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Dec 10, 2012 08:35 AM

Trip Report - Mondo, R'Evolution, MiLa, Patois, more (long)

Got to town late afternoon on theTuesday after Thanksgiving (the traffic in NOLA was pretty intense due to the street car line construction). We were too late for a more traditional lunch so headed to Coops on Decater. The fried chicken satisfied DH, but the rabbit and sausage jambalaya served on the side was mushy this time. I had the fried bayou platter (shrimp, oysters, crabclaws) and a side of the bacon sauced green beans - all good, and it ended up serving for both lunch and dinner.

On Weds we headed out to sample bakeries for a dessert party we were hosting, and stopped at Mondo, Susan Spicer's newer place near Metarie, for lunch. The Thai pork and shrimp meatballs we started with were wonderful. DH's house-cured pastrami sandwich earned his acclaim as the best pastrami ever. I was less thrilled with my chicken and dumplings--they were tasty, but not what I expected; more like a chicken stew with veggies and a few dumplings. Friends enjoyed the grilled pimento cheese and banh-mi sandwiches; we were all too full for dessert (plus we had more bakeries to visit!)

Had breakfast at the Ruby Slipper one morning - not recommended. The omelet was overcooked and migas were served over very stale tortilla strips. Can't understand the lines I saw there on the weekend!

Dinner at R'Evolution was very good - we were in the Market room which had no tablecloths but did feature a great view of the open kitchen. We shared the Death by Quail appetizer which we all loved. DH had the triptych of quail - wonderful. I had the pheasant which was very good but not crispy at all (and it was called Crisphy Pheasant). One friend had the stuffed flounder Napolean, which was good, while our other friend ordered the shrimp and grits, and she was Not Pleased, as the shrimp were served head and shells on. I know shrimp are more flavorfull prepared this way, but she didn't enjoy having to wrestle with the shrimp to eat it -- I'd recommend that servers warn folks who order it so they know what they are getting (or the kitchen prep the shrimp prior to serving). DH tasted her shrimp and grits and pronounced them "Not as good as Coquette's". We shared the White Chocolate Bread Pudding Creme Brulee for dessert and we all thought it was awesome. With wine, esspresso, tax, and a 20% tip, the meal ran about $100 per person (for those who wonder). The wine list is quite extensive and pricey but the sommelier's pics section are the best values IMO.

One dinner was happy hour at Domenica, we all loved the spicy lamb meatball pizza and the gorgonzola pizza, and three of us loved the clam pizza, but DH thought it looked "too goopy" (there was a lot of olive oil on it). Still, the food and drinks and prices are quite the happy hour deal.

Another dinner was raw oysters and chacuterie at Luke's happy hour - all good!

So why is it that MiLa always seems to be empty? The lunch we had there was actually the all-round best meal of this trip! There were five of us and only one other table at 12:30 on a Friday. I had the cream of celriac soup, the braised veal cheeks with grits, and the vanilla bean rice pudding very reasonable at $20. DH ordered from the regular lunch menu and had the rabbit confit salad and the friend rabbit loin with bok choy and shitakes - both fabulous. He also ordered the banana pudding creme brulee for dessert, and it was the best dessert we had this trip, narrowly edging out the dessert from R'Evolution. Other friends had the other choices on the prix-fixe menu, and everyone agreed the food and service was exceptional, which again leaves me to wonder why the place is never filled. Anyone have ideas?

Brunch at Patios was again wonderful - DH loves the chicken fried rabbit loin with biscuit, poached egg, and Italian sausage cream gravy. We all loved the fried oyster salad, and my grits and grillades were very tasty. Our shrimp-and-grits addicted friend enjoyed Patois' version, but again DH said they weren't quite as good as Coquettes (we didn't make it there this time, but last trip were there twice). None of us had room for dessert, and in fact, didn't have another meal that day except for the catfish chips (really fried catfish strips) at Mannings later while watching Ohio teams play football. Our friend ordered the duck wings at Mannings, but they looked too sweet and sticky for us.

Thanks, NOLA, we'll be back again as soon as our cholesteral level and pocketbooks let us! As always, too many restaurants and too little time - didn't get to many places we'd hoped to visit.

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  1. Very nice report. Have not tried MiLa but this is tempting. I have great memories of that fried oyster salad @ Patois from a dreamy late lunch with my DH many months ago. Gearing up for my next trip in April!

    1 Reply
    1. re: karendor

      DO go to MiLa; the 3 course lunch is quite the deal for $20!

    2. I wonder the same thing about MiLa, having thoroughly enjoyed many meals there. It's awesome, everyone!

      6 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          It surely is, that review is more than 4 years old! Lots can change in 4 years. I've been going fairly regularly to MiLa since the summer of 2010 (usually for lunch but went there for Christmas last year) and have always enjoyed myself and been proud to recommend it to friends and colleagues.

          1. re: noradeirdre

            I'm among the small group of vocal MiLa fans. I don't know why it is always at least half empty. But unlike some, if my party is the only one there it's OK. At MiLa it is about the outing and the food, not people watching.

            Of course it is not OK if the volume doesn't support the overhead.

            1. re: collardman

              Your last sentence is exactly my concern!

              1. re: Niki in Dayton

                MILA, in my experience, is always half empty, and always wonderful

            2. re: noradeirdre

              I'm all for re-visiting places and giving them a second chance. As i said, "perhaps it's worth a second try." ;^)

        2. Niki, since you have sampled some of our current top places, I'm curious if you have also been to Rue Dumaine. Peristyle was a bright light in our dining scene, and I still miss Chef Kearney's spectacular offerings.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paz5559

            Yes, we've visited Rue Dumaine multiple times. In fact, they are getting ready to move further south, to the Austin Landing area near Springboro OH. Evidently at the new location they will have two venues; one will more casual and open for lunch and dinner; one will be more formal and for dinner only. IMO, this is both good and bad news. It's farther but a good way-stop on our trips to Cincinnati (and since Cinci is only 50 miles south of Dayton, we go often!)