Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!

People ask, "How was your trip? Did Chip take good pictures? WHAT DID YOU EAT?" Chip's got those first two covered. I'll handle the third.

We got there Saturday with visions of a late lunch at Mother's dancing in our heads. It was not to be, however, as we got to town a bit late. Instead, we joined a bazillion Saints fans in the Quarter to nosh and watch the game. Three touchdowns were scored before we found a place that had room for us to sit down. Seriously, it was crazy! And fun. So we saddled up to the bar at Desire Oyster Bar at Bourbon and something and enjoyed a Sazerac and "Oysters Desire," which were broiled with parmesan cheese, creole seasoning and garlic butter. Mmmm. We followed those up with fried crawfish tails and an Abita. We were definitely in New Orleans.

Saturday night we went to Dick & Jenny's, recommended by Tiff and Mark. It had a good, solid menu, and all the dishes were wonderful. They don't have a wildly creative menu, but they represent the region well and we left very full and very happy. We started with the roasted portabello & blue cheese cheesecake with fire roasted red pepper puree. Savory cheesecakes are never a bad thing! For dinner we shared seared diver scallops & gulf shrimp with crab & brie beggar’s purse & beurre blanc Veronique- yeah, it was as good as it sounds- and the pecan crusted gulf fish with Acadian popcorn rice, southern greens & Creole Meuniere sauce. I really, really love Creole Meuniere sauce- I could smell it at a table next to me and HAD TO HAVE IT. Then we finished with a vanilla creme brulee. Excellent.

Sunday dawned with a lovely breakfast fixed by Cindee, the lovely and talented proprietress of Southern Comfort B&B. After some sight-seeing, window-shopping, and picture-taking, we were ready to think about lunch. We walked by NOLA and admired the menu, but agreed that we were both still craving a Ferdi from Mother's. The line was hella long, as always, so I went to secure a table after Chip agreed to order a Bloody Mary and a beer for each of us. (So we could avoid future long lines.) He soon met me at the table with three beers, two Bloody Marys, and some story about "accidentally" getting a free beer. We enjoyed eating, drinking and watching the Cowboys lose almost as much as we enjoyed the ensuing nap.

A coworker suggested we stop at Wine Institute New Orleans (with its clever "WINO" acronym) during our trip. This place is like a dream come true. The walls are lined with wine preservation systems (sort of like this) and at least a hundred bottles of wine to be tasted on the spot. With the press of a button you choose a one-, two-, or four-ounce sample. Yes, please! It was reasonably priced- an ounce cost about 10% of the bottle price. We didn't try the $17 ounce of Opus One, but we did have lots of other goodies that we'd never have occasion to try otherwise. And although we didn't partake, we were pleased to see that they have a small menu so you can have a snack while sampling the wines. It is also a wine store, so you can buy anything you like on the spot. I will go there every chance I get!

Our final restaurant destination was John Besh's August. This meal was perfect- I'm not sure what else to say! We started with oysters three ways and gnocchi with blue crab and shaved black truffles. Then Chip had some kind of falling-off-the-bone chicken with chanterelles and a perfect pan sauce. I had trout that was coated in manna and browned on the sizzling abs of Taye Diggs. Or something like that. I'm pretty sure I blacked out at one point- but not before I noticed it was served with Hollandaise! We didn't even have dessert, which is rare for us, because we were so full and happy that we didn't want to jinx ourselves.

Monday morning we awoke to another delicious breakfast from Cindee and lots of questions about the previous night's meal. After letting Chip drool on the pages of her copy of My New Orleans, she confided that she had been given two copies as gifts, and that she had been waiting for someone to show an interest so she could give one away. Chip and I have been studying it ever since, and I hope to one day have the cajones to try and recreate my fish dish, found right there on pages 166-167. Thanks, Cindee!


Cathy said...

Mmmmmm...jealous. And now hungry! Must. Go. Back. Soon.

Melissa said...

Gorgeous pics! And WINO sounds brilliant. Hmmm...how hard could it be to have it installed in one's home?

Stacey Greenberg said...

wait where are the pics? i don't see any pics!