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    Vicksburg, MS
  1. Where should you stop for what - food, lodging, sightseeing, etc?
  2. One important thing to keep in mind is that paying with cash eliminates the possibility of someone swiping your credit card number. This scam was cleverly portrayed on the Sopranos, and I have been a victim of it. What I wish is that more restaurants would observe the practice of conducting the transaction at tableside - really no excuse not to do otherwise. I have been going round and round with American Express for the last three months precisely because of someone using our credit card to the tune of around $15,000. I am thinking long and hard about instituting a cash only policy for restaurant dining.
  3. Yes, we have eaten there since Chef Sonnier took over. It is just not the same as it was BK. I also have tried the lamb chops and they were just about inedible. Our first times back to New Oleans were in November and then again in February right after Katrina and I cannot say enough nice things about the New Orleans Grill and all of the staff at the Windsor Court during that trying time. That said, my wife has had several entrees under Chef Sonnier's current reign that she liked, but there are other restaurants that, in my opinion, are much better options now. One nice additional change at the Windsor Court for the better is that they now have a Club level that was converted over from one of the Penthouse Suites offering a nice array of breakfast items, soft drinks and cookies during the day, and drinks and appetizers after 5 PM. The club level is more expensive, but we are always upgraded as another benefit from our American Express card, so it does not cost us additional. And, yes, congratulations are in order all around for Scott. John Besh has gotten a lot of press for what he accomplished right after Katrina. I think Scott deserves at least every bit if not more credit for what he did post-Katrina as well. Unfortunately, I haven't seen it, but I don't live there so I may not be aware of the praise he so rightfully deserves. Have you tried his Japanese squash soup yet? The only item of food I have had in New Orleans that was any better are the charbroiled oysters at Dragos, and it is a tossup between the two as to which I would eat on a day to day basis. If you haven't tried it, run, don't walk, to give it a try if it is still on the menu. If memory serves me correctly, I think this was originally prepared for one of the James Beard dinners when Scott was invited to cook for the participants and was very well received there as well.
  4. I have eaten at the New Orleans Grill at least 10 times in the last year and would not recommend it. The reason why we have eaten there so much is that we get a free lunch and free dinner from our American Express card amenities. It is worth if for free. I cannot recommend Stella! enough. We were there a couple of weeks ago the day after the chef/owner had gotten married. Needless to say, all the waitstaff were incredibly hung over, but we never noticed even the slightest bump in the road in service during the meal. The squash soup is some of the finest food I have ever put in my mouth. The wine prices are very reasonable.
  5. Steve has nailed Scott's cuisine dead on. Everything he prepares, to put it quite succinctly, is a joy to eat. For the last couple of years my wife and I have been on fine dining experiences in San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Paris, London, Barcelona, San Sebastion, and Prague to name just a few cities. We have had comparable fare at Les Ambassadeurs in Paris, Ramiro's in San Juan, Campton Place in San Francisco (before the change of chefs), La Reve in San Antonio, and Restaurant August in New Orleans, but nothing that really surpasses any of the many meals we have enjoyed at Stella! (the two meals we had at Ramiro's may have been better, but at this stage of the game it is hard to decide if anything is "better", just different). In addition, the wine list is the most reasonably priced wine list I have ever seen. For example, when we were there a month ago, Stella! had the 2003 Quilceda Creek cabernet sauvignon for $195 - a whopping 45$ more than the Vieux Carre wine store was selling it for and $50 less than the best price you can find on the internet using wine searcher. For comparison, Cuvee, where we also ate at, had it for $250, which is still reasonably priced, but not nearly as reasonable (dare I say cheap) as at Stella!. Scott is a class act all the way around, particularly when you take into account what he has done since Katrina. I cannot recommend his restaurant highly enough.
  6. :wacko: :biggrin: One of the best laughs I have had in a long, long, long time. FYI, eight of us will be spending February 17-19 at the Windsor Court and spending money at the New Orleans Grill, Drago's, GW Fins, Stanley, etc. in support of New Orleans.
  7. My mother's were the best I have ever had - rolled dumplings (is there really any other kind?) with the key ingredient being chicken fat cooled down from the boiled chicken stock that was cut into the dough. No other seasonings except salt that resulted in, quite simply, the quintessence of chicken. When done correctly, one bite of one of these ethereal dumplings conjures up the image of a "chicken cloud". From my earliest memories, this was always my birthday meal.
  8. I will point out that most people who live in Texas for any length of time, from thereon generally refer to themselves as a Texan - deservedly so.
  9. The website for Stella! has announced that it plans on reopening sometime in December. This is great news! Scott Boswell has been at the forefront of the efforts to show that, never fear, the New Orleans food scene will rise out of the ashes. He also announced that the Iron Chef French with Chef Hiroyuki Sakai dinner is still on for this coming March. This is also great news! We attended the first one last January with Iron Chef Masa Kobe, and it was one of our most memorable food experiences ever. We will be there for the next one as well.
  10. That and a fondness for bacon. ← How true....how true.....
  11. They show a whole lot worse from the pantheon of animal slaughter on the Discovery channel every day. I am always amazed that when any species other than man is involved in the slaughter of an animal, the folks that decry the "brutality of mankind" instead see the "beauty of nature". After 56 years, I have come to the conclusion that what separates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom is an incredible capacity for self loathing.
  12. Except that the Port dominates the tourism industry in New Orleans in terms of impacts on the economy. This is where most of the effort to get New Orleans back on track should be focused. Luckily, the port is on high ground and was not directly impacted by the flooding.
  13. As far as I'm concerned, you have to eat at fine dining establishments in order to determine what fine dining is all about. To this end, go no further than La Reve in San Antonio. My wife and I have been on a fine dining exploration for the past 15 years of NYC, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, London, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, etc. Nowhere have we experienced a better fine dining experience than at La Reve......by a wide margin.
  14. Yes - expensive, but worth every penny. Be advised, these are hard reservations to snag.
  15. Truer words have never been spoken!!!!! Try Croissant D'Or and/or Camellia Grill for breakfast and/or lunch. GW Fins for dinner if you feel like seafood. I can also promise that dinner at Stella! will be a memorable dining experience (my wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary there at the end of this month). The best food deal in NOLA is the two for one dinner entre offer at Louis XVI. Do a google search for "New Orleans Coupons" where you can download the 2 for 1 coupon. Commander's Palace is NOT overrated at all. It is a quintessential NOLA dining experience. I have been eating there for over 35 years and have NEVER been disappointed - some meals have just been more memorable than others. Second the skipping of Bombay Club for dinner, but go there for pre-dinner drinks.
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