little more than an exercise.

            -----
            Restaurant August
            301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Cochon
            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

            Bayona
            430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

            Herbsaint
            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Green Goddess
            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. re: johnstubbs
              N.O.Food Aug 17, 2010 07:10 PM

              Yeah, it'd probably be better to limit it to a smaller area. You could drop Coquette and Dante's off this list and it'd be much more doable. You could add in GW Fins, Iris, or Emeril's. Not sure if any of these serve at the bar though. Also, I'm not sure Green Goddess is a good option. There is no bar to sit at, if I recall, and it's very small. Service has been a problem every time I've gone, as well. It's a great little place, but I think it could cause problems with your plan.

              -----
              Emeril's Restaurant
              800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

              Green Goddess
              307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

              1. re: N.O.Food
                j
                johnstubbs Aug 18, 2010 08:24 AM

                How about this? We would make reservations for a table at each of the following. All very special to us, for different reasons. Probably doable, though not much time at each location.

                6pm
                Restaurant August
                301 Tchoupitoulas Street

                7pm
                Cochon
                930 Tchoupitoulas Street

                8pm
                Coquette
                2800 Magazine Street

                9pm
                Dante’s
                736 Dante Street

                10pm
                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place

                Anyone have any ideas on the etiquette for such a program? Should I inform the restaurant ahead of time that we are doing a progressive dinner so will only be having one course and moving on?

                -----
                Restaurant August
                301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Cochon
                930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: johnstubbs
                  h
                  Hungry Celeste Aug 18, 2010 08:49 AM

                  The whole endeavor makes me tired just thinkin' 'bout it. And then to have to sit in the bar at all these lovely places? Feh. I wouldn't want to spend a special evening stuck in a series of resto bars. Sure, it's doable...if you were leaving tomorrow for Afghanistan and wanted a fond farewell at all your faves. But this is an anniversary....not a goodbye.

                  If you're desperate to go to multiple places, why not limit it to 2? Apps/drinks at one, entree/dessert at a second. The concept shouldn't get in the way of the enjoyment...it's dinner, not 18 holes of golf.

                  1. re: johnstubbs
                    uptownlibrarian Aug 18, 2010 08:49 AM

                    I honestly just don't think this is feasible, especially given the distances between most of your choices. Could you split it into two or three nights?

                    1. re: johnstubbs
                      s
                      sekelmaan Aug 18, 2010 08:53 AM

                      One of my favorite courses I had recently was the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's Bistro. I went almost every day at happy hour and had a drink and a small order.

                      Also, Cochon was outstanding. I loved the atmosphere, the philosophy and the food.

                      -----
                      Cochon
                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                      1. re: sekelmaan
                        j
                        johnstubbs Aug 18, 2010 12:02 PM

                        The thinking now is five restaurants at a table, with reservations. I agree - the bar seems too chaotic and unpredictable. I also agree that this is not a relaxing or traditionally romantic way to spend an evening with your spouse.

                        On the other hand, we've never done anything like this before. The challenge is sort of the point, isn't it? I'm hoping it will be fun and not tedious. Only one way to find out...

                        1. re: johnstubbs
                          uptownlibrarian Aug 18, 2010 12:11 PM

                          I will repeat that one hour between reservations at those five restaurants is not possible unless you've unlocked the secret to time travel or teleportation. It's simply not enough time to sit, order, have food prepared, eat, pay, and still drive to the next place. But I wish you the best and look forward to hearing about your evening.

                          1. re: uptownlibrarian
                            h
                            hazelhurst Aug 18, 2010 12:36 PM

                            I have been distracted and made dizzy just thinking about it. But I am such a bred-in-the-bone table-lingerer, I just want to sit where I am and visit with the staff...I'd feel cheated myself....

                          2. re: johnstubbs
                            j
                            JazzyB Aug 28, 2010 09:06 AM

                            IMO, it's unfair to both the restaurant and the server to take up a table to split a single dish and a glass of wine. In several instances you've chosen a single appetizer, salad or dessert. Hardly worth dirting/resetting the table. Sitting at the bar seems a more viable option. BTW, K-Paul's (just an example) had (may still have) a minimum order.

                            -----
                            Emeril's Restaurant
                            800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Herbsaint
                            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            1. re: JazzyB
                              h
                              hazelhurst Aug 28, 2010 09:36 AM

                              I agree..."burning up" revenue seats is a burden on the restaurant. I have standing deals with places that, if I am lingering and they need, say, a four top after my guests have left, I will move to a deuce for the remainder of the time, or the bar.

              2. g
                GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 12:26 PM

                Funny, that my recent tastes for a complete meal have been Coquette & Patois, yet none are mentioned for an individual dish...lol

                5 Replies
                1. re: GDPhalp
                  j
                  johnstubbs Aug 17, 2010 01:02 PM

                  GDPhalp - this is a tremendous effort, and frankly one that with a few minor adjustments (such as reversing order of Bayona and August, and subbing Brennan's turtle soup for Commander's) looks like it could be accomplished on foot. Was that intentional?

                  1. re: johnstubbs
                    g
                    GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 01:15 PM

                    No, but excellent observation! Swapping Bayona/August would take you round trip from the FQ to the Warehouse district & back. The difference between the turtle soup at Brennan's & Commanders is negligable - so definately a viable substitution if it would save the expense of a driver. I'm jealous that you came up with the idea before me! ;)

                    1. re: GDPhalp
                      j
                      johnstubbs Aug 17, 2010 01:44 PM

                      Now that I am beginning to think through this practically (and seriously), we'll need to limit our options to restaurants where we can eat in the bar. At each establishment, we'll walk in and split a single dish and a glass of wine. At the bar, this probably isn't a problem for anyone. I don't want to reserve a table for one dish. I believe this restriction would only remove Stella! from the list above, and perhaps also Bayona.

                    2. re: johnstubbs
                      g
                      GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 01:42 PM

                      You may want to consider that after this much deliciously rich food, you may not be in the walking mood...a carriage ride would be nice though

                      1. re: johnstubbs
                        j
                        JazzyB Aug 18, 2010 06:23 AM

                        I'd skip the turtle soup if it wasn't from Commander's.

                    3. g
                      GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 12:24 PM

                      Start with .50 oysters & drinks at Luke happy hour 3-6
                      Go to Commander's Palace for turtle soup
                      Salad course at Emeril's for abita root beer braised “fresh bacon” salad
                      Move on to Bayona for veal sweetbreads w/ sherry mustard butter
                      Head to August for hand-made potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab and perigold truffle
                      Push off to Galitoire's for shrimp remoulade & trout meuniere amadine
                      Mosey over to Irene's in the FQ for the duck w/ rasberry reduction
                      Find your way to Stella! for kabayaki-glazed prime beef tenderloin
                      Squeeze into Green Goddess for a delicious selection of cheeses
                      Crawl over to Brennan's for banana's foster
                      Finish at Davenport Lounge in the Ritz for after dinner cocktails

                      This would be my ultimate meal in New Orleans, if I had the stomach capacity & necessary patience...Good luck!

                      -----
                      Commander's Palace Restaurant
                      1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Bayona
                      430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                      Emeril's Restaurant
                      800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Green Goddess
                      307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: GDPhalp
                        uptownlibrarian Aug 17, 2010 12:29 PM

                        Wow that's a lot of verbs.

                        1. re: uptownlibrarian
                          g
                          GDPhalp Aug 17, 2010 12:31 PM

                          ha!

                        2. re: GDPhalp
                          j
                          JazzyB Aug 18, 2010 06:16 AM

                          I would have to fit: white truffle parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms, marrow and veal glace from Lilette between (or before, for convenience) the turtle soup and bacon salad (which are 2 of my favorites as well). I'd probably include Cuvee's shrimp napoleon on the way to the qtr. Dessert: either August's chocolate bavois w/ salted ice cream or Coquette's goat cheese mousse w/ blueberries and lavender honey.

                          -----
                          Cuvee Restaurant
                          322 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          Lilette
                          3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                          1. re: JazzyB
                            g
                            GDPhalp Aug 18, 2010 07:09 AM

                            Great suggestion with lilette - i ADORE that dish!
                            Luke - raw oysters & cocktails
                            Lilette - white truffle parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms, marrow & veal glace
                            Commanders Palace - turtle soup
                            Emeril's - abita root beer glazed "fresh bacon" salad
                            Bayona - veal sweetbreads w/ sherry mustard butter
                            Galitoire's - shrimp remoulade & trout meuniere amandine
                            Irene's - duck w/ rasberry reduction
                            Stella! - kabayaki-glazed prime beef tenderloin
                            Green Goddess - cheese course
                            Brennans - bananas foster

                            Hard for me to think of any possible subsitutions to this list - may want to consider reserving a gurney to pick you up at Brennan's

                            -----
                            Bayona
                            430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                            Emeril's Restaurant
                            800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Lilette
                            3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                            Green Goddess
                            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            1. re: GDPhalp
                              j
                              johnstubbs Aug 18, 2010 01:14 PM

                              This is a work of art.

                          2. re: GDPhalp
                            GroovinGourmet Aug 18, 2010 06:24 AM

                            Even though this is virtual, I'd still fly into town and stop at Drago's for a dozen charbroiled oysters. And as I am a shrimp remoulade ho, I'd do a 2nd round at Brigtsen's (with deviled eggs, guac and corn relish... YUM!) and grab the pork tenderloin on dirty rice, or the seafood platter if I wasn't too full. Yeah, right...

                            -----
                            Brigtsen's Restaurant
                            723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                            1. re: GroovinGourmet
                              a
                              alex70 Aug 27, 2010 09:27 PM

                              I agree with this except I would skip the pork tederloin and go to dick and jennys and get the savory cheese cake and then go to camelia grill to get the pecan pie thrown on the grill with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

                          3. c
                            CharlieH Aug 17, 2010 10:47 AM

                            Too much moving around for me. Find someplace nice and enjoy the view.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: CharlieH
                              j
                              johnstubbs Aug 17, 2010 11:34 AM

                              Think of it as a theoretical challenge then. If you were putting together a tasting menu with demi courses from dishes around the city, what would be on it?

                              1. re: johnstubbs
                                c
                                CharlieH Aug 17, 2010 12:09 PM

                                Sorry if I was being a bit of troll. Lets make it a progressive thing, I'll start with the seafood tower at Luke.

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