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Trip Report!

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indiefoodie May 29, 2013 01:47 PM

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful recommendations! We had an awesome and a very delicious trip and hopefully, we'll come back soon. I don't remember everything, esp. all the cocktails that we had but I've included everything that I remember.

1. Herbsaint
This was a little underwhelming. Nothing was very off but the dishes seemed a little one dimensional. Add to it the fact that we waited about 30 minutes for our entrees after we finished our appetizers.
- Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg: A good dish but I would have loved it had it been a tad more smoky.
- Slow Cooked Lamb Neck with Saffron Fideo and Tomato Confit: The lamb was cooked well but as I had mentioned, a very one dimensional dish in terms of flavor.
- Some vegetarian dishes that I do not remember
- Banana Brown Butter Tart with Fleur de Sel Caramel: We thought that the banana and the caramel flavors in this did not go together well.
- Malted Milk Chocolate Mousse with Malted Crème Anglaise: The best dish of the night. I would get this again.

2. Brigtsen's
A very good meal. Fresh ingredients, flavors that were spot on and excellent service. Everyone enjoyed this a lot. Little things like adding a piece of shrimp to the appetizer to make sure that each of us got a piece was noticed and well appreciated. Plus, considering the amount of food and alcohol that we had, it was very reasonable in our opinion.
- Sautéed Veal Sweetbreads with Potato Leek Cake, Crimini Mushrooms, Capers, & Lemon Roasted Garlic Sauce
- Shrimp Remoulade with Guacamole, Deviled Egg, & Mirliton Corn Relish: One of my favorite dishes of the night.
- Mustard & Cornmeal Fried Catfish with Stone Ground Jalapeño Cheese Grits & Creole Sauce
- Salad
- Roast Duck with Cornbread Dressing & Tart Dried Cherry Sauce: This was the only dish that I did not like. The duck seemed a little dry and it turned out to be the only dish where we did not wipe the plate clean.
- Blackened Tuna with Smoked Corn Sauce, Red Bean Salsa, & Roasted Red Pepper Sour Cream
- Pan-Roasted Veal Sirloin Medallions with Oyster Mushrooms & Brie Red Peppercorn Sauce
- A vegetarian dish that wasn't on the menu: One of the vegetables was a sweet potato stuffed with walnuts and there was also a walnut based sauce. According to my friend who had this, it was his best dish of the trip.
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Banana Bread Pudding with Banana Custard Sauce
- Cocktails: There were quite a few but the one that stood out for me was the Sazerac. I'm actually not a big fan of this but I tried a sip and thought it was very good. A friend actually had three of these.

3. R'evolution
All my trips have at least one meal that I classify as a DISASTER. This was it. Why on earth is this place so popular, I'll never know. The only good thing about this meal was the fact that it was in a pretty setting and the desserts was decent. Our table was against the wall and the people sitting next to it were a little cramped for space. The servers were a little confused, nothing too big but things like refilling a couple of glasses with sparkling instead of still water. After our Brigtsen's experience the night before, this was a big step down. Also, the fact that this was pretty pricey did not help.
- Death by Gumbo: Although my friends did not like this dish, I thought it was OK. It seemed a refined version of a classic with the quail adding a nice touch.
- Seafood Gumbo
- Burrata Cheese, Choupique Caviar: We took a chance with this and paid for it. I don't really think burrata and the caviar worked well together.
- Espresso-crusted Venison Carpaccio: This was a beautiful plate. I would recommend looking at pictures online.
- Beer-battered Crab Beignets: Maybe it's just us but I had heard a lot about this dish. We thought it was pretty ordinary.
- A vegetarian pasta that wasn't on the menu: My friend described this as, "Strictly OK"
- Seared Sea Scallops and Foie Gras
- Crawfish-stuffed Flounder Napoleon: My friends did not like this but I thought it was decent
- Triptych of Quail: Recommended by our server. The Boudin stuffed one was good, the others not so much.
- Panéed Veal Chop: Recommended by our server. Disliked by everyone. The veal at Brigtsen's was way better in our opinion.
- White Chocolate Bread Pudding Crème Brûléé
- Bananas Foster Soufflé
- Blueberry buttermilk: This was good.
- Toasted Marshmallow (Compliments of the chef): This smelt burnt.
- Crunchy Peanut Butter (Compliments of the chef)

4. Coquette
- Salad: It came with an almond sauce. My friend described it as one of the best salads he's every had. The vegetables too were extremely fresh.
- A vegetarian dish that wasn't on the menu
- Farro Antica: I liked this dish a lot, probably one of my favorites of the trip.
- Beef Tartare: I liked the dish as a whole but the delicate flavors of the beef were completely overpowered but the horseradish. For me, the beef was there just for the texture.
- We skipped dessert here

6. Commander's Palace (Dessert after Coquette)
- Soufflé: The one thing that we've waited for since the last time were had this three years ago. It was spot on as expected. And, we got it about 5 minutes after we ordered which was a surprise!

5. Mr. B's Bistro
- Gumbo Ya Ya
- Mr. B's Barbecued Shrimp: Probably my favorite dish of the trip.
- A vegetarian pasta that wasn't on the menu: My friend described this as very ordinary.
- Bread pudding: This was good but after the dessert at Commander's the previous night, this was never going to live up to it.

7. Parkway Bakery and Tavern
We thought that the bread that they used was very-very good.
- Parkway Caprese: My friend who had this liked it a lot.
- Parkway Surf and Turf: It was very good except for the fact that I got a very tough, chewy piece of beef in the middle which was off putting. If I ever go back here, I'll probably just get the shrimp.

8. Casamento's
We loved this place. The food, the ambience, everything was awesome.
- Oyster Loaf
- Oysters On Half Shell: This was our favorite.
- Charbroiled Oysters
- Grilled Cheese: We were surprised when our vegetarian friend declared this to be pretty good.
- Soft Shell Crab Dinner

9. Cochon Butcher
- Duck Pastrami Slider: Very good. I would have preferred if the bread was a little less greasy.
- Charcuterie plate: A little underwhelming. Have had better cured meats at places like Olympic Provisions in Portland.
- Cochon Muffaletta: Very-very good. We thought about trying different things and splitting but ended up getting four of these amongst four people.
- Roasted Turkey: My vegetarian friend got this without the turkey. Surprise, he loved it!

10. Big Fisherman
Another winner. We went here after Casamento's and although we were stuffed, we loved the Crawfish.
- Crawfish
- Corn
- Potato

11. Coop's Place
The ambience of this place is phenomenal. Classic old school. The Turtle Soup and the Jambalaya were my favorites.
- Coop's Taste Plate (Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Cajun Fried Chicken, Red Beans & Rice with Sausage, and Rabbit & Sausage Jambalaya)
- Turtle Soup (A special)
- A vegetarian pasta: My friend liked this a lot. This was our meal following R'evolution. He thought that the chefs there could learn a thing or two about how to cook pasta from the chef here.

12. The Joint
This wasn't planned. We were riding bikes and ended up here.
- Ribs: I thought they were pretty good, better than the likes of Daisy May's in NYC.
- Brisket: Good but could be a little more moist.
- Mac and cheese: Horrible.

13. Cafe Beignet
- Café au lait: I thought this wasn't very good.
- Beignets: Way better than Cafe Du Monde. They were fresh and crisp and delicious.
- Coffee and chicory: Since the Café au lait did not do it for me, I got this the next day and added some milk and sugar myself. This turned out to be way better. Maybe, the Café au lait had too much milk for my taste.
- Praline: Got this on a whim. Wish I hadn't.

14. Cafe Du Monde
- Café au lait: This was decent, better than Cafe Beignet's version in my opinion.
- Beignets: Were OK. Not as good as Cafe Beignet's.

15. Kingfish
We went to this bar three times. Chris McMillian is awesome. Not only can he make a mean cocktail, but he's like a walking encyclopedia of cocktail related information.
- Blueberry Hill: Was my favorite.
- Bramble
- Sazerac
- Mint Julep
- A drink with cognac, berries and cream that wasn't on the menu: This was very good.
- Guava butter garlic fries: We liked this as well.

16. Carousal Bar & Lounge
Underwhelming. The first time we went here, Marvin Allen was there and we got a few drinks but they were very ordinary. The bar was super busy at then so we thought that maybe that was the reason the cocktails were just OK. We went back again at a less busy time but unfortunately, Marvin wasn't there then. We did not like our drinks.
- Bulleit Old Fashioned
- Pimm's cup
- French 75
- Ramos Gin Fizz

17. Bar Tonique
We liked this place. More casual than the other cocktail bars that we visited.
- Pimm's cup
- Frenchmen's Dark & Stormy: I thought this was good.

18. Cure
We thought that this was very good. Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time to spend here but both the cocktails that I had were very well executed.
- 2 drinks that were not on the menu that had green chartruse as an ingredient
- 2 single malts

19. Sazerac Bar
We liked this place as well.
- Ramos Gin Fizz: Probably, my favorite Ramos Gin Fizz out of all the places where I tried this drink.
- Pimm's cup: My friend who had this liked it a lot but I thought that it was too sweet.
- Some drinks that weren't on the menu

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  1. BayouTeche RE: indiefoodie May 29, 2013 02:22 PM

    "Carousal" Bar & Lounge....Freudian slip?

    1. g
      Gizmo56 RE: indiefoodie May 29, 2013 04:29 PM

      I am very glad to hear that you were impressed with the Roosevelt's Ramos Fizz, and that you had such a fine time at Kingfish. My own visits to the Carousel Bar more or less parallel your experience.

      Sounds like an overall fine trip, with the pleasant surprises balancing out a few disappointments.

      1. s
        Smarttyparty RE: indiefoodie May 30, 2013 07:44 AM

        Thanks for the extensive report!!

        1. c
          collardman RE: indiefoodie May 30, 2013 01:44 PM

          Good report. It's interesting, but maybe not unexpected, that places who do vegetarian dishes on the fly don't do them too well.

          1. pizzajunkie RE: indiefoodie May 31, 2013 10:42 AM

            Thanks for the report - although I'm trying to overlook your assessment of Herbsaint as underwhelming and one dimensional, LOL. Sounds like you went to a lot of places and had great food!

            2 Replies
            1. re: pizzajunkie
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              indiefoodie RE: pizzajunkie May 31, 2013 12:55 PM

              We did manage to cover a lot of the places with the exception of French 75. Would have loved to have a couple of drinks made by Chris Hannah.
              I'm guess that your experience with the food at Herbsaint has been different. How about the service? Have they always been on point?

              1. re: indiefoodie
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                montuori RE: indiefoodie Jun 4, 2013 09:23 AM

                In my experience the service at Herbsaint varies from "pretty good" to "far too coked up to be effective." Also in my experience the service at the bar is far better than at the tables.

            2. kukubura RE: indiefoodie May 31, 2013 06:29 PM

              Great report. Thanks for all the thought you put into it. Definitely helpful.

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