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Wine Spectator has an article about new and reopened restaurants in New Orleans, so I'm thinking about a short trip. The numbers look very good.


Roundtrip fares for two people from Newark on Continental with three nights (Th Fr Sa) in a good, downtown hotel comes to $800 in mid-May. Upgrade to a very nice place for $100 more.


WS likes Cafe Adelaide in the Loews Hotel. Several Commander's Palace veterans are in the kitchen and at the bar, while the drink making is superb. Cafe Adelaide Here's a sample menu:




Louisiana Shrimp and Grits 28.00

Andouille stone ground grits, melted leeks

and truffled woodland sauce


Creole Spiced Filet of Beef 32.00

Roasted garlic boulangère potatoes, Creole tomato jam,

grilled green onions and foraged mushroom fricassee


Lemongrass Glazed Yellowfin Tuna 29.00

Grilled Grand Isle shrimp, marinated summer beans, cherry tomatoes

and ripped Opal Basil with charred orange caramel


Old Fashioned Duck Breast and Crispy Oysters 29.00

Local oysters, duck cracklin’ dirty rice, muscovy duck confit,

and “Old Fashioned” duck sauce


Harris Ranch Black Angus Sirloin Strip 36.00

Three potato Lyonaisse, apple smoked bacon,

forestière butter and “Peychaud’s Bitters” steak sauce


Herb Roasted Bay Snapper and Blue Crab 29.00

Fire roasted summer corn, oyster mushrooms

and baby spinach with Chardonnay fumet


They like Cochon on Tchip Street. County food, citified. Rabbit, crab, jowls, rillette, pickles. The Bloody Mary is served with beans, by the way... Cochon


Chef Link and co-owner Chef Stephen Stryjewski, embracing the old style traditions receive whole pigs and oversee an in-house Boucherie, creating boudin, andouille, smoked bacon, and head cheese. The menu also features handmade crawfish pies, rabbit & dumplings, and spoon bread with okra & tomatoes. Cochon offers specialties from the wood-burning oven such as roasted oysters, suckling pig, and beef brisket. Seafood from local waters round out the offerings with Chef Link’s signature roasted gulf fish “fishermen” style.


The bar at Cochon boasts an interesting variety of bourbons and local beers. Traditional southern cocktails like the Mint Julep are available as well as updated versions of classics like Cochon’s Lemonade. Several brands of moonshine are available for guests desiring a true "Southern experience".


Lillette is mentioned. John Harris is an alumnus of Bayona, but sees himself as an Italian cook with French influences


Braciola with San Marziano tomatoes, creamy polenta and Parmigiano Reggiano -21-


Roasted poulet breast with brussel sprouts, balsamic glazed onions and mushroom prosciutto vinaigrette -19-


Roasted Muscovy duck breast with cabbage, chorizo

and black olive sauce -22-


Grilled hanger steak with fries and marrowed

bordelaise sauce -21


Grilled veal paillard with broccoli raab, almonds,homemade ricotta toast and garlic parsley butter -28-


Sauteed shrimp with roasted eggplant, gnocchi

and ver jus butter -22-


John Besh's Restaurant August gets a plug. Although the reviewer found the restaurant crowded, and the staff overwhelmed, the food was great. The ine list is described as pricey, but there's no charge for corkage. August

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We're headed down for JazzFest 4/25-5/2. We decided to do a very traditional visit: Antoines, Aranud's, Galatoire's, Commander's. After annual visits for the last ten years, this will be our first visit back, post Katrina. I'm a little bit scared to see it.


We are also planning to begin our hunt for a small place. I think the Lower Garden has some value. While I acknowledge the appeal of the wharehouse district, I don't think that will work for us.

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I sure would like another dinner at Herbsaint.


The menu reads very well, so it goes on this list.


Fish of the Day Market Price


Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp with Eggplant Dressing and Jalapenos


Muscovy Duck Leg Confit with Dirty Rice and Citrus Gastrique


Grilled Hanger Steak with French Fries and Pimenton Aioli


Grilled Organic Chicken with Fregola Pasta, Delicata Squash and Grilled Fennel


Rabbit CAnneloni Au Jus with Pan Roasted Mushrooms


Seared Kurabuta Pork Belly with Grilled Medjool Dates, Mint and Aged Balsamic




Green Vegetable of the Day


French Fries with Pimenton Aioli


Dirty Rice




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  • 6 months later...

FYI, in case anyone (now or later) is interested in re-opened New Orleans restaurants, it's not necessary to rely on dispatches from Mariani or other visiting writers, able though they be. The local GAPDC,* Tom Fitzmorris, began tracking closed and open restaurants closely during the disaster. I started using this list at that time, Fall 2005, and it is updated constantly:






* Generally Accepted Principal Dining Critic. Most metro regions have an obvious one. Known to locals, and discernible to newcomers by the number of putdowns or I-could-do-a-better-job-than-that postings. Their number bespeaks wide readership.

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  • 1 month later...

NY Times does a "36 Hours" piece on New Orleans. It adds several elements to the emerging story (like reservations for the Gray Line tour are a must), and starts with a place for a drink.


At the bar of the Columns (3811 St. Charles Avenue; 504-899-9308), an Italianate mansion turned hotel in the Garden District, what must be the South's most inviting porch flirts with the city's grandest thoroughfare. Have a Campari and soda alfresco ($7) or step into the bar, with its ornately painted 16-foot ceiling and a circular settee. Both over the top and the tiniest bit down at the heels, the Columns was the perfect backdrop for “Pretty Baby,†Louis Malle's movie about a turn-of-the-century brothel, even though it is a world away from the former red-light district it was meant to evoke.



Big Easy


Andouille cheesecake sounds like a wonderful idea on a cold, icy night in the northeast. I'd have to think about the pecan crusted veal sweetbreads, though.


For every Emeril's, Antoine's or Brennan's in this city of fine dining, there is a beloved neighborhood restaurant where locals will wait hours for a table. At Dick and Jenny's (4501 Tchoupitoulas Street; 504-894-9880; www.dickandjennys.com), in a rambling Uptown barge-board cottage, the dishes include savory crawfish and andouille cheesecake ($9), pecan-crusted veal sweetbreads ($9.50) and salmon with Gewürztraminer beurre blanc ($20). They don't take reservations, so settle in on a porch glider with a cocktail and wait.
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we looked at New Orleans a while ago when we decided to go away for a few days at the end of the year. it didn't work out but it's been on the list for a long time


i'd definitely like to try chef Besh's food - his dishes on the Next Iron Chef always looked & sounded great

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we looked at New Orleans a while ago when we decided to go away for a few days at the end of the year. it didn't work out but it's been on the list for a long time


i'd definitely like to try chef Besh's food - his dishes on the Next Iron Chef always looked & sounded great

I have never been dissappointed with his food. There was a service problem at Luke but the food was great.

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Rancho Gordo -- both of my 2008 conferences will be in NO, IACP in the spring and WCR in the fall (during hurricane season :blink: ). I'm actually kind of conflicted about going. Yes, I want to support the local economy the only way I can. But I don't want to participate in the freak show aspect. I suppose people may jump on me for that, but it is at the back of my mind.


OTOH, I got to chat with Leah Chase at the most recent WCR conference (she was given what is basically a lifetime achievement award), and she was just so wonderful and encouraged. So that might balance out my misgivings.

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Thanks, Max.


Brett Anderson offered his list of local places, here's the selection. Several are definitely off the radar of the non-local observer, like me.



Posted by Times-Picayune October 05, 2007 5:00PM


Bayona - her nearly 30-year career in New Orleans kitchens extends to eras when outfitting grilled shrimp with a black bean cake and coriander sauce was not just unusual but avant-garde.



Brigtsen's - In Frank Brigtsen's cooking, you can practically taste New Orleans' eternal predicament as a metropolis surrounded by encroaching natural environments.



Emeril's - The delight of eating at Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant is all about enjoying the attentions of a well-oiled machine. This has been particularly true since its post-K reopening late last year.



Galatoire's - Full disclosure: I have a waiter and he takes care of me. What does this mean? As far as I can tell, impossibly large pieces of lump meat in my crabmeat maison; the shared knowledge that I like my Sazeracs on the rocks in the summertime and would rather skip the souffle potatoes if they're not hot; sound advice on the quality of the drum, speckled trout, pompano, soft-shells -- whatever it is that comprises the catch of the day.



Herbsaint - No New Orleans restaurant this millennium has sat further ahead of the culinary curve than Herbsaint. It is without question a fashionable restaurant, the first place many locals ever tried small plates that weren't labeled tapas, not to mention sopprassetta made in-house.



Lilette - Over the nearly seven years John Harris has been tucking braised veal cheeks into the folds of fresh raw greens at the corner of Magazine and Antonine streets, the chef-owner of Lilette has established a novel genus of comfort food. He does not traffic in expense-account meatloaf.



Restaurant August - Restaurant August is no longer an all-consuming passion for John Besh. It can't be. Last spring, he went from running two local restaurants -- August and Besh Steakhouse (see page 28) -- to four -- Luke (see page 28) and La Provence (see page 34) -- in a matter of weeks.



RioMar - Dolfo Garcia has never been terribly interested in what "everybody else" is doing. As a young chef, when the consensus path to success went through France, he looked to Spain and Latin America for inspiration.



Ristorante del Porto -What was supposed to be a brief stay -- the plan was to move to Italy -- became a permanent residency when they spotted a storefront in Covington they deemed too cute to pass up.



Stella! - Everything about Scott Boswell's cooking broadcasts that he's a comer. The chef favors not just the best ingredients (in season, chanterelles are stirred into his lobster risotto) but the most exotic (that's a tempura shiso leaf balanced atop your veal-and-shrimp dumpling) and most expensive (his "BLT," which features foie gras, is brightened by century-old balsamic vinegar).


Top 10



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