Four Days of Gluttony: Report (long)
Thursday: Late lunch at Cochon. "Pot licker soup" -- very smoky, with lots of greens and veggies. Delicious. A small plate (2 bones) of BBQ ribs that were falling off the bone, rich and sweet/spicy. Topped with watermelon pickles -- one of the best things I've ever had in my mouth. A bit drunk from the bottle or red, so we wandered into the garden district and somehow happened into the Avenue Pub. Rest of afternoon: a bit hazy. So after a nap, resumed the fest at Lafitte in Exile and finally regained sufficient appetite to hit Irene's for appetizers. Got seated just short of 11. Food - decent, not as great as I remember. But the pane'ed oysters are pretty delicious. Totally uncomfortable place to have to wait over an hour for a table though.
Friday: Morning craving for beignets, but line too long at Cafe du Monde, so went to the little tourist trap on Royal. Not too bad, actually, but not special. Then lunch at Commander's -- my first visit to CP. Whoever thought up the 25cent martini had an evil sense of humor! We took good advantage of that. My companions both had soup (one gumbo, one turtle - both great). My main was the most disappointing food of the trip - anduoille crusted drum. The fish itself was actually mushy -- definitely not what I expected from Commander's. But the bread pudding souffle was amazing, and by the 4th martini, frankly who cared? The best part was the crowd. Lots of totally dolled up "ladies who lunch" (lunch as a verb). Dinner @ Coquette. My favorite place of the trip. Loved the space (upstairs, by the window) the waiter (Craig), the cocktails (some kind of bacon infused bourbon concoction) and the food. All three appetizers were outstanding (shrimp, oysters and a light pasta and crab dish). My entree was sea bass - simply prepared, but perhaps the most perfectly cooked fish I've ever had -- seared to perfection on the outside, absolutely succulent in the center, served with 3 small salads: lobster, fennel and one other I can't recall. And the beignets with chocolate pot de creme - orgasmic! (I mean, hot fried dough, powdered sugar and rich choc. pudding -- how can that be bad?)
Saturday: Lunch at Galatoire's. Arrived at 1pm, place was hoppin' (though not with the Friday lunch crowd). Not being a regular, we were seated close to the kitchen and assigned to a younger waitress (comparatively speaking), Andi, who was just delightful. Had to turn my friends on to the souffle'ed potatoes and fried eggplant. They then both had the Godchaux (sp?) salad and I had drum topped with crabmeat and hollandaise (and 2 sazeracs -- but really, I only drink like that on vacation, I promise!). The fish was cooked beautifully (as always at Galatoires'), and I left with the high hopes that someday my arteries would again be able to efficiently do their job. The evening started at Bar Tonique. I really wanted to like the place, but when we arrived, the place was starting to fill up, there was one person working, and he walked out to talk on his cell phone! We were dumbfounded. But once we were served, I will say that he made some perfectly crafted cocktails (mine was something with Four Roses single barrel bourbon). Dinner was at Meauxbar. Totally fun/funky place. We wound up having a great time talking to our table neighbors. The service was excellent and fun and the food was solid. My friends' entrees were steak frites and fried catfish (both wonderful) and I had spaghetti bolognese, which was an excellent execution of that fine dish -- very meaty, and with noticeable cream in the sauce. We loved the whole feel of this place - high quality with no hint of pretense.
Sunday: woke up feeling disgusted with my overeating, so did yoga, and then went for a long run. However, knowing myself as I do, stuffed a $20 in my pocket and of course rewarded myself on the way return lap at Croissant d'Or. The BEST almond croissant ever, period. Light, flaky, and not filled with globs of almond paste like so many other versions. My friends decided they wanted to hang in the FQ, so I went exploring on my own. Boarded the Canal streetcar (on the advice of my fellow chowhounds) to Jeff Davis and walked to the Parkway to enjoy my first Po-Boy in my life (hard to believe but true). I had the fried shrimp, and let's just say I'm glad I don't live close enough to make that a habit, or I'd be buying a new wardrobe (or wearing big black garbage bags). The bread was perfect, and everything just went together so nicely. Plus, sitting outside on the patio in the sun, while hearing everyone cheering for their Saints -- a nice way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Dinner: Emeril's. I was surprised at how beautiful the restaurant is. I'd heard great things on here about it, but no one mentioned how physically appealing the space is. I was slowing down appetite-wise (surprise) so I just had soup (corn-crab chowder - out of this world -- spiced a bit over the top, but that's what I expected) and BBQ shrimp (have actually made this dish before using Emeril's recipe, so I knew what to expect -- and I wasn't disappointed). One of my friends had the double-cut pork chop -- even Fred Flintstone wouldn't be able to finish that thing -- wow! (And very tasty.)
Monday, before heading the airport, I took Bill Hunt's suggestion and went to the Old Coffee Pot. I had to try the callas - which were interesting -- together with the usual b-fast fare (grits, ham steak, eggs, biscuit).
All told, another awesome visit to New Orleans. And my thanks to all of you chowhounders - Hunt, Hazelhurst, Bayou Teche, Littleman, Kibbles and forgive any omissions. Your advice is always helpful to wringing every bit of enjoyment from the city of food!
1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Coffee Pot Restaurant
714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130
820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116