“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” ― Tennessee Williams
Having been to New Orleans, and San Francisco, while living in NYC, I’m starting to believe it. He was talking about food, right? I believe so. As I’ve said before, I always compare the excitement of going to NOLA to that of Italy. Amazing, in a way somewhat foreign cuisine in one heck of a unique setting. Without further ado, here are our top NOLA bites during a recent trip.
(Note: For the Dessert list, click here)
BBQ Shrimp at Bevi – I’ll start with the no-brainer. Perhaps our top eat came from a little shack in Metairie about 30 minutes out from the quarter, close to the airport. We came for the Crawfish boil and got that and so much more. Huge, plump fresh perfectly cooked head-on gulf shrimp complimented by what I can only describe as Sauce of Dreams. Or maybe it was the beer talking, as in Canebrake beer, the sauce main ingredient. Move over Mr B’s, and say hello to Mr B!
Savory Bread Pudding at Atchafalaya – Funny how this trip turned out. After eating our way through eight sweet Bread Puddings on the previous trip and therefore aiming for more of the same this time, it was actually a savory one that won top marks. Filled with Mushroom, Sundried tomatoes and topped with tomato sauce, this was addictive stuff to say the least. A joy with every morsel at this popular neighborhood brunch spot. Bonus: Try the Eggs Atchafalaya and Shrimp and Grits
Blue Crab Beignets at La Petite Grocery – This is an absolute must at LPG. Those little suckers are packed with fresh crab and explosive flavors. For my TCI readers these are like Conch Fritters on crack! Bonus: Get the Ricotta Dumplings, Hand-Made Spaghetti and Turtle Bolognese
Chargrilled Oysters at Felix’s – Last trip we enjoyed them at Drago’s who invented the Chargrilled Oysters, but now we have a new favorite looks like. They are not as cheesey and buttery at Felix’s but lightly breaded, some lemon, oil and a little bit of cheese just enough to bring out the flavors of the oysters without overpowering.
Gnocchi Bolognese at Herbsaint. So much for the “Lets avoid all things Italian since we enjoy great Italian where we live and in Italy” — We not only managed to eat a lot of interesting pastas pretty much daily, but somehow 3 Bolognese dishes. Expertly done pillowy goodness with a fine lamb ragu. But the thing that took it to another level was the herby notes from the Mint Gremolata. Get this. Bonus: Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Egg, Lamb Neck. Pastas here are superb
Whole Grilled Redfish at Peche – Another no brainer. This one is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated dishes in town. Expertly cooked Redfish, perfectly complimented with first-rate minty oily Salsa Verde. You dont mess around too much with greatness. This little guy can easily be shared by 3, 4 at this multiple James Beard award recipient. Bonus: Crawfish Pasta (Top Picture) and too many to mention. Read the post
BBQ Shrimp at Mr B’s – Yes, two BBQ Shrimp dishes on the list this time, which prompted to ask on Chowhound where can I get this in NYC. No replies so far and its been at least 5 minutes! This thing was our top eat last time and the only repeater on the list. If you cant get to Metairie, or even if you can, get this!
Beef Cheeks at Sylvain – If you never had beefy cheeks, you are in for a treat! Beef doesnt get any more tender and juicy than this, without getting all soft and mushy. Especially love the supporting cast here of potato purée and field peas. PS. New Yorkers, try Bar Bolonat’s Tagine for more cheeky goodness. Bonus: Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Chick-Syl-vain Sandwich
Seafood Platter (aka the “Shell Beach Diet”) at Brigtsen’s. Six different items on the plate including a great Drum Amandine with plenty of almond action, two different baked oysters, a terrific smoky shrimp jalapeño cornbread (really liked this) and shrimp coleslaw. The only thing I didn’t care for is the Why-So-Sweet scallop but what a fantastic jam-packed plate. Bonus: Crawfish Shortcake, Paneed Rabbit, Pecan Pie
Beignets at Café Du Monde – Yes, this is a cliché I know. But considering we ate Beignets every single morning I have no choice but give credit where credit is due. Just edging out Café Beignet, these Beignets were consistently great. Nice texture, not too daughy, not too airy, just perfectly executed Beignets. The lines for a table move quick, and don’t forget to look inside for the best views of the action and history
What are the best places to eat in Boston? Will be there in about ten days. Thank