I'm arriving in NOLA on a Friday morning and leaving on the following Monday morning and hope to experience some fantastic meals while there. My focus will be on classic creole food, but if I'm truly missing out of an essential part of the city's food scene by not including a more modern take on the cuisine I'm open for suggestions. This is the agenda I have so far:
Friday lunch at Coquette.
Friday dinner at Galatoire's.
Saturday jazz brunch at Commander's Palace.
Saturday dinner at NOLA.
Sunday jazz brunch at Mr B's Bistro (for bbq shrimp and gumbo yaya)
Sunday dinner at Emeril's New Orleans.
Would this list give me a good introduction to the food of New Orleans or should I make some adjustements?
Is it too much with two of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants on this short trip, are the food very similiar in his restaurants?
Final question is what would you say are the signature dishes I shouldn't miss on the different places?
I'm very excited about this trip and look forward to hear what you have to say in order to get the most out of my dining experience there.
I would personallly recommend against doing both NOLA and Emeril's. In a city with so many great restaurants it just seems its better to branch out a bit more. August, Brigstens, or Herbsaint are a few of the options I would explore. If budget was really not a consideration I'd probably go with August, and by most cities' standards August isnt even really that unreasonable for that level of food.
I never go to Commander's without having the turtle soup which is the best publically available version in town. Emeril has a representative gumbo: I'd sound out the waiter as to what is looking good that night.. The only times I go there is with one of his wine vendors so I am never in charge of the table. The shrimp remoulade at Galatoire's is the gold standard and the oysters en brochette, crabmeat Yvonne and poached redfish hollandaise are classics.
It's no secret that the Southern Yacht Club has superb turtle soup and the ones I have had when invited to some of the men's clubs have been excellent. Two of he recipes seem almost identical and since the cooks all know one another and the members crossover in many cases, it stands to reason they'd share.
Commander's makes the roux very well. It is one of the trickiest to get right. And they don't make the mistake of the tomato overwhelming things. I have had it when it was not up-to-par but it was still better than most. Rumors abound (and an old recipe states) that veal stock is used and a friend in their kitchen said that was true. It is not made from bones, or at least exclusively, I was told. The best I have made have all had turtle stock in them which seems counter intuitive because that stuff stinks to the welkin.
You can also argue all day long as to whether these things have turtle meat in them. (Lots of them are stretched and a well-regarded one uses chicken and turkey thighs to cheat. I don't know anyone who has ever caught it.)
Gosh. Many so many years, since I dined at SYC, that it is not even funny. Never have had their Turtle Soup, so cannot comment.
As I no longer have reciprocity, I will need to wrangle an invitation.
I understand, as the best Burger in Phoenix is at the Phoenix Country Club at the Pool Grill, with a close #2 being at the Men's Grill. Unfortunately, most folk will never get to taste them, just like SYC.
Good one, and I will see which strings I have to pull, as we both love Turtle Soup!
Just wanted to give a late thank you, especially for pushing for Herbsaint. I made some re-arrangements and had a lunch there and it was the best meal on my trip! Next time I'll make certain to go there for dinner. I must however say that all of my meals on the NOLA part of the trip was really, really good and the city was just as amazing as I had expected. Can't wait to go back!