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Going to Kauai for 11 days in November

It's a bit of a drive from Lihue, but since you have 11 days, I'd recommend that you devote an evening to dinner at Infigo's, a restaurant in Princeville (in the Pali Ke Kua condo site). We were in Kauai for 7 days earlier this month, and our dinner at Infigo's was by far the best meal of our trip.

This place has one guy - the chef - in the kitchen, so things do move slowly. Thanks to reading previous reviews, we knew to bring our own bottle of wine (no liquor license yet). There was a $7 corkage fee. While some may consider the lack of a liquor license a downside, we appreciated being able to bring our own bottle and saving a bit on the tab.

Several dishes we can highly recommend: For appetizers - the wasabi prosciutto scallops – oh my goodness. The scallops had a perfect sear, with strips of prosciutto and a burst of wasabi flavor (not overwhelming). Wonderful. Another appetizer - lobster risotto. This was a creamy preparation of perfectly cooked Arborio rice with nice portions of lobster throughout, flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and ribbons of parmesan as a garnish. Rich, but not too rich. Another outstanding preparation.

For entrees: House Gnocchi – we stuck with the appetizer portion (after than risotto, we were concerned about overdoing it with rich dishes). It was the perfect size, and the dish was fabulous. We also went with a "Chef's Challenge" (you pick the protein - beef, chicken, seafood, etc. and the Chef chooses the preparation). We ordered the Seafood Challenge, which came as a lobster tail dusted with pine nuts, served over seasoned rice laced with chunks of sweet roasted garlic (SO good), accompanied with a small portion of greens and a vinaigrette that offered just the right flavor contrast.

For dessert: Bananas Foster - the bananas were prepared with Malibu rum sauce (perfect tropical touch!), served over a French-toast –like slice of bread (not soggy – the texture held up to the sauce), with a chocolate drizzle. It was heavenly.

Overall, a place I'd absolutely recommend for one of your "nice" dinners on Kauai.

Oct 21, 2011
STL James in Hawaii

What to eat at K-Paul's?

About a year ago, we had a nice dinner at K-Pauls. While our entrees were fine, I don't remember exactly what we had (pork chops and a blackened fish entree I think). However, I DEFINITELY remember the fried green tomato appetizer, topped with shrimp remoulade. The texture of the tomatoes and the flavor of the remoulade sauce made me wish I could have had this as an entree. Highly recommended dish. Enjoy your trip!

Dec 16, 2010
STL James in New Orleans

Sunday Brunch in FQ - please help me decide between Muriel's, Mr. B's, and Stanley

Okay, now I am adding Arnaud's to the list for your consideration/comments.

Thanks, hounds!

Sep 19, 2010
STL James in New Orleans

Sunday Brunch in FQ - please help me decide between Muriel's, Mr. B's, and Stanley

Hi everyone - We will be spending a weekend in New Orleans at the end of October, and are looking for some help picking our "last meal" restaurant - Sunday Brunch. Due to our travel schedule, we'd like to stay in the quarter, within walking distance from the Omni Royal Orleans.

Our last trip included Sunday Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace, so we've already had a chance to enjoy that "bucket list" experience! Can I get some advice from the experts on a good choice for Sunday brunch this time around?

Our other plans for the weekend include:

Friday: Afternoon snack (char-grilled oysters included I'm sure) at Acme on Friday when we hit town, then a stop at Three Muses on Frenchmen for small plates between music venues.

Saturday: Cafe du Monde early, keeping our options open for lunch, reservations at Bayona for dinner.

Sunday: This is where I need your help for brunch! Leaning toward Muriel's, but also considering Mr. B's and Stanley. Am I missing another good option? I've seen too many disappointing reviews of the Court of Two Sisters and Brennan's to keep them on the short list for now...

Thanks as always for your welcome advice!!

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Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Sep 19, 2010
STL James in New Orleans

Thursday 8/19 MIlestone Birthday Dinner-- Options on Strip?

We just celebrated a milestone birthday for my husband last week with dinner at Circo (Italian restaurant at the Bellagio). We both had the tasting menu, which was outstanding.

The salad was seared ahi tuna over a tomato/cucumber/crouton base. Antipasto was sauteed calamari and shrimp in a tomato/black olive sauce. Then a pasta dish - ricotta, spinach and swiss chard ravioli in a butter/sage sauce (divine). This was followed by a fish course of sea bass, then rack of lamb (wonderful flavor, a bit fatty but plenty of meat in the 3 ribs served), and a couple of desserts that I don't remember by name but which provided a wonderful finish (raspberry sauce over a pastry and a peach/almond tart of some sort).

I had the wine pairings noted on the menu (a mix of white and red), but my husband really doesn't care for most whites. The sommelier was happy to make adjustments for him, and some of the best wines we had were tailored for him specifically.

We had a table by the window, and enjoyed the fountain shows every 15 minutes. The accompanying music was subtle, background music that didn't interfere with conversation.

Overall, a lovely evening, and a fantastic meal. I was surprised by the relatively large portions for a tasting menu (including the size of the wine pours) - restraint with the early courses is advised! I think the tab ended up at $320 with tip for the meal. Highly recommended!

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Circo
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

Aug 09, 2010
STL James in Las Vegas

Firefly v. Julian Serrano

We just ate dinner at Firefly earlier this week. While we enjoyed the food overall (the stuffed dates are truly delicious), and had a "primo" view of Fremont Street and the light show (highly over-rated), I would give Julian Serrano a try. Firefly is in the Plaza Hotel downtown. I wish there was some way to get to the restaurant without having to enter the hotel - it's dirty, smells bad, and the elevator was nasty. The Firefly itself is fine, but when I saw Julian Serrano and the gorgeous surroundings, it made me wish we had gone there for our tapas dinner. Just one humble opinion.

Firefly did have several veggie options (we tried the artichoke toast which was tasty).

Aug 09, 2010
STL James in Las Vegas

Fried Chicken! I'm looking for a little hole in the wall .

Just ate at Coop's Place on Decatur last week and the fried chicken was some of the best we've ever had! HIghly recommend it.

Oct 06, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

Bobjunior - go to www.neworleansonline.com/tools/coupons and you can download printable coupons. If this link doesn't work exactly, once you get to "neworleansonline.com" you can type "coupons" in the search field and it should come up. The Airboat Adventure $10 small boat coupon is on the first page. Good luck and have a great trip!

Oct 06, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Trip Report Sept 26-30 - Thanks for your help...

Ok, we are back from New Orleans - we had a WONDERFUL trip! We didn't get to all of the restaurants we planned (let "serendipity" take over a few times per a previous poster's suggestion
...thank goodness), but had some great dining experiences. Here are the highlights:

Saturday: Mr. B's for lunch - we arrived in NOLA a bit earlier than Mr. B's lunch hour, so we headed to Acme to try the char-grilled oysters. Now, we are not oyster lovers, but there were so many recommendations we had to go for it. Glad we did - we sat at the bar, had a Bloody Mary, and shared a half-dozen. Two LARGE, two medium and two fairly small, but all with a delicious garlic-cheese-smoky flavor. The atmosphere was laid back and friendly. A great start to the trip. Mr. B's lived up to the positive reviews. We started with gumbo (husband had the Ya-Ya, I had the seafood). The Ya-Ya was tasty but benefited from the addition of some hot sauce. The seafood gumbo was delicious as served. BBQ shrimp for our entree (shared) - very rich, very succulent, and worth the work de-heading and peeling! Desserts were the white chocolate brownie (pretty standard) and a peach/plum/blueberry crisp. This was served warm over vanilla bean ice cream, very nice sweet ending to our first meal.
We did the Cocktail Tour at 4:00. I'm glad we decided to do it - we probably never would have gone to Tujagues, where the history shared by our guide Joe (he wrote the book on the Cocktail Tour) was better than the drink they offered. We also stopped at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (shared a hurricane and a voodoo) , Muriel's (Pimm's cup and Fleur de Lis), an Absinthe bar (just watched the drink ritual) and Antoines (home of the first Sazerac? We abstained). I know we could have created our own tour, but we really enjoyed the social experience - you make fast friends when you raise so many toasts together! Joe was funny, knowledgable, obviously loves the city, and offered suggestions for other things to do while we were in town.
Dropped into the Clover Grill for dinner. Our burgers and fries were just the ticket - we may have been very easy to please at that point...
Sunday: Commander's Palace for Jazz Brunch. Thank you to those who suggested we request the Garden Room! There was such a different atmosphere as compared to the more formal dining areas. Started with the best Bloody Mary's in town - they seemed blended from fresh tomatoes, just the right amount of spice, salty olives, and pickled green beans. I started with the Egg Sardou - Poached and served on an artichoke heart with creamed spinach and hollandaise. Very nice blend of flavors. Husband had the turtle soup, which he really loved. Entrees were pecan-crusted sheeps-head (a gulf fish) with lump crabmeat. This was a huge portion - I really enjoyed the thinner filet; the thicker piece served on top was a tiny bit tough. My husband had the black angus tournedos of beef - outstanding flavor, he ordered "medium" and it was definitely on the rare side of medium, but delicious. My favorite part of the meal was their cheesecake. Of course we tried the bread pudding souffle, but the cheescake was a pleasant surprise with the most wonderful creamy texture, hint of lemon tartness, and overall flavor. This was a great meal - the only way to make it an even better experience would have been a little more jazz. We had wonderful trios making the rounds, but a lot of time between without music. I couldn't get enough of it.
After a walk around the Garden District (Ms. Brennan at Commanders helped us with our walking tour route) and a chance encounter with a charming 85-year-old local who graciously invited us into her home for a personal tour (she was so proud of her home and family history), we headed back to the FQ.
Couldn't believe we were hungry before our 8:00 dinner reservation at Nola, but we were. We stopped into the Crescent City Brew House to listen to some jazz and shared a Seafood Cheesecake appetizer (I think I was on a cheescake high from earlier). This was surprisingly tasty, combined with a couple of Weiss wheat ales.
Dinner at Nola - yes, it is noisy. With the open 2-story construction design (looks cool) it probably can't be avoided. The gumbo was duck and andouille (my husband pronounced it the best of the trip). The garlic bisque had good flavor but was way too rich for me. The entree more than made up for it - hickory roasted duck with whiskey caramel glaze. The combination of flavors was just outstanding, with a crispy skin and incredibly moist, tender meat...all I can say is wow. I didn't want to stop eating it, which meant no dessert. Husband had the garlic-crusted redfish. I didn't taste it because I didn't want to mess with the flavors of my duck (really out of character for me). He enjoyed it...
Ok, I feel like this is going on forever - just a few quick more items:
Coop's Place - some of the best fried chicken we've ever tasted on the Taste Plate (rest of the taste plate was fine but not outstanding). I remembered a blog suggestion to try the Pasta Rosa - not something I would normally do in this kind of a dive bar, but was it a great choice! Penne pasta, shrimp, spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, some heat in the spices, really a wonderful dish.
Napoleon House: Warm muffaletta was a real winner - the combination of the melted cheeses and the delicious crispy edges of the ham from being grilled...perfect compliment to Pimm's cups on a hot day.
K-Paul's: Blackened Tuna and Blackened stuffed pork chops were good. The very best thing we had here was the fried green tomato appetizer, topped with shrimp remoulade. The texture of the tomatoes stood up under the sauce, and the delicious flavor of the remoulade made me wish I could have had this as an entree.
Beignets: Preferred Cafe du Monde to Cafe Beignet, like most posters!
Drago's (Hilton): Had to try the char-grilled oysters to compare to Acme. The oysters were much larger, and had great flavor, but to tell you the truth, the overall atmosphere was "generic modern hotel bar" and we enjoyed Acme more.

Thanks to everyone for your advice, and thanks for hanging in if you are still reading this ridicuously long post. We loved New Orleans, the food, the music, the people, and once we save up a few bucks we hope to be back!

Oct 03, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

Ok, we are back from New Orleans - we had a WONDERFUL trip! We didn't get to all of the restaurants we planned (let "serendipity" take over a few times...thank goodness), but had some great dining experiences. Here are the highlights:

Saturday: Mr. B's for lunch - we arrived in NOLA a bit earlier than Mr. B's lunch hour, so we headed to Acme to try the char-grilled oysters. Now, we are not oyster lovers, but there were so many recommendations we had to go for it. Glad we did - we sat at the bar, had a Bloody Mary, and shared a half-dozen. Two LARGE, two medium and two fairly small, but all with a delicious garlic-cheese-smoky flavor. The atmosphere was laid back and friendly. A great start to the trip. Mr. B's lived up to the positive reviews. We started with gumbo (husband had the Ya-Ya, I had the seafood). The Ya-Ya was tasty but benefited from the addition of some hot sauce. The seafood gumbo was delicious as served. BBQ shrimp for our entree (shared) - very rich, very succulent, and worth the work de-heading and peeling! Desserts were the white chocolate brownie (pretty standard) and a peach/plum/blueberry crisp. This was served warm over vanilla bean ice cream, very nice sweet ending to our first meal.
We did the Cocktail Tour at 4:00. I'm glad we decided to do it - we probably never would have gone to Tujagues, where the history shared by our guide Joe (he wrote the book on the Cocktail Tour) was better than the drink they offered. We also stopped at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (shared a hurricane and a voodoo) , Muriel's (Pimm's cup and Fleur de Lis), an Absinthe bar (just watched the drink ritual) and Antoines (home of the first Sazerac? We abstained). I know we could have created our own tour, but we really enjoyed the social experience - you make fast friends when you raise so many toasts together! Joe was funny, knowledgable, obviously loves the city, and offered suggestions for other things to do while we were in town.
Dropped into the Clover Grill for dinner. Our burgers and fries were just the ticket - we may have been very easy to please at that point...
Sunday: Commander's Palace for Jazz Brunch. Thank you to those who suggested we request the Garden Room! There was such a different atmosphere as compared to the more formal dining areas. Started with the best Bloody Mary's in town - they seemed blended from fresh tomatoes, just the right amount of spice, salty olives, and pickled green beans. I started with the Egg Sardou - Poached and served on an artichoke heart with creamed spinach and hollandaise. Very nice blend of flavors. Husband had the turtle soup, which he really loved. Entrees were pecan-crusted sheeps-head (a gulf fish) with lump crabmeat. This was a huge portion - I really enjoyed the thinner filet; the thicker piece served on top was a tiny bit tough. My husband had the black angus tournedos of beef - outstanding flavor, he ordered "medium" and it was definitely on the rare side of medium, but delicious. My favorite part of the meal was their cheesecake. Of course we tried the bread pudding souffle, but the cheescake was a pleasant surprise with the most wonderful creamy texture, hint of lemon tartness, and overall flavor. This was a great meal - the only way to make it an even better experience would have been a little more jazz. We had wonderful trios making the rounds, but a lot of time between without music. I couldn't get enough of it.
After a walk around the Garden District (Ms. Brennan at Commanders helped us with our walking tour route) and a chance encounter with a charming 85-year-old local who graciously invited us into her home for a personal tour (she was so proud of her home and family history), we headed back to the FQ.
Couldn't believe we were hungry before our 8:00 dinner reservation at Nola, but we were. We stopped into the Crescent City Brew House to listen to some jazz and shared a Seafood Cheesecake appetizer (I think I was on a cheescake high from earlier). This was surprisingly tasty, combined with a couple of Weiss wheat ales.
Dinner at Nola - yes, it is noisy. With the open 2-story construction design (looks cool) it probably can't be avoided. The gumbo was duck and andouille (my husband pronounced it the best of the trip). The garlic bisque had good flavor but was way too rich for me. The entree more than made up for it - hickory roasted duck with whiskey caramel glaze. The combination of flavors was just outstanding, with a crispy skin and incredibly moist, tender meat...all I can say is wow. I didn't want to stop eating it, which meant no dessert. Husband had the garlic-crusted redfish. I didn't taste it because I didn't want to mess with the flavors of my duck (really out of character for me). He enjoyed it...
Ok, I feel like this is going on forever - just a few quick more items:
Coop's Place - some of the best fried chicken we've ever tasted on the Taste Plate (rest of the taste plate was fine but not outstanding). I remembered a blog suggestion to try the Pasta Rosa - not something I would normally do in this kind of a dive bar, but was it a great choice! Penne pasta, shrimp, spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, some heat in the spices, really a wonderful dish.
Napoleon House: Warm muffaletta was a real winner - the combination of the melted cheeses and the delicious crispy edges of the ham from being grilled...perfect compliment to Pimm's cups on a hot day.
K-Paul's: Blackened Tuna and Blackened stuffed pork chops were good. The very best thing we had here was the fried green tomato appetizer, topped with shrimp remoulade. The texture of the tomatoes stood up under the sauce, and the delicious flavor of the remoulade made me wish I could have had this as an entree.
Beignets: Preferred Cafe du Monde to Cafe Beignet, like most posters!
Drago's (Hilton): Had to try the char-grilled oysters to compare to Acme. The oysters were much larger, and had great flavor, but to tell you the truth, the overall atmosphere was "generic modern hotel bar" and we enjoyed Acme more.

Thanks to everyone for your advice, and thanks for hanging in if you are still reading this ridicuously long post. We loved New Orleans, the food, the music, the people, and once we save up a few bucks we hope to be back!

Oct 03, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

With all due respect to Ambiance's bad experience, we are planning to hit Mr B's for BBQ shrimp for lunch on Saturday when we arrive. Based on so many positive reviews, and the type of food/places we typically enjoy, I'm pretty confident it will be a great start to our trip...

...and I can't POSSIBLY face the prospect of dealing with Satan if we don't :)

I love the passion on this board!

Sep 13, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

I am excited about Airboat Adventures too! I found a coupon for $10 off per person that is like icing on the cake.
I just spent about an hour on the www.nomenu.com website - thanks so much for including it!
Also, I really appreciate your guidance about sitting at the bar when we visit your fine drinking establishments. We LOVE to chat up the locals but probably would have sat at a table instead of at the bar without thinking twice. Great advice.
BTW the cocktail tour includes only one drink in the tour price - the rest are up to you. We are thinking hard about whether we want to keep this on the itinerary. I've done so much reading on these forums I think I could probably come up with a good self-guided "tour". We have until that day to decide.
With your in-laws in the St. Louis area - hope you have had a chance to sample some of the wonderful restaurants here. Really great Italian on "the Hill" in addition to some awesome newer places in the city...

Sep 07, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

Thanks for all the input! Bombay - we do have a reservation with Airboat Adventures for our swamp tour. It IS a bit more expensive than the other tours, but we like the idea of the smaller, faster boat! Our Cocktail Tour on Saturday afternoon is a walking tour with Grayline. We have gone back and forth on this one. Having never been to the FQ, we wanted some sort of orientation on our first day to get our bearings. We considered a carriage ride, but after reading a lot of negative reviews (can't often hear the "guide", highly dependent on who you get, etc.) and positive reviews of the Grayline tour, we thought we'd give this a try. Hope to meet a few people, learn a little bit, and try a few signature drinks.

Anyone have any feedback on the "Coolinary" menus at Redfish Grill and Bayona?

We are considering NOLA or Stella! in place of one of these two. So nice to have so many good choices...

Sep 06, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

Thanks for the suggestions. I went on the websites for my top picks to confirm when they are open for dinner. We'll likely plan for Napoleon House for dinner on Saturday, Redfish Grill on Sunday, Bayona on Monday, and K-Paul's on Tuesday.
I love the idea of taking our muffuletta to go as we head out of town...

Sep 01, 2009
STL James in New Orleans

Looking for feedback on our NOLA dining plans - 5 days late September

Greetings - I've stalked this board for a couple of weeks now, and have my "spreadsheet" started to make the most of our 5 days in New Orleans at the end of next month. It will be our first trip, just my husband and me, both late 40's. We enjoy a mix of activities and dining levels; not ashamed to enjoy some of the classic tourist experiences but very appreciative of your advice to avoid the bad ones!

Here's how our trip looks at this point:
Saturday: Flight arrives 9:25 a.m. Staying at Omni Royal Orleans - no car
Lunch - Mr. B's Bistro
Walking Cocktail Tour of Quarter - 4:00 p.m.
Dinner - Open to suggestions - please help - We will have a few cocktails in us, so we'll probably save our nicer dinners for other nights!

Sunday:
Jazz Brunch - Commander's Palace 11:00 reservation made - requested Garden Room
Dinner - K-Paul

Monday:
Breakfast - Café du Monde early
Swamp Tour - early pickup at hotel
Lunch - Coop's place or Clover Grill
Dinner - Redfish Grill

Tuesday:
Lunch: 10:00 New Orleans Cooking School (is this a bad idea?)
Dinner - Bayona

Wednesday: (flight leaves at 2:20)
Late Breakfast - Stanley!

Thanks so much for the advice.

Aug 31, 2009
STL James in New Orleans