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Late Dinner upon Arrival

Have never been to either Muriel's or Broussard's, so those both sound promising. I also have Friday lunch open before. I have been to Galatoire's, Antoine's and Kingfish (and am trying to get to places I haven't been before going back for repeats). Doris sounds interesting too, though I'm not much of a steak eater.

Apr 17, 2014
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Late Dinner upon Arrival

If I land on time, it won't really be late night (though we all know that's a big "if"). Suggestions for new places in the Quarter would be appreciated. Staying @ Prince Conti. Have eaten at many of the well-known places (though have never tried Bombay Club, which is right in the hotel).

Apr 12, 2014
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Late Dinner upon Arrival

I will be arriving by air at 7:40pm on a Wednesday night. Staying in the FQ, but was toying with the idea of getting a cab directly to a restaurant uptown and then taking the streetcar or cab to Canal. Travelling relatively light (small suitcase and briefcase). Was thinking about Boucherie or Gautreau's (since I've not been to either and have been wanting to try them). Does this seem realistic or impractical? In the event my flight is late, how late might I be able to do this?

Apr 11, 2014
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Seafood Markets in Puerto Vallarta Area

We love this little fish market. Shrimp is very reasonably priced, and if you ask (and tip them) they'll peel and devein the shrimp, which I hate to do!!

Dec 21, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Mexico

Pesce

I, too, have often heard the term "seafood" to be used to mean the non-fish items, i.e., primary shellfish. I have many friends who are allergic to one or the other, and they make it a point to refer to "fish that swim" or something like that. Since I love it all, I just shrug my shoulders.

Oct 31, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

I did consult Tempo, and they wanted both a room fee and a special menu (that was pretty expensive). I have eaten at Tempo and thought it was very good. But the set menus always are priced for the upper end of the spectrum in terms of how much people eat and drink. For my friends and family, that amounts to paying for quite a bit more than what we actually consume, which is why I'm trying to avoid it.

Oct 31, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New York State (exc. NYC)

Mila not sleepy anymore

There is no better repartee on Chowhound than on the New Orleans board! I'm so happy to be coming back next weekend!

Oct 29, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans
1

Mila not sleepy anymore

Very interesting comments, Montouri! I never realized that vermouth gets old, especially that quickly. That could explain why the ones we make at home never taste right. Although I agree with sticking to the classics, I had a "Polar Negroni" at Dante's Kitchen a few years back that was excellent (and if you google that, you'll see a picture of it I posted on Trip Advisor). It used lillet blanc (in place of vermouth) and Aperol (in place of Campari) plus Bombay gin.

Oct 26, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Mila not sleepy anymore

Good to know, Collardman, since the Negroni is my current favorite drink! Is there a bar inside the restaurant, or just the one out in the hotel lobby from where Chris McMillan used to hail.

Oct 25, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

Now you are going in the direction that I am! We decided to break it down into two separate dinners (one for friends and one for family), so that both would be about 12 people and we wouldn't be locked into a private room with a "special" menu. I think the friends' dinner will be at Bachus. We're weighing between Mike A's and Rue Franklin for the family dinner. Any thoughts on Rich's for catering?

Oct 21, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New York State (exc. NYC)

Finalizing dining plans…how are these Olivier's, Evangeline, Pelican Club, Mr. B’s, GW Fins, Muriel's, Irene’s?

I had impeccable food and service on a recent visit to Pelican Club, so I heartily recommend it. GW Fins is also excellent, though it's such a seafood place that I can't imagine going there to order steak.

Oct 13, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

Need a place to hold a rehearsal dinner in June, in or near downtown Buffalo. Probably about 20-25 people. Any thoughts? Also (and possibly off-topic for this board), need suggestions on caterers for a wedding brunch to be held at the FL Wright Boathouse.

Sep 25, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New York State (exc. NYC)

Southern Decadence Food Report

Narrowing down the list for a short trip is always agonizing for me. Just know that there are so many good choices that it's hard to go wrong. But Peche and Sylvain are definite winners.

Sep 11, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans
1

Southern Decadence Food Report

Regarding Peche, there is a small section of seating around the raw bar, close to the kitchen. It is separated from the main seating area by a half wall, so not much noise separation. I was seated between two pairs of women speaking in piercing voices, so it was loud. Perhaps sitting at the raw bar itself would offer the quietest place in there. But the food was well worth it. And Bill Hunt, your posts have always been a guiding light, so I was happy to be able to return the favor. I will be back in November and will be having dinner at Arnaud's (in a large group), so will soon have another "Grand Dame" report.

Sep 03, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Southern Decadence Food Report

Whirlwind visit, with some excellent food. Here goes:

Thursday:

Kingfish - Plane arrived at 7:00 and I was seated at the bar at Kingfish by 8:15, hoping to see Chris M. but he was not there. Ordered a "Bramble" (gin and some other ingredients) and was surprised to see it served with crushed ice brimming over, like a snowball. Interesting presentation, but 15 seconds later, all of the ice slid down the glass, making a thorough mess on the bar. I can't imagine that Chris would have been involved in something so ill-conceived. I rate this as a "fail" (but obviously, that's just one drink). Tasty, but I expected better. I didn't stay to try another.

Pelican Club - After 2 weather-canceled attempts to eat here, I finally made it, and it was worth the wait. The Coolinary menu did not excite me, so I ordered 3 appetizers. I do not eat raw oysters (too squeamish), so the opportunity to order them baked was a treat - and boy were they good. The seafood "martini" (shrimp, lobster, potatoes, remoulade) was delicious, and the escargot were so good, but so intensely garlicky that I think my fumes may have killed off some of the plant life in Audobon park as I ran through it the next morning! Lovely wine suggestion (a Spanish white) by the competent and friendly waiter. Beautiful and comfortable restaurant.

Friday:

6:30am wake-up call for a 12-mile run, ending, conveniently, at Cafe du Monde. Calories OUT, calories IN! As delicious as ever (had them to go and sat by the little fountain just around the corner.

Cochon Butcher: After some serious day drinking at the Country Club, by 4pm I was ready for something solid. The muffaletta at C.B. was excellent (though being my first, I can't say how it compares to Central Grocery). I will try to post a picture of it. I saved the last quarter of it for a late night snack. C.B. is such a wonderful, fun little place, especially at that hour when it's not super busy. I will definitely go back, because there were so many other intriguing things on the menu.

Iris: This place is lovely, service was great, menu very nice, but unfortunately, I just didn't have enough appetite after to the late lunch and too much booze to enjoy it thoroughly. The arugula salad was good, though nothing special. The Drum served over potatoes with both a fennel sauce and an olive-tomato sauce was great. Huge portion for $25 - I would have been satisfied with 2/3 that amount.

Saturday:

Antoine's - OK all you nay-sayers - time to shut up! I was thoroughly impressed. I ordered from the Coolinary menu (for $20!!), starting with 3 baked oysters (Rockefeller, Bienville and Thermidor), pork tenderloin stuffed with crabmeat over potatoes with a champagne sauce, and pecan bread pudding in a rum sauce. And two 25-cent martinis. Food was excellent, service was gracious and skillful and the value excellent. Even nice touches like oven fresh loaf of crusty bread, with butter served at just the right temperature (why do so many restaurants not get this right, either serving it ice cold or so warm it's almost liquid?).

Peche - Wow! Walked in and was bowled over by the noise, but quickly got used to it as I got lost in the food. Was hard to decide which way to go (small plates, large, etc.). The waiter helped me put together an excellent dinner. I started with a great cocktail (Buffalopigus - bourbon, peach vinegar, mint, aperol, etc. - more impressive than Kingfish in that department). Then the raw tuna appetizer (with ginger, orange and some other ingredients I forgot. Stellar! The crab/eggplant gratin with toast points, and then capellini with crab and chilis. Washed down with a lovely glass of rose. Definitely some heat in that last dish, and the chilis diffused their heat into the butter. As a combination, it was perfect as to range and quantity. I then had the honey, fig caramel ice cream for desert. Very impressed all the way around!

Sunday:

Sylvain for brunch. Started with the chicken and biscuit appetizer at the waiter's suggestion. Served with a delicious gravy and honey butter. Heavenly!! Then the crispy pork shoulder hash. This was pulled pork formed into a cake, topped with tomato hollandaise, served over the most wonderful grits (I normally think they're horribly bland, but not these - great flavor and texture) and a fried egg. Lovely place, nice service, nice crowd, even at 11am on a very hot Sunday.

West Beignet. Surprisingly good beignets for an airport place! Went home with a happy tummy!

THANKS, as always, to the NOLA chowhounds for your expert guidance. Can't wait to come back!

Sep 01, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans
1

NO Restaurant Week - top picks?

Do you all feel the same about COOLinary menus? I will be arriving in NOLA this evening, and my agenda includes some great restaurants who are offering such menus. In glancing at them, some of the offerings include items on the regular menu that I might well have ordered anyway, in which event they seem like a good deal. Or should I avoid those menus altogether?

Aug 29, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Quick Visit - need to narrow down some choices

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying to visit places to which I have not yet been, before going back again. I have been to Galatoire's several times (love it - who wouldn't), Cochon, Herbsaint and Mila. I thought perhaps Vacherie might be worth trying since there are not that many Cajun places (have also been to Bon Ton). As for Antoine's, I understand from various blogs that it has recovered from its pre-K low-point, and I thought it would be worth trying for its historical importance and architecture (and just going for lunch anyway). Pretty much the same thinking about Muriel's. But if the food is just not good, then I should rethink. Peche does sound like a winner.

Aug 23, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Quick Visit - need to narrow down some choices

I have been to the Sazerac Bar. What a great space! I also had the good fortune on a prior trip to stay at the Pere Marquette when Chris McMillian was tending bar there. That's what is tempting me to try Kingfish. Would love to try the pizza at Domenica, but since I'm by myself, there is little chance of me having enough appetite to have lunch, then a pizza at 3 and then dinner. Although I'm scheduled to run 11 miles on Friday morning (training for a half marathon), so maybe.....

Aug 22, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Quick Visit - need to narrow down some choices

At the risk of tempting another hurricane (any my record on this has been particularly abysmal), I've scheduled a quick trip to New Orleans over Labor Day weekend (arriving Thursday evening, in time for dinner) and departing Sunday afternoon (allowing enough time for a breakfast/brunch, so long as I'm at the airport by 1pm). So I've got 3 dinners, 2 lunches and 1 breakfast/brunch. This is probably my 6th visit, so I've been to a lot of the usual suspects. I'd also like to keep this pretty close in to the CBD/FQ (staying at Poydras/Tchoupitoulas), since it's such a short trip. Here are my current thoughts. Any thoughts on these, or other ideas that won't take me too far out of my desired geography, would be appreciated!! I eat most anything, though prefer seafood. I will be dining alone, so prefer someplace that's a little lively.

Lunches: Cochon Butcher (I've never had a muffaletta, and commentators seem to say theirs is better than Central Grocery); Antoine's; Muriel's; Criollo.

Dinners: Pelican Club (Fitzsimmons raves about it, but it doesn't get much love on this board); Iris; Vacherie; Peche; Revolution; Bombay Club.

Sunday Breakfast/Brunch: EAT; Sylvain. (On Fri/Sat, I will probably just having something light so as not to spoil my appetite for lunch.)

Drinks: Swizzle Stick; Kingfish; French 75.

Aug 22, 2013
ClevelandRandy in New Orleans

Special dinners in Provincetown - recs requested

We had sworn off Ciro & Sal's, after a bad service experience. But last year we went back, and not only was the service very good, but we were blown away by the food quality. We both had fish or seafood (it's been a year, and I don't remember the full details). His was in a more lemon/butter/garlic sauce, and mine was more puttanesca - beautifully spiced, with nice textures. It was one of the best meals of the week.

Aug 07, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Southern New England

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

Just a quick report: We had drinks at Acacia and loved it. Arrived around 7:30 and had 2 rounds of very fun, well-made drinks. The place was about half full, comfortable (we sat in a booth) and service was excellent. Dinner at Dish was fantastic. I had the mixed seafood grill which was out of this world. We fortunately made it out of the South Side before all the tomfoolery began in earnest. Breakfast the next morning at Pamela (Strip Dist) was great, and worth the wait (during which we bought some fun stuff at Penn Mac). Another great visit to the Burgh! Thanks for the good advice, fell Chowhounders.

Aug 05, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

NOW you're talking!

Jul 27, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

And this is why I love Chowhound so much!!! Thank you! (By the way, it's craft cocktails we're after - none of us is much of a beer drinker, except on the hottest of days.)

Jul 26, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

It looks like we've settled on Dish. Is there a fun place to stop for a drink - either before or after dinner - in that general vicinity? Perhaps someplace that does interesting craft cocktails and that is not a raucous 20-something crowd.

Jul 25, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania

Detroit report

I knew I wanted to check out Ferndale (thinking it would have somewhat of a LGBT nightlife, which turned out not to be the case). I did a search on Open Table, and only 2 places came up. Torino sounded good, so I gave it a shot. Glad I did!

Jul 25, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Great Lakes

Detroit report

Die happy, indeed!!! I loved my visit to Detroit. I arrived at Green Dot Stables at about 3pm, so it was half empty, and service was just excellent. The server even took time to write out suggestions for the rest of my trip.

Jul 24, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Great Lakes

Detroit report

They actually have 2 separate stores in the same block. One that sells nuts and one that sells coffee, tea and spices, and also has serve espresso drinks. My only regret on this trip is that I forgot to go back to the nut store and buy some nuts after I had my coffee!!

Jul 22, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Great Lakes

Detroit report

Just back from Detroit - here's my food report:
Thursday lunch @ Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village. Surprisingly good trout, lovely side dishes and rolls (including pickles and things set on the table while waiting for the meal), fun cocktail made with sasaparillla. Afterwards enjoyed a great frozen custard at the ice cream stand. Kitschy but fun.
Thursday dinner @ Al Ameer in Dearborn. I'm sure I was the only non-Arabic speaking person in the place, and I was quite OK with that. I ordered a combo plate, so I could taste as much as possible (fattoush, humus, kafta, schwarma, etc.) Everything was wonderful, and the server was very sweet, albeit a bit rushed (Ramadan crowd, I suppose).
Friday morning: Leon's Family Restaurant for a good ol' American breakfast (blueberry pancakes, eggs, ham). Very good and cheap.
Friday late lunch: Green Dot Stables. Absolutely outstanding sliders: gyro, bacon/BBQ, Korean and Cuban. And the kale salad and orzo side were also great. Nice beer selection, and fantastic service.
Friday liquid dinner (still full from lunch): One drink at Coach Insignia. Great view, but surprisingly clueless bartender - didn't know how to make a Negroni! Then 2 creative, wonderful drinks at Sugar House, and fun conversation with 20-something hipsters (whose pride in their city gave me hope for Detroit's future).
Saturday breakfast: Russel St. deli. No problem getting in at 8am. Quiche was very good, and the biscuit with house made cranberry preserves was outstanding. Hash browns were very good too. The latte next door at Germaks was one of the best I ever had.
Saturday lunch: My first ever coney island hot dog at American. Tasty, but not the best thing to have before a 2-hour walking tour on a hot day!
Saturday dinner: Torino in Ferndale. All they serve is a 5-course tasting menu for $52, and another $25 for wine pairings. Highly creative and positively outstanding food. Good quantities, and the pairings were first rate. The servers took great care in describing each course and pairing - it was truly a great culinary experience!
Sunday lunch: Lupita's in Mexicantown. Enchiladas verdes. Pretty genuine stuff (and I spend a bit of time in Mexico). Cheap and good!

Thanks for all the advice. I loved Detroit, and wish you all the best with the challenges that lie ahead.

Jul 22, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Great Lakes
1

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

Cleveland and Pittsburgh have similar challenges, and each has had substantial victories, in both their food scenes and elsewhere. I enjoy traveling to Pittsburgh for that very reason. Also, I think it's vitally necessary for me to ingest those wonderful thin pancakes at Pamela's at least several times a year.

Jul 02, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania

Saturday night in Pittsburgh

I had seen that unfortunate comment. I don't subscribe to the concept that you must demean something in order to promote something else.

Jul 02, 2013
ClevelandRandy in Pennsylvania