Jump to content

New Orleans

Recommended Posts

One week to Jazzfest so may as well get this topic started......

Spending 12 days there and booked so far:

Jewel of the South, GW Fins, Maypop, Herbsaint, Mister Mao's, Zasu, Mosca's, N7, Paladar 511 and Cochon

Will definitely do a breakfast or three at Willa Jean, BearCat, District, Elizabeth's

We'll be eating a ton of meals at The Fairgrounds during Fest: https://www.nojazzfest.com/food/ My first bite will undoubtedly be Crawfish Strudel with an Abita beer in my hand. Can't freaking wait! 



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Halfway thru and still standing. Some food and music highlights:

Jewel of the South: This may now be our favorite spot in New Orleans. No need to talk about Chris Hannah's cocktails. The food here is exceptional as is the service. Caviar Night on Wednesday's makes for a great start. Served with the crispiest potatoes imaginable with a soft center. Some of the ingredient combinations sound like they are trying too hard (Tuna tartare with veal sweetbreads) but they always deliver. 

GW Fins: Very good seafood in the French Quarter. They are known for dry aging their fish including an aged bluefin tuna steak that they serve like a beef steak. Highlight for me was the fried snapper breast with the fin still attached. When asked how best to eat it, our waiter said "caveman style". He was right.  Nothing revelatory but a solid choice.

MayPop: Hard to judge as we were a group of 22 which makes the experience completely different. Perfectly  fried oysters, a very good slow roasted pork shoulder. And very good Asian inspired cocktails. Also of note our group had several people with a host of food allergies and the restaurant was extremely accommodating. 

Herbsaint: One of our favorite grown up lunch places in the city. I know I'm getting the spaghetti with the deep fried egg and it never disappoints. Probably my favorite version of Carbonara. Even better fried oysters here. Wonderful service. A great way to spend 2 hours on a rainy afternoon. 

Paladar 511: Our first time dining here. A short walk from the Louisiana Music Factory record store where they have bands play for free on off-Jazzfest days. Sort of an Italian tapas bar with pizza and a number of pastas. It exceeded our expectations from the first bite. Hamachi crudo with calabrian pepper and strawberries.  Flavor explosion and the quality of the Hamachi was excellent. Beef Carpaccio with a remoulade sauce and why not top it all off with more fried oysters. Another great dish. Nice wine list too. We ate at the bar and chatted up another couple who moved to New Orleans after a life in Brooklyn. They semi-retired and are loving life in New Orleans. 

At Jazzfest: Really proud of myself as I ate two or three things each day and after four days had no duplicates other than the stuffed beignets and mango freezes which are every day items. There is a new Haitian booth that had an excellent shrimp and avocado dish as well as a baked mac and cheese with crab. Crawfish Strudel remains my favorite bite at the Fest. Eating crawfish strudel with an Abita Amber listening to Zigaboo Modeliste and his band knock out Meters' tunes on a breezy Friday is beyond joy. Back at it Friday and will again endeavor to not duplicate any dishes. 

Music Highlights: Widespread Panic (yes, just a jam band but they inserted a bunch of New Orleans piano teases), Jonathan Boogie Long, Selwyn Birchwood, Midnight Disturbers, 14 year old piano prodigy, River Eckert, Trumpet Mafia, Lekecia Benjamin, Patrice Rushin. And on the big stage, The Revivalists, The Killers and Anderson Paak.  Too many other acts to mention including the Colombian bands in the Cultural Pavillion. 

Everyone has their happy place and New Orleans during Jazzfest is definitely mine. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having visited a couple of months ago, let me also recommend the recently opened Porgy's Seafood Market, which has a brief but well-executed food menu; also Fives, a small cocktail bar in the Quarter with creative takes on standards (like a marrow-washed Sazerac) and a competent kitchen with bistro-esque cooking. Very possible you've been already, but I had never eaten at Compere Lapin or La Petite Grocery and both were pretty fantastic (I love the LPG dining room). Have a great trip!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New Orleans and Jazzfest Part II:

Food: N7, really nice bistro in the Bywater. Hidden from the street is a beautiful garden where we ordered most of the small plates and shared. Very nice with of course good cocktails. 

Mister Mao's: Super hot restaurant proudly serving inauthentic Asian and Mexican food in a convivial setting. Translation:very loud. Solid full flavored and spicy food by a self taught Cambodian chef who was nominated for a Beard award.  Other important fact is it is only two blocks from Tipitina's. 

Zasu: One of our best meals of the trip. We are fans of chef Sue Zemanick from her previuous stints in New Orleans. Now running her own place in Mid-city. Small menu and everything we had was extremely well prepared. She seems to excel with fish and I can say that both the fluke and snapper we had were exceptional. Best bite though was a special crawfish risotto that I am still dreaming about. 

Mosca's: Old school Italian famous for their Oysters Mosca and Chicken ala Grande. We also had the crab salad and Shrimp Mosca. Everything was really good (think Don Pepe's with actual hospitality) but probably not worth the 30 minute Uber ride. 

Cochon: Still super solid with roasted oysters, pork belly with blackberries and spring peas. A perfectly wood roasted fish and strawberry shortcake. 

Snacks around town: Drago's for grilled oysters, still our favorite.  Pork belly poboy from Killer Poboys, fried chicken biscuit with a fried egg and hot honey from Willa Jean. SlapBurger in the Bywater after a show. 

At Fest, a few new items for me: Trout Dizzy (grilled trout with shrimp and crawfish sauce, Crawfish Bisque with 4 crawfish heads in it, Alligator sausage poboy. Cochon de Lait poboy remains one of the top things at Fest. Just delicious. More beignets with powdered sugar all over my shirt. 

Music highlights at Fest: Dwayne Burnside, son of RL Burnside playing MS. blues, Leo Nocentelli doing his Meters thing, The Rumble, a super funky Indian band led by Big Chief Joseph Boudroux, Jon Cleary, Galactic, Foo Fighters and Neil Young.  And of course Irma Thomas with the Rolling Stones. 

And some amazing night show experiences. At a club that holds all of 150 or so people, attended a Maurice Brown and Friends show and who shows up, Anderson Paak. Sits in on drums for over an hour and basically takes over. A host of horn players on stage playing Paak tunes and old school R&B. A total blast that cost $30.  Dragon Smoke at Tipitina's. Band that basically plays once a year at Jazzfest. Made up of Ivan Neville, Rob Mercurio, Stanton Moore and Eric Lindell. Playing all covers with their own spin, there isn't a more fun band to see play for 2 hours at the best music venue in New Orleans. Also at Tips was the No. Miss Allstars who never disappoint, They had a number of guests including a fife and drum duet. A truly magical show was Friday night at the Marigney Opera House. Billed as Siren Song, 5 female singer songwriters with Maggie Koerner headlining in a 150 year old church. Instead of seats, blankets, throws and pillows on the floor with a light show on the walls and ceiling. Perfect acoustics. If you don't know Maggie Koerner you need to. An absolutely magical evening. And last night show for us was Anders Osborne's Birthday Bash with a ton of special guests joining in including Dave Malone, Luther Dickinson, Jackie Greene, Brad Walker, George Porter Jr, Stanton Moore and the aforementioned Maggie Koerner who blasted Move Back to Mississippi. Great night of music at a really nice venue in the CBD, the Civic Theatre. 

12 Days here with no hangovers or illness. Other than watching 2 periods of Ranger hockey, the TV was never on. Dragging a bit today but an amazing time. Made a bunch of new friends. And all of the Newbies that were with us are excited about booking flights for next year when the airline calendars open up. I know I sound like I work for the New Orleans Civic Association but Jazzfest in New Orleans is an event like no other. 12 days of pure happiness. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

One last thing I'll say about Jazzfest.  Like others here I go to a lot of shows in NYC and other cities when I can.  The joy most of the artists have at Jazzfest is just different. Its palpable.  And it comes out in the way they act and play. Not just the local artists but the national ones as well. I've seen Anderson Paak a few times before. The amount of fun he looked to be having during his Jazzfest set was so different than at other places. Same for Dave Grohl, and Rhiannon Giddons and so many others. Maybe Rhiannon was on another planet cause Mick was watching her from backstage. Dave G was seen late night leading a 2nd Line after a Preservation Hall set. Ronnie Wood showed up at Preservation Hall and again joined Irma Thomas for Time Is On My Side. 

Edited by Mitchell101
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...