Trip Report: 4 days in New Orleans - days 3-4
So as I said, my trip turned into 4 days instead of 2 - not that I'm complaining!
FRIDAY - which was Valentine's Day, not the best day to be in a strange city solo but oh well - people were SO friendly and it was wonderful.
Charbroiled oysters at Drago's - ehhhh. I really don't like Gulf oysters, I find them too large and muddy tasting. Broiling them with garlic butter and parmesan is nice but not awesome.
Peche (I am obsessed with this place, seriously) - Shrimp and fontina croquettes, pan-fried catfish in a chile broth with pickled beet greens. Both awesome.
Friday dinner: I took the streetcar out to the Garden District.
Coquette - I love happy hour (we don't have that in Boston). 2 types of cheese, a housemade pretzel (YUM), gougeres.
Commander's Palace is seated-dinner only, no bar, so I skipped it.
La Petite Grocery - Way more elegant than I expected, based on the name. Lovely couple next to me insisted I try the blue crab beignets. YUM omg these were amazing. I should have tried more food here - it was my Friday highlight.
Lilette - Snagged the last seat at the bar. Another lovely couple next to me insisted I try the sizzling shrimp - not my usual, but they were giant and tasty (once I took off the heads - sorry CHers).
Bouligny Tavern - sister resto to Lilette, super packed and hipstery, so I went back to my new friends at Lilette. They were kind enough to share a lovely bottle of red they had just purchased. Then they decided it was too dangerous for me to walk back to the street car, so they drove me.
I expected to meet up with a friend but he was working late so I went back to my hotel and ended up falling asleep.
Got up and went to the airport for my 11am flight. Learned it was cancelled so I booked myself at the Hilton Airport and took a bus back into town. I decided to go towards the French Market/Frenchman street area.
NOLA - Pork cheek boudin balls were delicious. Warm shimp remoulade was good but not amazing.
Central Market - the mufaletta was fine but way better at Cochon Butcher (sorry everyone). It is fun to order beer and walk down the street drinking it. You can't really do that in Boston.
Coop's Place had a line out the door - so much for an "under the radar" local joint.
Three Muses - at the rec of one of my new friends from Friday night. Too full to eat so I just had wine.
Spotted Cat - So fun! Live music and dancing and drinking, all at 3pm! (cash only, BTW, and wine choices are "red" or "white") It starts to get blurry here, I will admit. Stopped at some other bar in that area, like a sports bar - called DBA or something sketchy like that.
The 1st parade of Mardi Gras was in that neighborhood starting at 6:30pm, so I stayed to watch the parade, it was awesome. Only problem was, could NOT get a cab after. I was back in the French Quarter so I went to R'Evolution for more food - burrata with caviar, and turtle soup.
Finally got a cab, went back to my hotel. Went to the bar, cuz no one ever said I make good decisions.... Met a flight attendant, decided I will become a flight attendant (probably will not actually do that), ate red beans and rice with andouille sausage. More wine. OUCH.
Got up at 4:30am, flew home. Ouch.
BUT overall an amazing trip. I hope I can come back soon, hopefully with a partner in crime next time!
Good lord. I think you won Chowhound. Congratulations!
There can be fewer signs of good karma than accidentally catching the Krewe du Vieux parade. You compare that to the tired and non-inclusive St. Pat's parade in Southie and wonder why Wacko Hurley bothers at all, huh?
Wow! Sounds like an amazing trip. I am going solo to NO tomorrow for just one night. Staying in the Central Business District Are. Would you recommend dinner at Peche or La Petite Grocery, if you had a choice? Did you have a problem getting a seat at any of the places (assume you didn't have reservations)?
I would highly recommend either Peche or La Petite Grocery - definitely my fave 2 places I visited.
I only dine at bars - I much prefer it to table seating. And I tend to go out early so I can avoid the "prime time" rush.
Peche is more casual, open, airy - like a converted warehouse but nice. It's easily walkable from the Convention Center area. Peche has a huge bar - probably 30 seats? Great seafood with a NO focus.
La Petite Grocery is in the Garden District. It's much more formal - darker, hushed. The bar has 8 (I think) seats. On V-Day, the bar was filled within 20min of opening, by regulars who couldn't get a table rez (and me). Not sure how quickly they fill up usually. The food is upscale New Orleans (at least as far as I understand it).
I didn't find much around Le Petite Grocery, so if you are a multiple-places-in-one-night person, definitely do La Peche and also check out Herbsaint or Emeril's in the neighborhood. But LPG was truly awesome and decadent, if that's the mood you want.
We measure the success of our weekend here in pounds. That must have been a ten pound four days. I can't believe how many restaurants you hit in four days, especially that you blew off free food at Ruth's Chris just to hit a few more spots. Quite impressive. I love those crab beignets at Le Petit.
I'm impressed, exhausted by your review, but impressed!
Thank you for the great write up. (are you sure you like Peche? ;-) )
Forgot to include Domenica, which I did manage to get to (I forget which day now). I have the recipe at home for the Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta - have been dying to make it, and had completely forgotten it was a restaurant recipe. Tried the original version here - delicious but insanely huge for one person. It's a whole head of cauliflower!
LJ, I wanna be like you when I grow up!!! LOL What an amazing foodie experience you had!! Now LPG is on my Easter weekend list for those blue crab beignets, I am salivating just thinking about them!! The next time you visit NOLA, try the chargrilled oysters at Felix's (no booing CHer's!). I have tried them at numerous restaurants & find myself returning to Felix's for the better version. Nice to see that you're a fellow wino too...
This is such a great report! I am headed to New Orleans next week and this is exactly what I needed to finalize my eating and drinking itinerary. Thank you for sharing. I was just wondering which, if any ,of these places are open late on weekdays? The Chochon/Herbsaint restaurants all close at 10pm, but we do not arrive until around 11pm on Wednesday, so I am looking for a place to grab a drink and some food after we check in to the W French Quarter. Ideas?
Impressive Eating. Great report.
Much wear-and-tear on the liver and stomach, as it should be.