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New Orleans 2022: A brief foodblog


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Well, it took a pandemic, but I’m finally in New Orleans. I’ve meant to come for many years and it just never happened: but a relatively last-minute cancellation of a scheduled trip to Amsterdam left me with a week off, and plenty of airline credits.

 

When traveling I typically divide my trips into “food trips” and “not food trips” (for example, in 2021 I did a lot of national parks: those are very much “not food trips”). So finally, here is a trip that is most emphatically a “food trip”.

 

My timing is a little awkward here: to map with the time off I’d already taken, but avoid New Years and football bowl season, I am here Sunday through Thursday—it’s not ideal dining days, but I’m sure I can make it work. 
 

So without further ado:

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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IMG_0138.jpeg

 

Things started off slowly at Luke: we were about ten minutes early for our 8pm reservation, so I guess they decided to let us wait out that ten minutes at the table. Or something. Anyway, once they remembered we were here, things proceeded in a hurry. So strike one for Luke: bad pacing. We got a bottle of Sancerre, which I am a sucker for. This one was pretty decent:

 

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I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted off the menu, so I just ordered a bunch of things. I think this confused the kitchen, who sent it all out at once, more or less. Let's just say the table was full. First order of business, some smoked redfish dip on saltines:

 

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Also, some Brussels sprouts:

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Obviously I had to have gumbo:

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My wife had the swordfish:

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And I had the shrimp and grits:

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The winners here were the gumbo and the shrimp and grits. The Brussels sprouts were also delicious, but in that way that Brussels sprouts are nearly always delicious. Nothing that interesting, just normal caramelized Brussels sprouts. The swordfish was sort of phoned in, there wasn't much there. The smoked redfish dip was good, but not quite the standout that the grits were. I enjoyed the gumbo as well, but for me most restaurant gumbo is just me confirming that I'm on the right track with my homemade gumbo. Which of course I like better :) . It was a very quick meal, considering all the food. I figured we'd kill two bottles of wine, but they just sort of threw all the food at us at once, so we didn't get a chance at a second bottle. In and out in one hour flat. For better or worse...

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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1 hour ago, Chris Hennes said:

In and out in one hour flat.

 

Good heavens. With all that food, and a bottle of wine? Too bad you were rushed. (If the food all comes at once, what are you gonna do?)

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7 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Very excited to read this!  Thanks for taking us along.  

@Chris Hennes Me too....My wife and I used to go to NO every year around Easter weekend for a while, although we haven't done so in years.  There's a lot of great food there - I'm excited to see where you go and how things have changed.

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8 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Looks like they threw it onto the plates from a great height, too.

Yeah - obviously the cellphone photos aren't helping any, but none of the food was aesthetically plated. As you say, it was just piled on and served.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

@Chris Hennes - how'd you decide where the two of you will end up eating and drinking this week?

I started with this post from @Mayhaw Man, then worked out who was a) still open in 2022, b) serving food on one of the days I was here, and c) had reservations available on short notice (or didn't take reservations). I will let the list unfold as I dine, no spoilers :) .

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Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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22 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

I started with this post from @Mayhaw Man, then worked out who was a) still open in 2022, b) serving food on one of the days I was here, and c) had reservations available on short notice (or didn't take reservations). I will let the list unfold as I dine, no spoilers :) .

 

Hmmmm - well, if the first restaurant is any indication, maybe look for some more updated stuff? 13 years is a long time in the restaurant world!

 

I'll mention Drago's!!!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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12 hours ago, heidih said:

Trying for positive - the "saltines" hosting the redfish dip look different and house made?

 

Those saltines look as though they may have been fried or something.  Were they or is that the lighting that makes them look like that? 

Edited by ElsieD
Fixed a typo (log)
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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

And qualify Drago's by saying I wouldn't necessarily go to the one in the hotel; rather, the OG.

 

 

The original is pretty inconveniently located, I don’t have a car here, and public transportation is not awesome (though the bus from the airport was pretty convenient). 

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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35 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

The original is pretty inconveniently located, I don’t have a car here, and public transportation is not awesome (though the bus from the airport was pretty convenient). 

 

For sure - we had a car, cuz we were staying in a b&b and wanted to do some exploring. I think we even went to an old plantation somewhere.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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4 hours ago, heidih said:

What part of town are you guys staying in? I am a Cochon fan. 

Me too, a Cochon fan, but the last time I was there was about nine years ago, so no recent experience. Fresh wild caught fish was the deal. Delicious. When I go South I always go for fish I can't get in CA. 

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