Thanks, NOLA board // abbreviated report
Dear NOLA Chowhounders,
Thanks so much for your terrific and generous guidance. I regret only that I had such a limited number of days -- I mean MEALS -- to devote to exploring NOLA foodwise. After spending many hours on this site and perusing menus, I flew down to New Orleans from Northern Indiana on Wednesday, March 14th. That night, I made early reservations (the only ones that were available) for Domenica. Two of us arrived on time, but the other 4 trickled in 30 minutes and then 1 hour late. The server, who was attentive, charming, and helpful, didn't mind at all, and the whole atmosphere was relaxed yet also efficient and expert. We split a gorgeous wild mushroom bacon fontina yard egg pizza -- delicious -- and then our colleagues had a margherita/white anchovy pie (love that you can do half and half), and the other arrivals had full meals. We earlier 4 also split the stunning, beautiful charcuterie/pickle board, which was awesome -- lovely little pickled raisins, "marmelade," cheeses, prosciutto, etc etc. It was an impressive and wonderfully easy-going meal. Later on, we hit MiLa for drinks and some food, which seemed to go over well, though I am not convinced they are really that much of a drinks place -- they didn't have a menu for cocktails and it was a bit vodka heavy.
Thursday morning I strolled around the French Quarter with my friend and we had breakfast at Jimmy J's -- stunning fresh orange juice and lovely eggs. Later we hit a small cafe whose name escapes me (sorry!!) after finding Green Goddess super busy (I never managed to get in there alas)...had a nice rosemary chicken salad, perfectly done. Thursday night I went to Coquette with a friend. It was delightful -- very nice service and exquisite food. I had the "everything" vegetable salad -- fresh vegetables and pickled things and then the stunning fish (arg can't tell you what!) with "kimchee" sauce (mild and more of a sriracha flavor with rice wine/vinegar) -- so pretty I took a picture, which I'll try to attach below. The flavor was stunning. The portions were rather small though. It kind of explained why there were all these very slender super-leggy young women in towering heels at the bar -- I looked at once point and there was only one man at the entire bar. I still felt hungry, so I had the cheese plate, which was tasty and well done. My friend also very much enjoyed her meal. I partly chose the place because it looked easy for her to follow her eating restrictions (no wheat or sugar), and it was. The service was great.
On Thursday evening plans developed for a 6-person gang for dinner Friday night. No reservations could be obtained, except that on Friday late morning I was able to download Open Table to my phone (finally!) and snagged an earlyish table at the 2-month-old Sweet Olive, which I had heard about, luckily, at Coquette the night before. We six at there and had a delicious, amazing meal, which I've posted about on a separate Sweet Olive thread on this board. Earlier in the day, EVEN THOUGH I had a mandatory meeting lunch at Crescent City Brewhouse, where we made a tactical error and failed to order early, then had to wait eons for our meal and then watch while the waitress endlessly consulted her notes to figure out who ordered which (of mostly 2) things (instead of just saying "Tuna?" or "burger?" and letting us sort it out), I say EVEN THOUGH this was set, I wanted to grab some lunch with a friend and happily we ended up at Mr B's and I had a lovely simple salad and then we split the amazing BBQ Shrimp. It was the whole deal -- the bib, everyone staring at us like they'd never seen this before (!?!) -- and it was sooo good. And the service was excellent. And prompt. And we got out and I was only a little late for lunch #2.
On my final day, St Patrick's Day, I had loads of professional responsibilities and skipped the parades and drunken excesses. I had another pre-planned lunch (ALAS!) that was served at the Monteleone -- it was quite good for "hotel food." Dinner was at Root, which I've posted elsewhere -- I didn't really care for the "face bacon" or pickles with which we started, I think the chef has some kind of a chocolate/breakfast fetish that was not my thing (amuse bouche involved granola and chocolate, ew), but the Hanger Steak w/ Crispy Sweetbreads, Sweet Kumquat Bordelaise, Pommes Frites was fantastic and so was the Coriander Scented Grilled Gulf Fish with Lemongrass, Consommé, Satsuma Ginger Shrimp Salad, “Yaki Udon” Noodles. We decided to overdo it by having dessert, and my friend had the Yorkie (more evidence of the breakfast fetish, as it involved cocoa puffs), and I had the Ambrosia, which rocked the house and was like a tiny smurf village. Worth going, but order carefully...
Friends of mine also ate (on my rec or not) at: Herbsaint (loved it), Bayona (adored it -- Susan Spicer was cooking that night), Irene (disappointed), Green Goddess (loved it), Jacques-Imo's (loved it). I will see if others have further feedback to share with the list. But, again, THANK YOU ALL for all the super advice and suggestions, which helped me come off as a total superstar of foodie organizational ability AND enjoy some world-class eating.