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Everything posted by MikeHartnett

  1. MikeHartnett


    My girlfriend and I had dinner at MiLa last night, and I have to say that as high as our expectations were, they were absolutely and completely blown away. MiLa, after three nights open, is serving food on or above the level of any restaurant in New Orleans. Our server was helpful but not overbearing, and the general manager, Jim, was informative and exceptionally welcoming. The service all night was friendly and spot-on. But the food is what we were there for, and was more surprisingly delicious than anything I've had in a long time. The venison and duck liver pate, when combined with the cornichons, creole mustard, and okra was interestingly textured, and the acidity in the condiments phenomenally contrasted with the pecans and meatiness of the pate. My girlfriend started with the sweetbreads. The truffled grits were one of the most sublimely rich things I have ever experienced. If anyone has ever had the grits at Dante's Kitchen, imagine them plus truffles. The entrees were, impossibly, a step up from the appetizers. I had pig cheeks and langoustines, and it arrived in a cast iron pot, in stew form. The pig cheeks literally fell apart at the touch of a fork, and the langoustines were like the sweetest fresh-caught crab in the world. Both were presented in a broth. I can't find an words for this beyond amazing. My girlfriend had the grouper, which I didn't try, but she thoroughly enjoyed. Dessert was a cheese plate for me, with a blue, a sheep's milk, and a third I don't remember. These were served with chestnut bread and an eggplant jam, which was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. My girlfriend had the sublime muscadine jello. You wouldn't believe how good jello can be. It was shocking. I'm exhausted from thinking about the meal again, so I think I'll skip any conclusion. Just go. You won't regret it.
  2. Anyone have an idea as to why Iris is not on this list? In my opinion, it's one of the most consistently satisfying restaurants in the city. Although it's not fine dining per se, neither is Lilette...
  3. Alright, a few questions regarding new openings. One, has anyone been to Patois? If so, any reviews? Two, what's going on with the Tacos San Miguel on Oak? Any sign of them opening soon? I'm really craving some of their tacos, but their original location is a bit out of my way...
  4. MikeHartnett


    Well, today should be the opening for Mila, if they're on schedule. Anyone have any word on whether this will be the case?
  5. I think Bowles has this in the bag as far as the Midwest is concerned. Avenues is an amazing, amazing restaurant.
  6. I am, as always, a strong supporter of Scott Boswell. I think Stella! is hands down the most creative restaurant in the city, and I've personally never met someone so dedicated to their trade. I am also behind Besh for restaurateur, and previous to Next Iron Chef, I think this would have been a much longer shot. With the name recognition the odds might be less.
  7. There's also a dessert- chocolate polenta, which comes with sweet corn ice cream and caramel corn- which is unbelievable, and an appetizer (may have been a special, unfortunately) of soft shell crab with a horseradish foam. Both very good. But I went with 3 others, and everybody loved everything.
  8. I went to the Swizzle Stick for the first time last night, and I have to strongly, strongly recommend it. Great atmosphere, nice servers, and on top of that the drinks are fantastic. They've got the classics down, and their specialty drinks are great too.
  9. I think Blackbird is absolutely fantastic. I strongly disagree that there are too many components to the dishes, and my family was treated excellently there, even though it was obvious that my mother and sister are not foodies.
  10. Does anyone have anymore infor on Patois? Menu, etc? Thanks!
  11. I haven't been to TRU, however, I can say that my experience at Avenues was probably the most romantic dinner I've ever experienced. The staff treated my girlfriend and I like absolute gold, and the champagne cart pre-dinner just topped it off. An all-around fantastic experience service-wise, but the food is to die for also. Highly, highly recommended.
  12. My favorite way to eat heirloom tomatoes is in a salad. Chop them fine, then toss them with minced red onions, EVOO, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Plate it and drizzle a bit of red wine vinegar over the top, and you have a delicious treat.
  13. I'm planning on trying the garlic tasting menu at Upperline tonight, and I'm curious as to whether anyone else has tried it... Does anyone have comments, positive or negative?
  14. Lovers of burnt coffee must still walk a few blocks to the Starbucks at Canal Place. ← I spoke with Erik Veney (sous chef at Stella!) about a week ago, and he told me the expected opening for Stanley is sometime in January. Just thought I'd keep y'all updated.
  15. It seems to me that plenty of restaurants accept credit cards and have no problems accounting for them. Perhaps if more restaurants had shown a reluctance to deal with credit cards, it would not be such an annoyance, but as it stands, showing up to a restaurant to find that it is cash-only is irritating. It may be a minor irritation, but it certainly gets on my nerves.
  16. I completely agree. Also, I am totally over the whole "Restaurant Nazi" trend. I'm not interested in forking over my cash to be told how to act on my lunch break-- supposedly my break from being told what to do. And it's a cafeteria-style place, not Avenues. Please don't tell me to get off my cell phone...
  17. MikeHartnett


    I'm really looking forward to Mila. I never got a chance to make the long haul up to Abita Springs for The Longbranch, and I'm really hoping that I haven't built this up more than it deserves. On a related note, does anyone know whether October/ November is a realistic opening date, or is this the original opening date before it gets set back for the multitude of reasons every restaurant gets sidetracked?
  18. It's truly exciting to be on the verge of some authentic ethnic cuisine in New Orleans. I'm from Chicago originally, and the lack of "street food" as I label it has really gotten to me. The ability to go grab some fantastic Latino food is going to be a really appealing option.
  19. I definitely agree. I had a great meal at Ciro's, but didn't notice the tiny cash-only sign on the door, and wasn't informed of this policy until after the meal. I had to drive to the nearest ATM, and it really left me with a less favorable impression of Ciro's than I would have had if they accepted credit cards. It's obvious that businesses like snowball stands would rack up more in processing fees than the cost of the items they're selling if they accepted credit, but for a restaurant that charges me 100-odd dollars for a meal, it comes off as a lack of effort on their part to neglect to set up a credit system. Sorry for the angry tone this may have captured, but it's a sore spot with me also.
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