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joiei

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Yes, he is the manager and still spends time behind the bar. He's also the creator of most of the drinks on the list. The space that was Rambla is going to be a new (as yet unnamed) restaurant run by the former sommelier at the Windsor Court. Not being a big fan of dogs, I haven't been to Dat Dog. But, always good to know a spot with good fries and drinks for late night. Thanks for the tip.

 

Funny, you mention the Omni--I was at the other one. I ran into a number of caddies and golfers Friday night around the Quarter too :ph43r: . Thankfully, tee times Saturday for those who did make the cut (and us working folks) didn't start until 9:30. So, we got a one day reprieve from the lovely 4:15 am wake up calls :wacko: .

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Our best dinner during second weekend of jazzfest was at Coquette. We did the $70 tasting menu with $30 wine pairings and it was a fantastic evening. Sat upstairs by the window. Great room, service was exceptional and the food was creative, inventive and delicious:

Amuse-

Smoked catfish dip with grilled kale

house cured pork loin, house pickles

 

salad with daikon, radish, carrots, pickled cauliflower

roasted local vegetables with olive praline, cashew, citrus with a miso/soy aioli

pompano - rice, clam broth, peanuts

duck - with cornbread, tamarind, ramps

pre-dessert peanut butter an jelly riff -- strawberry sorbet with peanut butter mousse -- beyond

dessert - I'm blanking, but I'm pretty sleep deprived.

 

Had a horrendous service debacle at Petite Grocery on our final night. It was either roll with it or walk out. We chose to stay but it was just comically bad. Forgotten drinks, no food, no bread to tide us over until we got our food. The shame of it was, we liked the food that we ate very much, but I could not recommend going there unless others can vouch. We did see Nils Lofgren at the next table. So, that was something.

 

We also loved Cochon, including great cocktails.

 

Emeril's was very good but how can it be bad when you cook with so much butter! One couple had the fried chicken for two which easily could have fed the entire table -- an entire fried chicken, crawfish, house made sausage, roasted brussels sprouts served on a large butcher block. This was a veritable feast. Another diner had the whole roasted fish, also served on a large butcher block slab. It was a very Game of Thrones looking table.

 

The diet starts today!

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That roasted vegetable dish is not only good but beautiful to look at.

 

What was your favorite food at Fest? Cochon du Lait for me.

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Oh, the Cochon du Lait for sure! I am also a sucker for soft shell crabs, so the soft shell po boy was another favorite. Could not bring myself to do the Crawfish Monica pasta dish given the heat, but it certainly is popular.

 

In addition to an amazing performance by The Boss, we loved Trombone Shorty, the Soul Rebels, Marcia Ball, Amanda Shaw, Sunpie and the Louisiana Hotspots, the Revivalists, Deacon John is still going strong, alot of great gospel and blues in those tents.

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We shared the Crawfish Monica because of the heat and yes, the Soft Shell Crab po boy is also terrific. I have no idea how they perfectly fry a few thousand of those every day.

It sure is one great event and something I'd like to keep going to with the hope of doing both weekends when I can. We had a major case of FOMS 2nd weekend. Would have loved to see The Boss, Fogerty and Gov't Mule Friday night. Shorty was one of the 36 guests that showed up at that night show. Heard it was a really special night of music.

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A friend from Japan will be visiting New Orleans for the first time and would like your suggestions for restaurants. Mitchell's and Evelyn's recent suggestions and descriptions are great. Any other help would be greatly appreciated. They will only be in town for 4 days.

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I just got back from NOLA last night. Same recommendations hold. Especially for Coquette. Had perhaps the best softshell crab preparation yet. Plump and juicy. Perfectly fried and served with asparagus, ramp green pesto and buttermilk.

 

A little updating. Restaurant August seems to have found its footing again after being a little shaky after the CDC change. Luke has a new menu-give the French Crawfish Boil a try. Not tradtional--a little heat in the black truffle, cream and persillade--but very tasty. Also I went back to Meauxbar, which has reopened under new ownership (one of the partners in Sylvain) and Kristen Essig, former chef at the now closed Ste. Marie in the kitchen. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for your friend's short visit. But, it is definitely some place I would recommend giving a try for a longer visit (or return visit to NOLA). She's doing some really good food. And I stopped in Galatoire's 33 Steak for a couple of apps. Very good crab cake and marrow bones with horseradish crust. Bacchanal for a great casual evening of wine food and music outdoors (or indoors if you prefer). Like being at a great barbeque at someone's house. Sylvain was putting a new menu in this week. Doris Metropolitan's service is improving. Still doesn't match the food--which is quite good.

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A friend from Japan will be visiting New Orleans for the first time and would like your suggestions for restaurants. Mitchell's and Evelyn's recent suggestions and descriptions are great. Any other help would be greatly appreciated. They will only be in town for 4 days.

 

Just make sure they are on time for their restaurant reservations. Lateness is not tolerated in New Orleans. :cool:

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Thanks everyone, you too Bolderite. I passed on these recommendations. Wish I were going to NOLA.

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Sylvain's has been talked about a lot in New Orleans lately but I thought it was just ok. (cocktails were very good.) some dishes were good concept/execution. others were lackluster (I'm looking at you pappardelle with bolognese)...and amateurish things like having a dish sit on the pass forever til it became lukewarm (an otherwise very good pork shoulder entree)....

it's pretty. friendly. but it's really the kind of good neighborhood bistro-type place that are a dime a dozen in NYC. it's not part of the comparative advantage set for New Orleans and why foodies there are talking about it is beyond me.

 

Parkway is always great. really regret I didn't make it to Peche this trip. next time.

 

biggest news is that Beachbum Berry's tiki bar is opening right about now. if that place can't sell Sneakeater on tiki drinks than nothing will :)

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Mrs B and I just spent the last week in NOLA. This is where we ate and drank and our impressions of them

 

Dinners:

Cochon - Good woodfired oysters, good but not as good as they used to chicken livers with pepper jelly, decent boudin balls while we waited for a table. Ok Cochon de Lait. Excellent excellent shrimp and eggplant dressing - best thing we had. Cocktails were free poured and overpoured. I was in trouble after my first drink. Cochon was def the worst dinner we had. Was it bad? No. Do I ever need to go back? No.

 

Sylvain - I get Nathan's complaints, however it def has a Southern thing going on we don't get in NYC, so while it isn't ineffably NO'sy - we still liked it. Very nice pickled Shrimp starter that was as close to a salad as I got all week, squash/ricotta pancakes that were pretty simple and a bit of a mess, but tasty. A pork milanese with sort of a summer southern salad on top and quail with cornbread dressing. Good cocktails. Single weirdest waiter I've ever had in my life. I think he must have been on the spectrum. He had been trained to do certain things and goddamit he was going to do those things. Liked the place. Not sure its a must visit, but I think its worth a visit. Really pretty space - we ate in the courtyard - we had unbelievably good weather for our visit.

 

Coquette - This was a really really good meal. Again - maybe more Southern than Nola, but it was excellent. A Fried Chicken, Watermelon. Hot Sauce starter, then Soft Shell Crabs and Shrimp with Grits. The Gravy on the Shrimp with grits was a really exemplary shrimp stock based sauce. Excellent. Almost too rich. Decently priced wine list. Our bottle was less than 2x NYC retail.

 

Peche - Good meal, with some flaws. Will also acknowledge there had been quite a bit of day drinking before our 8 oclock meal...

A smoked drum salad was great - like really great. Hushpuppies were fine. Boiled Gulf Shrimp were poor. Mushy, mealy. Honestly unacceptable. Cobia belly with mint and pepper jelly was fun, although maybe the fish was a little overwhelmed - but I liked the dish in the end.

 

August - This is the Sneakfridapple's idea of what a restaurant should look like. It was my second time there, I really feel no need to explore beyond the trout pontchartrain. I mean who doesn't want a piece of trout topped with a thin slice of bread sauteed brown in butter, covered in shrimp, crab, and oyster mushrooms, with a pool of perfect hollandaise next to it? Pastas for the firsts were exemplary. Mrs. B's Gnocchi had nice big slices of truffle, my corn fungus ravioli were appropriately huitlacoche-y. Its really a nice place. And the amazing thing about it is that it cost me about what a big night at a mid-tier west village place with a round of cocktails and a mid-level wine would cost me. Wine btw was 2.5x NY retail. I mean its not a fireworks place - but it is extremely well done for what it is.

 

Lunch-

Domelise - Good po'boy, nice atmosphere, nice to get uptown. Get a goblet of High Life for 2.50

Parkway - Better po'boy, factory atmosphere, middle of no where.

Dragos - Go for the chargrilled oysters and GTFO. The crab salad would be good if you ask for the dressing on the side.

Casamentos - a Classic, great atmosphere, great oysters.

 

Rankings

Po'Boys/Loafs

Parkway - Shrimp and Roast Beef. Best bread (but not by much) Best Shrimp (by a bunch) Wife sees no point to a non Seafood PBoy - so this was our only one.

Casamentos - Really tasty fried oysters - most flavorful of the trip. Second best Shrimp

Domelise - Still very good fried oysters. Only because Parkway's were so good would you have a non kind word about their shrimp. A bit less expensive for a sandwich - although a bit worse bread to fish ratio as well - but much bigger bread.

N.B. All three are worth the journey.

 

Roasted Oysters

Cochon - maybe not fair as their style is lighter/more oyster centric.

Casamentos - Still sort of grossly cheesy, but you can taste the oysters.

Drago's - Look - these are good but you hardly know there is an oyster there. Sit at the bar and then leave.

 

Bars worth noting:

French 75 - Serious cocktails, no hipster-yness

Tiki Tolteca. Fun, SCB Tiki. Some cognitive dissonance when it came to drinking a frozen non-sweet hemingway out of a slushie machine. Also serious Tiki themed Jello-Shots. Very well priced BTW.

 

Never made it to any of the Cure entities, although I think 3x we had cane and table in our plans but never made it.

 

Also did the domenica Happy Hour. Fun, well priced. But maybe should have gone to luke and done a Fruits de Mer platter instead.

 

Oh yeah - Beachbum Berry's is not yet open.

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damn, Chris told me it should be open now. yes French 75 is always a must. agreed on the shrimp and roast beef po'boy at Parkway. and I like Casamento's a lot too. haven't been to Domelise. yes, the only only thing you should have at Drago's is the grilled oysters. and I really like August.

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I'll be going in mid-November for about four days, when Paul has to go to a conference but will have plenty of time to play hooky. Yay!!!!! Haven't been since the city (kind of) reopened after Katrina.

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