Sunday was another lovely day in NOLA--just stunning to be here in late spring with flowering trees (about 6-8 weeks behind schedule due to long winter), sunshine, but cooling breezes. Perfect weather!
We took several walks--one with dog, one without--and saw some of our favorite haunts and some new ones (the new "Waldorf collection" Hotel Roosevelt and the Ritz--had to stroll through). We then went back to the Roadfood festival to watch the fire dept. best the police dept. in a beignet eating contest. We had a light nibble of a lunch--we split a crawfish cake from Royal House (wow!) and an oyster po-boy from Antoine's (so-so)--because we had found our dinner adventure and wanted to "save up." (Oh, the irony of that in this city.)
Louisiana Bistro--we had walked right past it after checking out Bayona, one of the trendy restaurants. We had called NOLA (an Emeril restaurant)--no openings till 9:30. Then chatted with some knowledgeable local fellows about Bayona (they highly recommended but there was no answer on their reservations line) and Upperline (a few miles away). But then we walked by Louisiana Bistro, which looked completely charming and had an option called "Feed Me" (yes, registered trademark). After checking out Yelp and Urbanspoon, we became convinced that this was THE place for us--an evening's sustenance and entertainment. The chef (CIA trained, then Biba in Boston, and Emeril in New Orleans, among others) really likes to be hands on, so this small restaurant is his baby--only a sous chef in back with him. If you order the Feed Me option, he comes out to discuss any allergies or aversions you have and then he gets your permission to run with whatever he'd like to. Each dish is presented by the waiter, and the chef is right on his heels to explain each dish. What a treat. (Note that the other diners having the Feed Me option got different dishes than we did. Amazing....)
I only had my iPhone in pretty poor light, but I took the pix to remember the details. Some of these dishes were just THE best of that category we've ever had--especially the oysters. Oo la la.
1st: cornmeal crusted flash fried oysters on a Cajun pepper brown sauce
2nd: melaton (aka chayote squash) stuffed with crawfish on top of buerre blanc
3rd: quail over Southern style bacon stewed greens with jalapeno hollandaise. (Oops, forgot to take the picture right away!)
4th: 12-hour braised buffalo rib over delicate garlic mashed potatoes with a mixture of Midwestern BBQ sauce (tomato based) and South Carolina BBQ sauce (vinegar based), which turned out more like an Asian sweet-and-sour sauce. Lisa loved it. This was the only sauce I didn't sop up with the bread, but the meat was soooo tender.
Accompanied by the chef-recommended Tempranillo Grand Reserve from Rioja, Spain, which was a perfect accompaniment to the delicate spicy heat of the Creole cooking
Dessert: We split an order of Creole ice cream (ice cream mixed with a ricotta cheese--very different) with strawberries, chocolate, and balsamic. And they even had decaf chicory coffee for Lisa.
We highly recommend this restaurant if you're in the area--it's actually quite reasonable compared to the other chef-y places, and it has a reasonably priced wine list. I'd like to see this place have lines outside, but perhaps not everyone is up for the adventure of Feed Me?!? But we're not the only ones who loved it: Yelp and Urbanspoon
We are packing up at last (what a treat not to move the vehicle for 3 days!) this morning and heading out of our "resort." We enjoyed the hot tub and pool yesterday, but we won't miss sleeping next to the freeway. Off to Morgan City to celebrate Lisa's sister's birthday!