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New Orleans 72hours


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so I'll be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail this coming weekend. my last time in town was pre-Katrina.

Obviously we'll hit up Cochon and Cure (anyone know how late they're open btw?) the Green Goddess, Herbsaint and August also interest. kind of wide-open on suggestions...also wouldn't mind trying something more down-scale as well...hated Mothers last time but loved Central Grocery.

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Not sure how late Cure is open, but their phone number is on the website:

www.curenola.com

Adn since it's Tales, they'll probably be open as late as there are people, I'd guess. It's going to be interesting to see how many cabs are shuttling back and forth between downtown and that relatively deserted strip of Freret.

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The Roosevelt just opened with a new bar. The bar attached to MiLa (at the Renaissance Pere Marquette) is overseen by Chris McMillan. Then there's where Chris used to work, the Ritz-Carlton. Also, the Swizzle Stick, in Loew's on Poydras Street.

That should keep you busy for tonight, anyway.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Keep in mind that Chris isn't going to be behind the bar at the Pere Marquette during Tales, he's doing Tales stuff. That said, I don't think you're going to have a hard time finding a good cocktail! In addition to those that Dave mentioned, don't forget Arnaud's French 75 bar in the quarter.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Thursday night I began with a burger at Port of Call (apparently legendary) and some tiki drinks (not bad for a non-cocktail bar...more tart than you'd expect).  The burger would have been good but the bun was ordinary and the meat not as flavorful as you'd like (cooked perfectly with excellent toppings though).  then drinks at Cure made by the Rogue Cocktails folks (roguecocktails.com).  these were excellent.  this is also the bar that's the closest I've seen outside of NY to the PDT/D&C standard.  as another Tales goer told me later ("in a city of sort of craft bars Cure is the one actual craft bar.")  

lunch was at Cochon.  just awesome.  yes, it's kind of a Momofuku minus Asian accents...but with some Cajun/Creole ones instead.

pork cheek salad was very good (kind of like Resto at its best).

fried boudin...well how can that be bad?

the signature cochon....kind of like a bo ssam really...or the pork dish at AOC Bedford...except better.

oyster and bacon sandwich...as good as it sounds.

crawfish and green tomato pudding....

what a lovely place.

dinner was at the Swizzle Stick Bar with food from Cafe Adelaide.  cocktails were quite good..much better list than the website indicates.  good use of the classics.  not an uber-cocktail bar but kind of the ideal hotel bar.  a place where they know Dale and Doc by their first names and volunteer things like the Whiskey Smash....you won't find a Phil Ward here but the world would be a much better place if there was a bar of this level in every city.  I was happy.  as for the food.  think David Burke does Cajun...but better.  whimsical but solid execution.  not to be compared with lunch by any means but certainly not poor.  shrimp "corn dogs" with pepper jelly.  a fun foie dish.  good fish.  classic turtle soup.  

Lunch was oysters at Dragos.  only go here for oysters.  nothing else. Dinner was at August.  an oldie but a goodie. solid contemporary restaurant food but with some real character.  more interesting than say a McCrady's.

I think there were some drinks at Herbsaint as well at some point.

Sunday was lunch at the Green Goddess.  nice enough place.  it's the eclectic, chef-driven, local ingredients, casual place that now exists in every city.  in NY it's known as "New Brooklyn Cuisine"...that kind of place.

the only real negative was the contingent of Nature Boys...some people who clearly never shower and managed to stink up every room at Tales that they entered.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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I'm not sure I understand the analogy between Cochon and Momofuku. If you take away the things that make Momofuku unique, and take away the things that make Cochon unique, they'd be the same restaurant?

Couldn't that sort of be said about any two restaurants?

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I'm not sure I understand the analogy between Cochon and Momofuku.  If you take away the things that make Momofuku unique, and take away the things that make Cochon unique, they'd be the same restaurant?

Couldn't that sort of be said about any two restaurants?

they're both New Paradigm restaurants and they're both pork and offal-centric.

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they're both New Paradigm restaurants and they're both pork and offal-centric.

Sorry, but there's nothing "new paradigm" about Cochon. It's traditional cajun/south LA cooking, albeit in a location & with presentations that aren't traditional. 90% of his food could come out of a grandmother's kitchen anywhere in Acadiana (this is highest praise, mind you). Boudin, cracklins, headcheese, roasted fish, roasted oysters, yeast rolls a la facon du LA Public School cafeterias, cornbread, ....what's new to some is perfectly familiar to others.

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they're both New Paradigm restaurants and they're both pork and offal-centric.

Sorry, but there's nothing "new paradigm" about Cochon. It's traditional cajun/south LA cooking, albeit in a location & with presentations that aren't traditional. 90% of his food could come out of a grandmother's kitchen anywhere in Acadiana (this is highest praise, mind you). Boudin, cracklins, headcheese, roasted fish, roasted oysters, yeast rolls a la facon du LA Public School cafeterias, cornbread, ....what's new to some is perfectly familiar to others.

that's one of the reasons why it's new paradigm

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Sorry, Nathan, I have to agree that Cochon isn't really new paradigm. I can see why you make the stretch - it got a nice cocktail program, not formal, not too expensive and has a cool vibe. However, it really is just a traditional place that fits its location and does what it does quite well. Not all hip restaurants are new paradigm.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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Sorry, Nathan, I have to agree that Cochon isn't really new paradigm. I can see why you make the stretch - it got a nice cocktail program, not formal, not too expensive and has a cool vibe. However, it really is just a traditional place that fits its location and does what it does quite well. Not all hip restaurants are new paradigm.

eh...you have a non-traditional menu format, dining at the pass, the home cuisine of the auteur chef with fine-dining flourishes, a casual space and service with the food being a mix of rustic and high-end, etc. that's exactly how we defined NP.

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I'll vote for new paradigm, not sure exactly what that is, but before we had Cochon we had KPaul's, and the two are nothing alike. Bruni called it "a Momofuko on the Mississippi," for what that's worth. ch

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice thread. I live in the area between N.O. and Baton Rouge. There are fantastic spots everywhere around here. It really gets good when you get out of the NO Metro. A lot of the "secret spots" you see on TV that say are in N.O. are really outside the city. Hell on Top Chef's final this last season they said they were in N.O. but in reality they were 5 miles down the road from my house for the opening quick fire and I live 45-50 miles outside NO. They were almost in Baton Rouge. That Plantation they were at BTW has an excellent restaurant there that no one outside the area knows about. What is so unique here is there are gas stations and C-Stores that make and serve food as good quality as many of these fine dining establishments listed. I actually hate living in La. but if and when I can move. I will starve to death. I have been here 10 years. I came wearing size 30 pants. I am up to size 40 now.

One other thing. Everyone here raves about Café du Monde. If you are in N.O. and have a car, drive out to Metarie and try Morning Call. Not the touristy spot but much better beignets and coffee. I live 45 miles from the spot and will drive there just for a cup and a sack. Open 24/7. I am going there tonight.

This is the absolute fantastic point on the culinary scene here. We have numerous great restaurants that are not filled with the tourist crowd. Many locals rarely if ever go to many of the spots listed as we don't want to wait. When we are ready to eat, we want to eat now. I have been to a few mentioned here though and they are all great. I just personally don't like Café du Monde as I don't care much for the "Dumpster in July" aroma that floats around the Quarter while I am trying to enjoy a snack.

PS: Lucky Dogs Rule!

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Thinking of going in less than a week. In the heat of summer, I know. If I want to go with a Besh restaurant is August the way to go? Docsconz's less-than-glowing report has me a bit worried, especially as the restaurant isn't exactly cheap, but the place has been recommended to me by a few others. Is Luke an acceptable substitute? I'm kind of expecting a Bayless-in-Chicago meal. One where even though the food will likely be solid but far from mind-blowing, I still feel the need to visit because the chef-proprietor just seems like a nice all-around guy.

Besides Cochon and August, are there any other popular restaurants that require reservations more than a few hours in advance?

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You should probably visit one of the old-school restaurants, if only for the historical experience. I had a very fine meal at Commander's Palace recently. The super-old school table service is worth it alone.

I would certainly recommend August. I've had very positive experiences there. Don't miss the beet salad or the beef cheek ravioli (if on the menu), but skip the oyster appetizer....

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Besh just opened Domenica at the newly renovated Roosevelt Hotel. Frankly, I haven't heard anything about it, but it doesn't look to be fine dinning, more of a woood fired pizza, homemade pasta place, which is probably an overly simplified take. I would give it a go over Luke though, which I find a little formulaic. Think about Delmonico's, Mila, Lillette and Cuvee. Bayonna and Stella as well. I really like the Bistro at Maison de Ville for a quiet tasty lunch. Galvez just opened in the old Bella Luna space, but I don't know whose behind it or anything else, gorgeous location though. Looking forward to hearing about your visit. We don't get much board traffic from locals. I would second the Commanders recommendattion also. ch

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Besh just opened Domenica at the newly renovated Roosevelt Hotel.

Domenica won't open until September.

I want to check out Galatoire's, but can't be there on Friday.  Is lunch on, like, Wednesday still worth going to?

Sure, it's still an experience any day of the week. I would recommend Galatoire's as the place for an old-school experience. Commander's has a more classic service style, but the food is less old-school.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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