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Trip Report 3/6-8

Thanks again to everyone for your sage advice. We had a great time in your city last weekend. We arrived at our hotel by 10AM and were able to check in, which was a pleasant surprise. We were starved but didn’t want to nosh on anything before lunch, so we took a walk around the FQ and decided we couldn’t take our hunger pains anymore. We did walk by Galatoire’s at 10:45 and the line was forming but unfortunately we didn’t think we could wait that long to eat, plus the line was right in the sun..not so much a problem for me but it was for my friend, so we decided to forgo the Galatoire’s experience for Luke. We were not disappointed. The service was extremely friendly and accommodating (it took a while for my friend to find a wine she like and when she finally did they gave me a glass (gratis) as well..) We started w/the P&J oysters and shrimp, which were amazing. The horseradish sauce was hotter than I’ve ever had but we loved it. I had the pressed cochon de lait (succulent. I couldn’t stop eating it even after I was sufficiently full) and my friend had the choucroute maison. Everything was perfectly cooked. We sat there until 1:30 and never felt rushed. Again, really superb service.

After rolling out of there we walked up to Café du Monde which really put me over the top. We planned on a lateish dinner at Mr. B’s Bistro but ended up going early (around 6:45) which was a big mistake since I was still stuffed form earlier and could barely finish my gumbo ya ya let alone the delicious barbeque shrimp. Again, the service was fantastic (I love how both places serve the warm bread, rolled up in a towel at Luke, and in a bag here. Very charming). Friend tried the soups 1-1-1, deciding the ya ya was the best, although the red bean soup, special of the day was quite nice too. I felt terrible forgoing dessert but we were both so exhausted it was all we could do to stay awake (7am flight from LGA left us both waking up at 4:45am. Not for me…)

After sleeping in a bit Sat morning decided to find a place for breakfast around St Charles so we wouldn’t be out of our way to catch the street car up to the Garden District for the 11AM walking tour. So, we just sort of meandered and ended up at Luke, again. We shared the Chiseli ham, grits and eggs w/biscuit which was just the perfect amount of food w/the pot of French pressed. After the walking tour we were in a rush to get to Casamento’s and luckily made it there by 1:45. We had to wait at least 45 minutes for a table and ended up the last ones to leave the place but I’m glad we made the effort and waited. We split some raw oysters and then shared a half oyster loaf and shrimp loaf, both w/lettuce and tomato. Just as advertised. Not at all heavy or greasy and just the right amount of food. All were so friendly in what must be a crazy environment 5 days a week for the staff. On the walk back down Magazine Street I stopped for a “piccolo” cup of gelato at La Divina Gelateria, really delicious cappuccino and chocolate azteca. Yum, can still taste it now.

After Preservation Hall (so happy we got to see the Jazz band here) we meandered up to Marigny, stopping for a couple of drinks at Lafitte’s (I put my beer down for 5 seconds to take a picture of the wedding party dancing in the street and someone cleared it away…), and then to the Praline Connection. I’m giving this place a “just ok” w/the caveat that we were the last ones in the place to order food and everything wasn’t piping hot. We decided on 2 apps, the barbeque oysters and the shrimp roulade. Not too excited by either. We then shared the “Taste of Soul” platter, and again, there was nothing that thrilled me. I liked the greens, if they were a bit too salty, the ribs were dry, the catfish was ok but needed a lot of hot sauce and the jambalaya was just a lump of dry rice w/a few veges that looked like frozen peas and carrots. I don’t even remember if there was any sausage, if so it was dry and tasteless. Red beans and rice were tasty. The best part of the whole meal was the bread pudding that came w/the platter. That was really delicious and really saved the entire meal.

After hotel check out on Sunday morning we shopped our way back up to Frenchmen Street and had brunch at Marigny Brasserie. The Psister Sisters were very entertaining and the atmosphere in the sunny restaurant was really so nice for a relaxing Sunday brunch. We got a nice booth by the opposite wall and enjoyed the crawfish beignets (delicious), the shrimp and grits and the grillades and grits. The latter was sort of boring, the meat tasted like meat from a stew, but the jalapeno biscuit was really nice and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. The service was a little off here, saw one service flop a poached egg on the floor and ½ hour later was still red from embarrassment. Saw a lot of other miscues, like spilling half a cosmopolitan on somebody’s plate, and our server forgot my bloody mary. I know these things happen everywhere but it was the first noticeable evidence of inexperienced staff we encountered the entire trip.
Decided against a muff from Frank’s on the way back since it was going to be way too long before my airport layover in Atlanta (but I did pick up 3 bags of chips) so will have to get one the next time I come.

In all it was a fantastic yet short visit and I do hope to come back soon (w/a spare stomach perhaps??!!) to try the many other places on my list. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and so grateful for our visit. Please let me know if you ever need help w/Manhattan or Queens restaurants.
Thanks again, Debby

Mar 11, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

Thanks so much to everyone. I have to laugh because the more I tried to explain that I am a WOMAN and would therefore not be wearing a tie an blazer the more responses I got telling me what to wear as if I was a man!! Anyway, will report back after my trip.
Debby

Mar 05, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

Thanks for the detailed insight, will discuss w/my friend, have a feeling we're going to call an audible on this. And being that I'm not a guy dressing in a jacket an tie, a nice top and slacks is fine for women, correct?

Mar 03, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

Also, if Central Grocery is closed on Sundays, is there any comparable place to buy a muff before heading to the airport?

Mar 03, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

Thanks, open to any and all suggestions. But being from NYC I'd like to stay w/food I can only get in NOLA.

Mar 03, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

No wheels. Since we're doing a lot of sit down I just thought we'd do something more casual on Sat night, but am open to suggestions.

Mar 03, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

Thanks Panama Hat. Will we be presentable in Galatoire's wearing not-so-fancy-just-got-off-the-plane clothes? No sneakers, but not dressed up.

Mar 02, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

First visit needs fine tuning...

I’m planning for my first trip to NO this Friday March 6 and have been reading so many of the amazing insights of the local hounds. That being said, I still need some help: We are arriving Friday morning, will probably get to our hotel (Marriot on Canal) before 11 to drop off our bags. We will be very hungry; is it worth it to make a resy at Galatoire’s and eat upstairs since I’m not sure how long we’d have to wait on line to eat downstairs, or should I keep my noon resy @ Luke? Remember, I’ve never been to NOLA before and from what I’ve gathered on the board we really don’t have anything similar to this experience in NYC . Friday dinner I’m pretty sold on Mr. B’s.
On Sat, after Café Du Monde we’ll be taking the Garden District walking tour, ends around 1 (assuming it ends where it begins? @ Prytania near St. Charles)? Will this leave us enough time to head over to Casamento’s since lunch seems to end there at 2? If not, was thinking of Parasol’s, but any other ideas?
Sat eve planning on strolling the FQ to listen to music and maybe just eat at a bar, Coops seems to be highly recommended. How does it compare to Oliver’s?
Sunday Brunch: Marigny Brasserie? Has anyone been since the new chef arrived? I’m not a big egg eater, and after checking out the brunch menu looks like there’s not much else, may just do 2 apps. Any other ideas?
Thanks to everyone in advance, I cannot wait to get outta Gotham (although I heard you got some NYC weather recently...)

Mar 01, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

Need Restaurant Recommendations

Chrissym1981, did you go to Luke? If so, how was it, am trying to decide between Luke and Red Fish Grill for my first ever lunch in NO. Arriving this coming Friday moring and will be starving! How was the rest of your trip? Thanks in advance.

Feb 28, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

Restaurants and Bars with Matchbooks

Keens and A Voce. I still collect them too, got a lot tougher once smoking ceased in restaurants.

Feb 26, 2009
esyle in Manhattan

Sunday Brunch with Music

Do you think reservations are needed?

Feb 20, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

Good Lunch Spot on Magazine Street?

Hi, I've been doing a lot of grazing in anticipation of my upcoming weekend (coming down March 6), wondering how long a wait I should anticipate on Sat. March 7 for lunch at Casamentos? Will do the Garden District walking tour which should end about 1, and will make our way over there by maybe 1:30? Thanks in advance.

Feb 20, 2009
esyle in New Orleans

where to buy guanciale in nyc?

I recently saw it at one of the purveyor's in the Grand Central Marketplace. Sorry, can't remember the name, but it was on the right as you walked from the inside towards Lex. Also, at Agata Valentina on the UES if that's better for you.

Feb 17, 2009
esyle in Manhattan

Mom's Night Out - UES

Cipolla Rossa, either on 61st or 91st, both on First Ave. BYO. Great food. 91st is small, 61st st location may be a bit larger, but you can call for reservations at both (you didn't mention how many people or what day of the week). You won't be disappointed.

Feb 17, 2009
esyle in Manhattan

Arriba Arriba - new Mexican in Sunnyside?

How was this place? Thinking of going for happy hour tonite.

Feb 05, 2009
esyle in Outer Boroughs

Illili vs. Olana

I've been to both and while I enjoyed Olana a bit more ( the decor is beautiful and felt like the RW deal was fantastic) I think a group may enjoy Illili more. It has a livelier vibe, and as mentioned a lot of the dishes can be shared so w/a group you may end up being able to taste everything on the menu.

Feb 04, 2009
esyle in Manhattan

Favorite Seinfeld food moments

that's when Jerry was mortified when he heard himself ordering "just a salad" when he was on a date w/Elaine's mutton-loving cousin.

Jan 28, 2009
esyle in Not About Food

Good Turkish in Queens?

I enjoy Istanbul in Rego Park, great appetizers w/out meat.

Jan 26, 2009
esyle in Outer Boroughs

Rego Park recommendations?

Istanbul 95-36 QB is quite good, I love their chicken and lamb combo sandwich w/shepards salad.

Jan 06, 2009
esyle in Outer Boroughs

Ribollita?

Cipolla Rossa!

Dec 31, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

Coming tomorrow....E. 85th area regs & BW Question

Welcome to the hood!
Walk up 1st Ave to 91 St to Cipolla Rossa for great tuscan food. It's BYO. Great paninis for lunch too.
http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

Gino's pizza on 85th b/t 1 and 2nd, north side of street next to Triangolo.
Big Daddy Diner over on 2nd on 85th is another casual place.
Gracie's diner on the corner of 86th and 1st is good for breakfast too.

Dec 27, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

UES Tuscan Gem

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551079
Glad you've found it, I've ordered in the panini a few time, love anything w/the broccoli rabe, also found the pasta fagioli amazing. Love going to the restaurant though, Angelo can't do enough for everyone. Great tiramiso. And the BYO tops it off.

Dec 23, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

Latke mixture ahead of time?

How do you get the latkes to stand up vertically? What type of baking pan? I am hoping to make around 30 latkes early Sunday and then re-heat later on.

Dec 12, 2008
esyle in Home Cooking

Olana - great alternative to Danny Meyer-ville.

I was there last night as well and agree 100% w/your assessment. We stuck to the price fixed, but had an amazing butternut squash soup and the homemade pasta and sausage app, and the brook trout w/tiny scallops, artichokes and greens. The desserts were the best part, we shared the sticky date pudding as well (yummy!) and pear tart in pastry (also great). Then they gave us a mini chocolate fondue, fantastic. The service was profession and friendly (save our actual waiter who seemed to lose interest the moment my friend mentioned we'd be sticking to the $35 pf). We each had 2 different wines by the glass and they had a very generous pour each time. And the decor is gorgeous. I will definetey return for a special occasion.

Nov 21, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

Astoria Suggestions for Group

QuentinC, when you had a group at L'Incontro, did you have the option of a private room? Did you have to do a set menu or was it just easier that way? I'm planning a holiday lunch for 12-15 friends and was thinking of trying L'Incontro this time but usually like a private room because we tend to get loud w/toasts, etc, but I'd like everyone to have a selection of the entire menu (yes, specials and all).

Nov 12, 2008
esyle in Outer Boroughs

Election night bar?

I'm searching for the same thing, and tomorrow is the big day so I figured I'd start this again. I'm looking for any place on the east side, say from the 50's to the 90's that will be showing election results. Thanks.

Nov 03, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

cocktails in Sunnyside?

I second Sidetracks, it's got a lounge vibe w/out the attitude. Very friendly bar staff.

Oct 30, 2008
esyle in Outer Boroughs

Drinks before Crispo tonight?

I've asked the same question before and after walking around the hood called my friends and told them to just meet me at the Crisp bar. Both times I've been there the bartenders have been very friendly and I was lucky to snag enough seats for my friends too.

Sep 13, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

Brazilian food? (not churrascaria)

2nd Zebu.

Sep 09, 2008
esyle in Manhattan

Looking for a very private nice restaurant near LaGuardia

Ponticello isn't too far, have had a holiday lunch for the past 2 years in their wine cellar room. Would highly recommend, although not sure about that time of day, but you should call.

Sep 02, 2008
esyle in Outer Boroughs