In Town For a While Again
Back in the city and a week into another three-week stay. Within 24 hours, I'd stopped (for a drink and/or appetizer) (and/or gelato) at French 75, Pelican Club, Brennan's (I was actually surprised they let me in just for a cup of turtle soup, but they were very nice), Hermes Bar, Sylvain, Mandina's, Liuzza's, and Angelo Brocato. My first real dinner was at Emeril's: fine, but I think I'm good for another then years, then Galatoire's (also fine, but I'm probably only good for another week or so). Patois was good but not as terrific as last spring, A Mano was good but mostly I wished I was at Domenica. Then last night, the meal of the trip so far, my first visit to Borgne. Grilled oysters and Sheepshead en Papillote both first-rate. And while at first I was disappointed the crab bisque was not on the menu, their cream of garlic soup turned out to be the clear star of the night: cream, a little cheese, and an egg yolk. The flavor was intense and out of this world. I'll be back later in the month just to gave it again. Chocolate-hazelnut pudding with condensed-milk sorbet (!) also mighty fine. More later.
Halfway thru my trip, fighting a cold, but enjoying the amazing April weather. Many great meals, including Domenica (the squid-ink tagliolini is impossible to oversell), Casamento's, Clancy's (which I think has taken over from Brigtsen's as a must-stop for me), Dooky Chase, and Galatoire's again. Had my first meal in a while at Herbsaint (following some bizarre and off-putting service issues three years ago) and was glad I did, if only for the Spaghetti with Guanciale app, though I must admit being defeated by the Lamb Neck -- and I dearly love lamb belly, but this was an even fattier proposition. Also had good first-ever meals at Mariza and La Petite Grocery, both highlighted by appetizers: the gnocchi at Mariza and La Petite's crab beignets.
The highpoint of this week, however, has probably been the bar at Kingfish, where Chris McMillian is again tending. In particular, his Absinthe Suissesse may be the tastiest egg-based drink ever. He is also a great conversationalist and it's an easy stop en route to lots of French Quarter spots. Will try to sample their rabbit gumbo later this week.
Only a few days left of a tremendous vacation. Have eaten well all week, including first-time visits to Dante's, Boucherie, and St Rose Tavern; and a nice early dinner at Manale's last night. Also took one day to drive the River Road and make a couple of boudin stops around Lafayette: the one day I skipped dinner, even though I was back in town by 7. Will post a more detailed report after I get home next week.