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Robert Peyton

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Everything posted by Robert Peyton

  1. I had a very good meal there. Started with the sardines, which are served whole, with a vinegar-heavy sauce, onions, and capers. I really liked them, but I've spoken to people who didn't (and who like Sardines). Your mileage will vary I suppose. The sardines were so good I picked some up myself when I saw them at Whole Foods, and made an escabeche, but that's another story. The guy with whom I ate got the gnocchi, and he really loved the pesto. I did too, but I was more impressed with the texture of the gnocchi - perfect. We also got some caponata to split, and that was pretty good. Not the best I've had, but better than most. I cannot for the life of me rememer what I had as an entree (which is one reason I haven't written about the meal on my website), but I do remember enjoying it. My friend had the paneed rabbit, and that was good too. I was hoping to make it to Patois for lunch this Friday, but they were a little optimistic about their plans for lunch; they're looking to start after Thanksgiving. The restaurant was packed when I was there, and it was a bit loud, but not too bad on either account. Wish I could provide more details. Hopefully the next time I go I'll either take notes or maintain sufficient sobriety to remember what I ate.
  2. I heard recently on le radio that they are going to committed to reopening the Sazerac.
  3. I'm very fond of Herbsaint, and not so much of KPaul's. The Upperline is a great joint. Were it my to 10, I'd keep Cuvee, and dump del Porto. The last meal I had there was very uneven; some great stuff, some stuff that was inedible. I love what they're trying to do, and I think it's a good restaurant, it's just not in my top ten.
  4. Loa, in the International House is usually pretty good. I have also taken to ordering a drink at the Bridge Lounge that comes out pretty well. It's equal parts tequila (silver) and Pomegranate liquer, with soda and a lime. Described to me it sounded terrible, but it tastes pretty damn good. As for why we're not on the right side of the recent trend towards mixologists and swank cocktails, I'd imagine it's the same reason we're behind the times where other trends are concerned. We're a particularly insular community that doesn't react all that well to innovation. I'm in agreement on Swizzle Stick and the Library bar. Haven't had a cocktail at Tujague's in a long time.
  5. Great news. I drove past on Saturday, and it looked like it was ready to go.
  6. That was probably true in the immediate aftermath of the storm. I don't know if it's still the case. Cool, and cool. Will have to check both out.
  7. I think the principal reason is that there is such a significant connection between New Orleans and Destin, as other folks have mentioned. I think another reason is, as Mayhaw Man said, the particular institutions setting up in Destin have names that are recognizable beyond the borders of our fair parish. More true of Commander's of course, but then I think the new owners of the Camelia Grill are doing their best to brand it as rapidly as possible. Whether that bodes well or not, I dunno, but I have my doubts.
  8. You know, I had the same feeling when I read Brett's piece: it seems to me that restaurants are doing pretty well at the moment, and that we've had a lot fewer closings than I would have expected given the population decrease. I wonder to what extent that has to do with locals eating out more often? I think we're probably past the point where a lack of kitchens absolutely *requires* folks to eat out more, but maybe the habit has stuck? There are still joints opening pretty regularly. Patois, as you know, is about to open, and I just got an email from a friend touting Anton Schulte's new place, Daisy Bistro. I can't claim to have taken an economic survey, but just from my observations it's a pretty good climate for restaurants these days. I read somewhere that Smith & Wollensky decided that the New Orleans market wasn't strong enough to re-open their Poydras Street restaurant. I seem to recall that they blamed it on the local economy and so forth. My only response to that would be to point out that Smith & Wollensky sucked, and that's the main reason why they couldn't sell freaking steaks in the middle of the CBD. They should have had lawyers and accountants and any number of professionals lining up to pay them lots of money for beef. What a pity. Oh, and I think you missed Grand Isle as another of the "new" restaurants.
  9. I think an announcement is going to be made in the not too distant future. At least I hope so. I never got to their restaurant on the Northshore, but I heard a lot of good things.
  10. The Columbia Cafe is a really, really good restaurant in Shreveport: http://www.columbiacafe.com/ You might want to check out http://www.chickenfriedgourmet.typepad.com/ if you're interested in local foodblogs.
  11. I was talking with someone the other day about the upcoming Tales of the Cocktail event, and one of the things at issue was the big block of ice at the center of the "U" shaped bar at Swizzle Stick. Apparently at one point they were cutting ice from the block for drinks? Can anyone confirm that, and explain why they've stopped (if they have)?
  12. While you probably can't equate breeding patterns of crawfish raised commercially in flooded rice fields to cold water stream systems in the midwest, you might equate a cold water stream system in the midwest to a cold water stream system in Scandinavia. They seem to do a pretty good job of sustainable harvesting there, and in other parts of Europe. Your concern is commendable, but I think it's totally misplaced.
  13. Has anyone heard anything about Boswell's space in the International House hotel?
  14. This has been in the works for some time. I'm with you, it's a good thing for the City.
  15. Indeed. Someone should stand outside the grandstand and demand that anyone seeking entry first demonstrate their ability to slurp. Someone should also stand outside the fest generally and remind my stupid *ss to put suntan lotion on. But I digress... I can testify that the meat pies are up to snuff, and Jamilla's crawfish, zucchini and spinach bisque is also outstanding. Next week I hope to get to the fest early enough to hit some of my other longstanding favorites.
  16. Unless I missed the announcement, the Bistro at Maison de Ville is still closed. Beyond that, everything I was going to mention has already beem said.
  17. Congrats indeed. And to you for taking over this board. I need to start checking it more frequently.
  18. Would you ask the same question about a chef in New York or Chicago? Why not? New Orleans is famous for our local cuisine, but we shouldn't limit our chefs to local ingredients if, as Boswell is, they're capable of stretching boundaries. I'll echo Todd, the menu at Stella! put me off when I first read it, but Boswell pulled absolutely everything off perfectly. It was one of the best dining experiences I've had, New Orleans or not. I'm looking forward to a return visit.
  19. I believe Elizabeth's is open, or at least it appears to be when I've driven past recently. Really well said there Brooks, by the way. Really well said.
  20. Tim, IMOP you at least attempt to address the opinion expressed in the GQ piece. The problem I have is most people here seem to want to simply attack Richman and discredit him without having to deal with anything he says. After all these are just opinions. ← I'm pretty sure what I wrote on my website, albeit filled with immature invective, counted as analysis of what he actually wrote. I didn't want to reproduce it here mainly because of the length. What Mr. Richman wrote was offensive to a lot of New Orleanians, because he made a lot of pretty snide comments about us generally. What was worse, there was the perception that he simply got a lot wrong, factually. I think the issue about the roux was a significant error on his part, and one that made me question a lot of his opinions about our food; not just the "classic creole" cuisine, but the more modern stuff he also didn't like.
  21. That was indeed his point, and one he's mentioned out to me directly in an email conversation we've had. I stand by my point however, in that if one is tasting a roux that has the requisite color (and there's no evidence that he didn't, particularly given the locations at which he ate gumbo) he should have been able to tell the difference. Let me put it a different way, and to reiterate what Celeste said. A roux, and specifically a dark roux used in gumbo, has a taste, mouthfeel, and aroma that are entirely distinct from cornstarch. The flavor and aroma come from the "toasting" of the flour in the fat, and for a number of reasons, if you have the color right, you're necessarily going to get that aroma/flavor combination, though the intensity and specifics will vary. Also, the idea that some restaurant made a roux that was "poorly prepared" doesn't hold water. First, roux is not something that calls for a great deal of interpretation where measurements are concerned. It's not as if some folks use a 3/1 ratio and others use 10/1 oil to flour. The basic ratio is 1/1, and very few people venture from it. Second, while the taste and thickening variations between a light brown roux and a dark brown roux are significant, even a light brown roux will (not may, not might, not perhaps could) give you an unmistakeable flavor and aroma. You can screw up a roux by burning it, or by undercooking it, but in either case, you'll clearly be able to distinguish the result from something thickened with cornstarch. So for the record, if you can't distinguish between a roux and cornstarch then one of two things is going on. Either you were mistaken in thinking you've tasted something that included a roux, or you don't have a very good sense of taste. There are no other options. My guess is that the folks defending Richman are reacting to criticisim of him that the same way folks from New Orleans reacted to his piece: with a lot of emotion and not necessarily a lot of thought. If you're a fan of Richman's, you ought to recognize that he's imperfect, and that this piece is a prime example of it. On the same note, folks from New Orleans should realize that we have a lot of problems, and some of those problems involve our food. For what it's worth, I've exchanged a few emails with Mr. Richman now, and have listened to his podcast. I still think he's completely off-base where his article was concerned, but I have a better context for what he said, and why, and more respect for him overall.
  22. He responded to an email that I sent him in which I asked about the roux issue. He said words to the effect, "I know the difference between a roux and cornstarch, I believe my point was that they should taste different." In other words, he can't distinguish between the taste of cornstarch and a dark roux. He's incompetent.
  23. That was my reaction as well. I have read the article; I bought the magazine for the first and last time in my life for the purpose. What has a lot of people up in arms is not that he didn't like the food, but that the piece is full of errors of a kind that nobody who gets paid to write should have made. It was a disgraceful showing, and the kind of thing that ought to doom Richman's credibility as a food writer from here on. I mean for Pete's sake, the guy actually said that he couldn't distinguish between a dark roux and cornstarch. I still can't get over that.
  24. GQ has recently published a "review" of New Orleans dining by Alan Richman. Mr. Richman apparently visited New Orleans in July, 2006, and disliked just about every aspect of the City. The piece is also not online to my knowledge, but appears in print in the November issue of GQ. Other writing by Mr. Richman may be found here: http://men.style.com/gq/features/richman I've written about the piece on my own website, so I won't do so here, other than to say that other writers have done a better job of covering New Orleans, in my very biased opinion.
  25. Had a great meal at Mosca's this evening with a large party. http://www.appetites.us/archives/000465.html
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