ChiTown_NOLA_SF's Profile

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Best restaurants in Chicago to give an engagement ring

Charlie Trotter's is the exact place--historic, still amazing food and service, and they would love to assist you in this event--just let them know when you call to make a reservation. I went last night and it is truly the best restaurant that I have been to in Chicago for a long time
Good Luck

Mar 03, 2012
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

The very BEST King Cake?

Sucre has amazing cakes that all of my recipients across the country loved--10-15 seconds in the microwave makes a delicious treat

Feb 23, 2012
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Best Desserts in New Orleans?

Restaurant August Banana Pudding, Satsuma Creamsicle, or Sesame Cake with Tahini Ice Cream (Chef Kelly Fields is a Goddess)

Domenica's Banana Zuppa

Borgne Restaurant's Chocolate Flan

Capedeville's King Cake Bread Pudding

Feb 23, 2012
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Looking for new places to eat

My take on Besh Restaurants

Restaurant August (Fine Dining with white linen)-- my favorite fine dining in NOLA Chef de Cuisine Mike Gulotta puts out innovative local farm to table food with French techniques that makes Chef Besh proud. In addition, Pastry Chef Kelly Fields is a phenom--her take on banana pudding keeps my wife coming back (and threatening to eat dessert first). She has something to satisfy anyone's palate for dessert and Chef Fields always surprises. FYI the 3 course Prix Fixe lunch is a great deal ($20.12 in 2012...)

Domenica (Casual/Business Chic)--we continue to be addicted to the pizza's that Chef de Cuisine Alon Shaya turns out from the wood burning oven (spicy lamb meatball is to die for)--they even deliver in the Common Business District. If you want authentic Italian, this is the place to go--amazing charcuterie, pastas, roasted meats, and a die for roasted cauliflower. Pastry Chef Lisa has an amazing butterscotch cake in a jar that is my wife's 2nd favorite dessert in NOLA. Also the salted caramel banana king cake was to die for. A great place for a lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Borgne Restaurant (Casual)--Newest entry in the Besh empire, Chef de Cuisine Brian Landry has captivated my wife (a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina + an adopted native of Charleston, SC) with his take on seafood. Great shareable apps that themselves make a great meal (including one of the great beers on tap or in a can). Restaurant August's Pastry Chef Kelly Fields has her grandmother's hummingbird cake on the menu! The entire menu is slowly being fine tuned (45 days since it opened). Great plea to catch lunch or dinner anytime of the week.

Luke (Casual)--A French-German Brasserie at its best, this was my first love of the Besh restaurants. Amazing raw bar, crab omelet, burgers and sandwiches, and comfort food (schnitzel, court bouillon, cassoulet, etc). A great light but filling lunch or hearty dinner in the heart of St Charles....love it so much my wife + I named our first son Luke!

American Sector (Diner/Casual)--Everything that you want out of a great diner--fried shrimp, great homemade pickles, large portions of meatloaf, great oyster stew, and milkshakes. This was my wife's favorite until Borgne and she keeps going back when I am out of town. Worth a trip for New Orleans classics and dinner specials with Chef Besh's twists.

Besh Steak (Casual/Business Chic)--Great steaks, I prefer to Emeril's Delmonico as a steakhouse. However this is a loud restaurant from the casino. But when I want a steak, we take people here. Have not tried Manning's which has had great early reviews

La Provence (Casual/Business Chic) I have yet to make it up ti La Provence because of the drive + my wife's schedule. Have made Easter Brunch reservations and will try to make it across the lake...

Remember--if you want fine dining/foodie level John Besh, you must go to Restaurant August. Domenica has earned raves as an Italian eatery. Borgne + Luke are under rated because the average New Orleans restaurant is above average in fresh seafood and fried seafood.

However, if you want consistently great food, all of his restaurants are great, and one of them will fit your needs and be memorable (though, besides Domenica, they currently are not foodie destinations)

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Luke Restaurant
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

La Provence
25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA 70445

Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant & Bar
1300 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

Domenica
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

american sector
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Feb 19, 2012
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

NOLA refresher please

My take on Besh Restaurants

Restaurant August (Fine Dining with white linen)-- my favorite fine dining in NOLA Chef de Cuisine Mike Gulotta puts out innovative local farm to table food with French techniques that makes Chef Besh proud. In addition, Pastry Chef Kelly Fields is a phenom--her take on banana pudding keeps my wife coming back (and threatening to eat dessert first). She has something to satisfy anyone's palate for dessert and Chef Fields always surprises. FYI the 3 course Prix Fixe lunch is a great deal ($20.12 in 2012...)

Domenica (Casual/Business Chic)--we continue to be addicted to the pizza's that Chef de Cuisine Alon Shaya turns out from the wood burning oven (spicy lamb meatball is to die for)--they even deliver in the Common Business District. If you want authentic Italian, this is the place to go--amazing charcuterie, pastas, roasted meats, and a die for roasted cauliflower. Pastry Chef Lisa has an amazing butterscotch cake in a jar that is my wife's 2nd favorite dessert in NOLA. Also the salted caramel banana king cake was to die for. A great place for a lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Borgne Restaurant (Casual)--Newest entry in the Besh empire, Chef de Cuisine Brian Landry has captivated my wife (a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina + an adopted native of Charleston, SC) with his take on seafood. Great shareable apps that themselves make a great meal (including one of the great beers on tap or in a can). Restaurant August's Pastry Chef Kelly Fields has her grandmother's hummingbird cake on the menu! The entire menu is slowly being fine tuned (45 days since it opened). Great plea to catch lunch or dinner anytime of the week.

Luke (Casual)--A French-German Brasserie at its best, this was my first love of the Besh restaurants. Amazing raw bar, crab omelet, burgers and sandwiches, and comfort food (schnitzel, court bouillon, cassoulet, etc). A great light but filling lunch or hearty dinner in the heart of St Charles....love it so much my wife + I named our first son Luke!

American Sector (Diner/Casual)--Everything that you want out of a great diner--fried shrimp, great homemade pickles, large portions of meatloaf, great oyster stew, and milkshakes. This was my wife's favorite until Borgne and she keeps going back when I am out of town. Worth a trip for New Orleans classics and dinner specials with Chef Besh's twists.

Besh Steak (Casual/Business Chic)--Great steaks, I prefer to Emeril's Delmonico as a steakhouse. However this is a loud restaurant from the casino. But when I want a steak, we take people here. Have not tried Manning's which has had great early reviews

La Provence (Casual/Business Chic) I have yet to make it up ti La Provence because of the drive + my wife's schedule. Have made Easter Brunch reservations and will try to make it across the lake...

Remember--if you want fine dining/foodie level John Besh, you must go to Restaurant August. Domenica has earned raves as an Italian eatery. Borgne + Luke are under rated because the average New Orleans restaurant is above average in fresh seafood and fried seafood.

However, if you want consistently great food, all of his restaurants are great, and one of them will fit your needs and be memorable (though, besides Domenica, they currently are not foodie destinations)

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Luke Restaurant
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's
228 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA

Domenica
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

american sector
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Feb 19, 2012
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

restaurant recs for table of 10-11 ppl?

I go to Restaurant August once a year with 10-15 people--they can even handle this in the library portion of the main dining room.

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 23, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Suggestions for cool cocktails in New Orleans?

Restaurant August has a new cocktail menu. Also has infused whiskies...

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 23, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

If you could eat at only ONE restaurant......

I'll say this until the day they disappoint me--Restaurant August--if you do not want to go for a fabulous dinner (a lot of local New Orlean's flavors combined with French techniques), then go for lunch--the Prix Fixe $20.11 3 course lunch (M-F) is amazing value.

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 15, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Needed: gorgeous, delicious, fun place for birthday dinner in the Quarter for 25-35 out-of-towners. (No shellfish.)

Did a great dinner in the main dining room of Restaurant August for 14 people--two vegetarians--from the main menu on the fly, and they did an awesome job with everything. Not just a vegetable plate and ravioli! Plenty of non seafood options, too.

They have a great private room upstairs that would be a lot of fun and is gorgeous. Octavio Mantilla, the manager for Chef Besh and Gulati is wonderful, too

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 13, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Saturday Lunch

American Sector in the WWII museum. Fabulous oyster stew, fried oysters, po boys, milk shakes, cocktails

Reservations can be made on Open Table

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american sector
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 13, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Week in NOLA--CBD/Warehouse/Art District Any good coffee within 6-9 blocks of the VESPA shop?

Thanks--went by this morning
Hope they will let me carry my little Bichon in with me if my wife is not there to hold him!

Jan 12, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Week in NOLA--CBD/Warehouse/Art District Any good coffee within 6-9 blocks of the VESPA shop?

Came in from Chicago to spend a week in NOLA with my wife and our 5 month old Bichon puppy Luke and I am trying to stay within walking distance (15 minutes) of our condo on Julia.

The real thing I hope to find is a decent coffee shop within 6-9 blocks of the VESPA shop that I can walk in a get my coffee to go while I have my puppy! Any thoughts

(1) AMERICAN SECTOR Sunday Lunch: AMAZING oyster stew (brightened by the lemon grass induced lemon undertones), strawberry milk shake (lightened by the addition of almonds), and shrimp in the cup.

(2) BETWEEN THE BREAD Monday Breakfast: Charming across from a great park for dogs and kids. Wonderful bread and a terrific breakfast BLT

(3) DOMENICA Tueday Dinner: Takeout pizza (Bacon with yard egg, Gorgonzola with fig, pecans, and speck, and Sausage with oven roasted tomatoes) was to die for--my wife and I finished almost all of the 3 pizzas that were hot and crispy after a 10 minute car ride.

Heading to RESTAURANT AUGUST for Wednesday Lunch, BESH STEAK for Friday Dinner, and Herbsaint for Saturday Dinner (if it nice enough outside we may even bring Luke, the dog). Will visit LUKE (the restaurant) for a late lunch/early dinner Thursday and add some more comments....

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Herbsaint
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

Luke Restaurant
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's
228 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA

Between the Bread
625 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Domenica
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

american sector
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 12, 2011
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Special Occasion in New Orleans

Restaurant August is my favorite place to celebrate in NOLA--creative and high end food without attitude

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Oct 25, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Weekend in Chicago for Thirtysomethings

Hard areas--McCormick is isolated by the park and Navy Pier and streeterville is not my favorite place to eat (I live in the condo by Navy Pier and would love some great restaurants)

In the 12 blocks around Navy Pier
C-house Marcus Samuleson's restaurant in the Affinia Hotel is wonderful
David Burke's in the James Hotel has wonderful steaks
Coco pazzo cafe is truly my favorite streeterville restaurant
Purple Pig is a fantastic wine bar and restaurant on Michigan Ave
Hub 51 is fantastic for great Mexican food and brunch

If you go to the west loop
Veerasway has the freshest take on Indian food not greasy and extremely light and bright flavors
Blackbird is the bomb for great food
I have heard great things about the Gage

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Veerasway
844 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607

Oct 04, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Restaurant recommendations for Thanksgiving

All of the major hotels in downtown (peninsula, ritz, park hyatt's Nomi, etc) have great buffets with a blend of traditional and that own restaurant's spin (I.e., raw bar and sushi at Nomi)

Reservations to these places go very fast--it is time to look now.

Kid friendly is a relative term. I have seen kids in "church clothes" enjoying a quiet meal at all of these, but younger kids will probably be better served off hours (before 5 PM) in the hotel scene

Opentable should already have the open restaurants on their search engine--I would head there

Oct 04, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Help with Steak and Moderate/Fine Dining in Dallas

I will be traveling to Dallas in March for a convention and need to take a few colleagues that are speaking at a couple of symposiums that I am organizing to dinner. We are staying at the Hyatt Regency "Downtown" (i.e., on reunion Blvd) and therefore 560 would be one option. However, anything that is 10-15 minutes by cab that would have great steaks or other "must tries" would be appreciated. We will all be in suits, so we would like places where we would "fit in"--however, if there is a place that is a "must go to" that we should change into more casual clothes, please let me know!

Thanks

Dhanesh

Assorted questions about moving to Chicago (from NYC)

Full sit down store with sandwiches, etc, in the Metra station and one booth for espresso and gelato in the market--I imagine the store gets crowded with metro commuters during the week while the booth gets crowded during lunch and weekends

May 26, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Assorted questions about moving to Chicago (from NYC)

I love the French Market at the Metra station in the loop--it is like a year round farmer's market. Besides the fresh farmers stands for fruits and vegetables, the buthcer shops, the charcuterie, cheese, and bakeries (including macarons and croissants) they have two Lavanzza shops (which is the next best to Intelligentsia in the city) and the best bahn me sandwiches in the city (comparable to San Franciscio)

Sorry about the typos--in the airport on my iPad

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French Market Cafe
1973 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60643

May 25, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Stella vs. Restaurant August

August is absolutely fantastic
Innovative, fresh, and impeccable service
I have eaten there 8 times in 1 year--one of which was when I had a group of 12, including two vegetarians who showed up 1 hr late--the staff created dishes (including an incredible risotto) without missing a beat on serving everyone on time and at the same time!

I am a big Besh fan, so the answer is obvious.

Apr 03, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

A decent burger....

Luke has a great burger

Jan 24, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Foodie going to NOLA...with the chicken fingers/burgers crowd!

I know that this is not true NOLA food, but Luke has a killer burger along with great seafood and charcuterie that would make any foodie and any bar food fan happy

Jan 24, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

John Besh

I am a John Besh fan--not only has he done a tremendous amount of good for NOLA, but he has also resisted the draw of LV and NY that many celeb chefs cannot.

August--I have never had a bad dish or bad meal. The service is fantastic and the fact that the chef will prepare small (i.e., appetizer) or larga (i.e., main) portions of any dish makes this a wonderful place to dine. I like the light and bright deserts too. I am just waiting for the cocktail list to be reinvigorated

Luke--everything that I want for lunch/brunch/casual dinner--home style warm dishes and fantastic oyster & fruits de mer plates. Always a difficult decision

Dominica--this restaurant has grown on me every time I go-- the pizzas are amazing, the charcuterie are a great complement to the salads, and the salads are bright and fresh. I am not as in love with the pastas or roasted meats--but that may be because I love the other dishes so much. The sweet risotto is to die for

Overall, I think that Luke and Dominica are some of the best casual restaurants that are associated with a hotel in the entire world (up there with the Dali bar at Le Meurice in Paris, which is fantastic)

I cannot get to other NOLA restaurants because I spend my time at August, Luke, and Dominica!

Jan 24, 2010
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

6 Days in Chicago - Please critique my list

Interesting--the manager told me on July 31, 2009, when we had our dinner there, that they were going to remodel and reinvent into a wine and food oriented restaurant--the bakery (which never took off or might never ahve really opened) was going to be converted into more bar space......
Too bad...it looks like the wife (pastry chef) father passed recently--I wish them success in their next adventure--when they were on (lukily all of my trips) they were on!

http://chicagoist.com/2009/08/04/aigr...

Thanks for the update

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Three days is not enough time!!!

Restaurant August is a wonderful place for a special occasion dinner (or any dinner)--comfortable in a jacket and tie or just a nice shirt and pants (for men)---the food is truly outstanding (one of the best meals that I have had on this continent). john Besh does amazing things with pork and dishes that are traditionally heavy he turns out light. The sous chef (Gallati) is wonderful and keeps Besh's restaurant running amazingly well! The the corn and cheese agnolti (?sp) and the pork belly with lobster tempura was heavenly.

Brigtens is a great family restaurant. Chef Frank may have a wonderful curry version of his shrimp bisque--ask Sandy when you come in for your visit.

Luke is Besh's take on a French brasserie/German brewpub which does a lot of charcuterie on site (along with brewing some beer). It is a great casual lunch (or breakfast or dinner). The pork rillette and the duck cassoulet were to die for!

Finally, the BBQ shrimp at Mr B's are heavenly (albeit messy) and make a fabulous lunch or dinner

Hope this helps

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Luke Restaurant
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mr B's Bistro
201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Help from the Regulars

Luke is in the Hilton on St Charles (300 St Charles) and is only 3 blocks from Canal. It is worth the short walk (across the neutral territory)--they brew several beers there and they have fantastic charcuterie/terrines/rillettes as appetizers.

Mr B's would be a great place for BBQ shrimp in the FQ--maybe even consider Arnoud's followed by Mr B's-- oysters followed by BBQ shrimps......mmmmmmmmh......

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Luke Restaurant
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mr B's Bistro
201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Breakfast and lunch near Marriott Magnificent Mile

West Egg is a great breakfast or lunch place (blueberry and cashew pancakes are to die for)--they have everything that you would want and are close to the Mag Mile--Ohio & Columbus are 3-4 blocks from Michigan Ave (one block north of the Marriott and 2-3 blocks east)
Great prices too

Another great place is Coco Pazo Cafe--St Clair and Eire (3 blocks north and one block east)--one of my favorite Italian places

I always enjoy lunch at RL (Ralph Lauren)--great salads and light lunch fare and very stylish (in a Ralph Lauren way)--Chicago Ave and 1 block west of Michigan Ave

Finally, I have heard that the L'Avaza cafe across from the Drake is stylish and wonderful.

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

6 Days in Chicago - Please critique my list

Blackbird is my absolute favorite in Chicago
I always have fantastic meals at Aigre Doux--I like it so much better than Naha (even recently, despite the decreased traffic--had a fantastic meal 2 weeks ago at Aigre Doux)
Quartino is good but not a foodie place--would go to Aigre Doux instead (close)

Should look at Cite on the top of Lake Point Tower (70th floor)--I live in the building and have been there a lot. In the past 6 months they hired a new chef who brings fantastic fresh ingredients every day and has redone the menu. Chef Greg imports burratta and mozzerlla di buffalo fro Italy that are to die for. So too is the pork (Wagu equivalent). So the food is great and the view amazing.

Have fun

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in Chicago Area

Need help with France restaurants Please!!!!

Guy Savoy is to this day one of the best meals that I ever had--and most pleasant staff--I went for lunch in April, and they treated me like a king.

I always stay at Le Meurice when I go to Paris--the Dali Bar and Restaurant (not the formal dining room) is a wonderful place to have a relaxed meal. The Bellini is spectacular. The formal dining room is fantastic, and although the atmosphere is similar to Le Cinq--a hotel dining room--the chef is quite ingenious (more Wylie Dufrense without the molecular gastronomy but with the play on food).

Have a wonderful trip

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in France

First Timers to NOLA rate my plans so far.

You did great with August--the worst part for my wife and I (first time at Restaurant August) was that we ate the first night at Restaurant August, and then everything was compared to that fantastic meal--so unfair to the rest!

I would add:
Mr B's for BBQ shrimp (Lunch is great)
Cochon for Lunch or Dinner
Palace Cafe is also a great lunch place (could be a casual dinner)

You might want to change Luke to lunch (which is fantastic) or even breakfast (which looks great) and take dinner at a non-Besh restaurant.

Let us know what you think of your adventure...

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans

Barbeque Shrimp

I just had lunch at Mr. B's--first time for BBQ shrimp in NOLA after seeing it on the Food Network. As both my wife's partners said (NOLA natives for 40+ years)--this is the best BBQ shrimp outside of what you can make yourself on the Lake! The posters are correct that it is important for people to know what to expect--shrimp poached in butter/spice mixture. But as a non-BBQ country native, I think BBQ is a state of mind!

The lunch portion was a perfect size 5-7 perfect size head on/shell on shrimps with three slices of fresh french bread. For an old Ohio boy like me, the shell took a little work but was absolutely worth it. I didn't suck out the juice from the head (my wife, an Outer Banks girl is surprisingly squeamish), but next time!

Thank god for the bib (which has a plastic lining on back to keep the sauce from getting on you) and the lemon and hot-towels at the end (to let you go back to civilzation_

Aug 19, 2009
ChiTown_NOLA_SF in New Orleans