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Trip Report 11-23 to 11-29

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~Vizards (see separate posting/review under topic Vizards). Best dish was the chocolate cake with bleu cheese -- recommended by a member of this board.

~Thanksgiving at “Da Track” also recommended by CH. Although we did not have the buffet, we enjoyed two Dos Equis beers on a beautiful fall day. Priceless. Lovely turkey, Jambalaya, apple pie and "all the fixins" at a friend's home, enjoyed outdoors in their backyard, well after the fairground visit. The California Pinot I brought was enjoyed by all; 20% of the proceeds goes to help the Gulf recover.

~Dinner at Herbsaint, in the back dining room. Wish I could remember most of our lovely food (all small plates), but we were too transfixed sitting two tables away from actors Ellen Page and Alexandar Scarsgard (sigh) who were dining with cast/crew of an upcoming movie, "The East." What I do remember very fondly: Small Plate Beef Short Rib with Potato Rösti and Salsa Verdi, The Herbsaint Champagne Cocktail, and the Banana Brown Butter Tart with Fleur De Sel Caramel. We did not like our waiter who was both stuffy and vacant, but the other waitstaff were wonderful, and shared our movie-star awe.

I would absolutely go back to Herbsaint.

~ Pre-lunch stop at Creole Creamery: best molasses oatmeal cookie ice cream I have ever had.

~ Lunch at The Joint. I am not a big restaurant BBQ fan, and probably made bad choices. I need lessons or something. The atmosphere out in the back garden --with the stray cat and the big tub smoker machine -- were the best part. The smell alone was a sensual treat. Loved the Potato Salad and the skin on my white meat chicken; my daughter’s choice of ribs was more distinctive. I will attach a great photo of the smoker later.

~ Dinner at Patois. A great place with a nice vibe but both my salad and my entrée were bland and disappointing. Dear Daughter (DD) chose duck confit salad followed by gumbo and felt that both were winners. (She liked the Patois gumbo even more than the Herbsaint gumbo, and thought they both were very good.) I was so blown away by my first lunch at Patois but this dinner was not special The “local greens” salad was boring. Probably should not have chosen almond crusted flounder, but I really was expecting something more interesting than what I got. Oh well.

~ Brunch at Dante’s Restaurant. One of the highlight meals of this trip. I love this place. We got there at ten forty am and did not have to wait. Any later and we would have, I think. In spite of a big crowd, we were served (strong, delicious) coffee right away. Wait staff exemplary – everyone! DD had the bread pudding French toast – dessert for breakfast – and I had the veggie/gruyere omelet which was beautifully cooked. The French Toast was to spectacular. For me, best part was the home made hot sauce – which I asked for -- and was presented in a tiny little shot glass. I guess they stew it on site with a variety of peppers; compared to bottled sauces, it had a lovely texture and punch. Dante's was a fun, welcoming spot on a blustery November morning. Get the hot sauce!

~ Dinner at home. Naked Pizza. Ok, nothing to write home about. (We were going to go to one of the pop-ups but it was too cold and windy so Naked Pizza seemed the right choice on a Sunday night.)

~ Lunch at Domenica’s (solo). OUTSTANDING. Tortellini with sweet potato, roasted hazelnut and brown butter sauce. Fresh, bouncy large pasta dusted with a sweet (brown sugar?), but not cloying sauce and slightly toasted hazelnuts swimming around. Good-looking dish with the taste to match. Got there early, sat at the ba,r and talked to delightful bartendress, Leah. The L’Antiquato cocktail she made me was the best drink of this trip. Domenica’s infuses the bourbon with figs. Nap.

~ Drinks at Bar Tonique. DD and her teaching buddies brought a whole group; bartendress was unfriendly and over-cool. Thumbs down for me.

~ Takeout dinner from Felix’s to watch the Saints game in our hotel room. Perfect. Felix’s Po-Boy (shrimp/oyster) and fat sweet potato fries both hit the spot. I like Felix's Pp-Boy better than Johnny's. I know I know I need to get to Parkway and Domilise's. Pecan pie tasted rubbery and stale.

~ Lunch at Mr. B’s (solo) at the bar. White bean and pork soup and $1.25 Bloody Mary’s. A great way to spend a windy afternoon while DD was at work. Bartender Dean was kind and funny.

~ Back to Domenica’s (with DD) for the ½ off Pizza and wine happy hour. A GREAT downtown deal, IMO. The Covey Rise baby greens pears, goat cheese & crispy prosciutto salad is the best restaurant prepared salad I have enjoyed in New Orleans. I have never experienced a frisee – if that is what it was – that was as dark colored and dense as one of the many greens in that crunchy, hearty salad. The crispy prosciutto is brilliant.

Had our photos taken with Santa at the Roosevelt Hotel. He was great and so is that lobby. How fun!

~ Dark Chocolate nougats from Leah’s Pralines to finish off a great visit.

Even though I did not stick to my original itinerary (cancelled both Martinique and MiLA and did not make it to Casamento's this trip) we had so much fun in such a wide variety of venues.

I miss NOLA already: me and my extra five pounds. I know I am back to California when my hair guy is telling me about his latest cleanse. Sigh.

Thank you New Orleans chowhounds.

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  1. Thanks for the report. We're going in April. Can't wait.

    1. Thanks for the report. Have to agree with you on Bar Tonique. Dragged my whole group there also on recommendations from CH and was so very underwhelmed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: shanemio

        I could see how a large group might not find this place to their liking, but for hubby and me, it was just perfect, if only because it was within stumbling distance to our lodgings. Although pricey, we felt the drinks were well worth it for the almost apothecary-like concoctions, so alluringly titled and described. Our mixologist for the evening, Murf, is also a WWOZ programmer and was a wealth of knowledge and provided us with great stories and more than a few free tastes of different liqueurs. We liked the place.

        1. re: Christine

          Sounds like your mixologist made all the difference @ BT. But IMO there are so many great mixologists/bars in NOLA, we hit a real dud.

          Yes, I agree the drink menu there is well laid out, with good descriptions (and the fire was cozy on a blustery eve) but that did not make up for humorlessness and slow turnaround.

          Thanks for the feedback Piano, shanemio and Christine!

      2. Thanks. Great review. I am going in January, so it is fun to read all the trip reports before i go.