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Mark Alberts's Profile

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Need help narrowing foodie places to eat for second trip - what's your bucket list

I'm a fellow tourist, and so can't speak comprehensively to your list. But I'll tell you that I've had top-notch experiences at Herbsaint, Brigtsen's, and Patois, and would recommend each of them unhesitatingly.

Herbsaint is the most convenient if you are staying downtown. I loved the gumbo and the spaghetti with guanciale appetizer, among other things.

Brigtsen's and Patois are uptown cottages, similar to Dick & Jenny's. I'd say Brigtsens' is the quieter and cozier of the two, excellent seafood in particular and we had a great rabbit appetizer. Warm service. Also, you can easily combine a trip to Brigtsen's with a visit to the Maple Leaf Bar.

Patois was mind-blowingly good. Lamb ribs, gnocchi at our waiter's insistence (he was right). Mellow vibe, excellent service.

I've also been to Bayona, mixed feelings. The food was good but not uniformly great (although the sweetbreads, wow). And we were not in the main dining room, the room was quieter than I prefer -- although in fairness you can't always get the best table in the house. I know people do love it -- it's just not at the top of my list personally.

Have fun !

Feb 11, 2013
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Friday lunch - not the usual suspects

On previous visits to New Orleans, I have more than once enjoyed festive Friday lunches at both Galatoire's and Commander's. We are considering branching out for a change of pace and wonder if local Hounds might recommend a new favorite. It wouldn't have to be quite in the same vein as these two mainstays but but we would hope for an equally memorable and delicious experience. Willing to stay downtown or go uptown. Thanks in advance!

Feb 11, 2013
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Bar Americain v. Craft

Thanks to all for the input -- the consensus seems to be clear, we're going to try Craft. Should be instructive either way. all best -

Sep 16, 2011
Mark Alberts in Manhattan

Bar Americain v. Craft

Friends coming to town would like to try Bobby Flay or Tom Colicchio.

Bar Americain, which I've been to, feels very New Yorky to me in the best way -- fun and festive and bold. Craft is supposedly a "better" restaurant but I haven't been -- I found Colicchio & Sons delicious but somewhat mannered and quiet.

I would try Craft for the novelty alone, but I'm reluctant to take a chance when I am confident BA will satisfy our visitor.

I am looking for an answer on the order of "they're both good, it depends on what vibe you're looking for" or "Craft is fantastic, you're an idiot not to go there."

thoughts? thanks to all -

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Bar Americain
152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

Craft
43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Sep 15, 2011
Mark Alberts in Manhattan

dinner after 10 pm - Convention Center / Old Montreal

Thanks for these suggestions. Any thoughts about F Bar or Brasserie T if we make it on the earlier side of things?

dinner after 10 pm - Convention Center / Old Montreal

We're arriving at the Intercontinental Hotel on St. Antoine fairly late this Friday night. I'd love recommendations for where to eat and have a drink at 10 or 10:30 pm -- and, in case we're delayed, a backup for after midnight. Within walking distance would be ideal, but if that's not possible we're prepared to take a taxi.

thanks!

Pizza in, or east of, New Haven - but I can't wait 30 minutes to sit down

Hi Chowhounders -

I'll be picking up a car in New Haven this Friday and heading east. I am craving a fabulous N.H. pie but I don't have time to potentially wait a half-hour or more just to get in to one of the more celebrated establishments (Frank Pepe, Modern). So I wonder if a Chowhounder can recommend a quality place that we can sit down more or less immediately, whether in town or close to I-95 on the east side of town.

I have read favorable accounts of both Bar (on Crown St) and Abate's (on Wooster)... just to be clear, I absolutely cannot go north or west, only east on 95. Thanks, happy holidays to all!

Looking for a fairly quiet romantic dinner, have been to New Orleans several times.

You have nothing to worry about (walking to Emeril's for lunch on a Friday), I'm a visitor and I've made that walk several times, always without the slightest hesitation and have never experienced or seen anything to make me think twice. Enjoy!

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Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Sep 28, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Meal itinerary from an unsure chowhound fan - thoughts?

I think I was writing my reply at the same time as latasche, above, but clearly we're in agreement... the solution, of course, is not to wait another 20 years!

Jul 22, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Meal itinerary from an unsure chowhound fan - thoughts?

Fine choices, but it's an awful lot... In particular, if you enjoy the full, drawn-out experience at Galatoire's, you probably won't be looking for a big dinner at all that night, and certainly not before 9 or 9:30. And if you do hold off so you can go to town at Emeril's, how could you possibly be hungry for breakfast the following day. (And, believe me, I like to eat.)

Personally, I'd skip Brennan's on grounds of scheduling. Whatever you decide, have fun, take it easy as needed... it's probably hot as heck down there and I am still jealous that you are going.

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Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Jul 22, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Citifield best choices?

I realize the OP has already gone to the game, but if anyone comes searching, the best thing at Citi (mentioned in one of the posts above) is almost certainly the Mama's of Corona special sub - Italian cold cuts and fresh mozzarella, w/ ramekins of roasted pepper and marinated mushrooms to be added at your discretion. This is the signature sandwich from a Queens neighborhood deli, and it should be right in a Chowhounder's wheelhouse -- both delicious and local. It's right behind my seats on the promenade level behind home plate, and there are locations on the main level as well, including the World's "Fare" (wince) market.

Also, despite a price hike from last year, the Blue Smoke ribs are still a good value, although they can get a little overdone on the edges. I don't think the quality control is quite on the level of the main restaurant.

Jun 09, 2010
Mark Alberts in Outer Boroughs

Tell me your Emeril's Story: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

In a handful of visits to NOLA and Emeril's I've had no reason to stop returning and every reason to keep returning. Great food and hospitality each time out -- both are well worth a visit, it's up to you to decide how they compare to New Orleans' many great choices. I mean no disrespect to other restaurants but (in my experience) the overall presentation and polish most reminds me of NYC-type standards (I mean that in the best way) while still evincing a strong N.O. personality.

Jun 02, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Bourbon House ???

One exclusively positive experience, one fairly negative experience. So, hit or miss. It is a nice-looking restaurant, though, and open Sunday nights (not every place is).

Jun 02, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Help Finding Wedding Restaurant

I recently got married in New Orleans, with a ceremony upstairs at Napoleon House and then dinner at NOLA (which was wonderful, btw, but not really consistent with what you're looking for). My best -- although admittedly general -- advice is to pick a restaurant that you really like, and then work with them. They are in the hospitality business and will do what they can to accommodate, and if they can't they will certainly let you know.

May 28, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

lunch in/near Hartford tomorrow

Greetings! I'll be traveling to Boston tomorrow along I-91 and then I-84, and passing through Hartford right at lunchtime.

What would be the one place to go on this route that is within 5 minutes of the highway, and within about 30 minutes of Hartford on either side? I have been there literally once in my life, and we just ate at a sports bar near the Civic Center.

I'm open to any kind of food high or low... ideally I would love to try a local specialty, the equivalent of New Haven pizza or Baltimore crab cake or Cincinnati chili. That said, absent a recommendation we will try Max Downtown.

thanks, Chowhounders!

p.s. I need to hear from you by 11 p.m. tonight. I know, I know...

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Max Downtown
City Place, 185 Asylum St., Hartford, CT 06103

troubleshooting homemade red beans and rice

Thanks for these insights... when people talk about beans being creamy or not, are they referring to the mushiness (for lack of a better term) of the beans themselves, or the sauce that kind of holds everything together? B/c my beans themselves are tender, it's the sauce that's a problem. This would be old beans, too?

Mar 15, 2010
Mark Alberts in Home Cooking

troubleshooting homemade red beans and rice

Hi gang.

After several visits to New Orleans, I finally took the plunge and have been making red beans and rice here at home for the last year or so. My basic recipe is from Ignatius (it came in a packet of recipe cards from different restaurants) and on the whole it has served us well.

We just made it again today and while it was tasty as usual the liquid was a bit thin, more on the watery side than what I would call saucy. This happens periodically (but not always) and I'm wondering if the experts at Chowhound could suggest why.

* Heat too low? (We cooked for five hours but it was a very low simmer, about the smallest possible flame.)
* Too much liquid added? (We just covered the beans, as many recipes suggest.)
* Pot too big/small? (We used a wider pot than usual, and ceramic, rather than my banged-up Revereware aluminum pot.)
* Bad beans? (Gumbo Pages says old beans don't get creamy -- I know the product doesn't turn over here in NYC like in NO, but we just bought them.)

Guidance is appreciated! Thanks!

Mar 14, 2010
Mark Alberts in Home Cooking

entrees at NOLA - seeking advice

We're hosting a wedding dinner at NOLA soon -- happily, we can offer our guest a choice of three entrees. The thing is, we're having trouble choosing among them!

We definitely want to offer the grilled fish to keep things simple, but we are torn between porkchop, fried chicken, and shrimp and grits for the other two. Does anyone have an opinion about these dishes in particular, and also whether there's some consideration we might be overlooking?

thanks to all -

Mar 09, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Food for 7 days. Tight budget.

If you go to Vaughan's in the Bywater to see Kermit Ruffins on Thursday night, they put out a giant pot of rice and beans between sets for patrons to enjoy -- the best I've ever had. It's a $10 cover, but beers start at $2 -- and you get to see Kermit, which you absolutely will not regret. Consider it a worthwhile splurge.

Liuzza's by the Track is mostly in your price range, too -- also cheap beer.

Some commenters have alerted 'hounds to deals on restaurant.com - I can't speak from personal experience, but it seems you may be able to get gift certificates at a discount, allowing you to punch above your weight class (so to speak).

Good luck sticking to your budget -- a good habit for college students and for the rest of us, too!

Mar 09, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Another NY'er coming to New Orleans

Thanks for the report back. I know I pushed Herbsaint, so I'm glad you enjoyed the food. I'm sorry the noise and service were problematic -- while I stand by my original praise, obviously I haven't been there enough times to give it an unqualified endorsement.

Mar 03, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Res for Lunch at Galatoire's on Friday?

I’m an out-of-towner who has been to lunch [downstairs] at Galatoire’s a few times. Here's a note I posted elsewhere not too long ago:

In my experience, getting on line around 9:45 a.m. has been sufficient to get a table for four people at the first seating (essentially 11:30 a.m.). Five minutes can make the difference, but on the plus side your whole party does not have to be there -- one person can secure a table for four.

Eventually they'll come by with a clipboard and let you know whether you'll be able to get in or not. If yes, around 11 am they let you go to the bar upstairs, and you'll be seated downstairs by 11:45 if not sooner. But that's the timeframe: 60-75 minutes on line and another 30+ minutes in the bar.

If you don't get in, relax. Not everyone stays for three or four hours -- they'll ask if you want to eat later and you can still enjoy a late lunch. Or just stop by at 10:30 or 11 in the first place and they'll tell you how to proceed -- take your name and tell you to come back around 1:30, or whatever. Some say this is the best way to go, period.

If you have a group of six or more, you still have to wait on line but my understanding is that it's advantageous to let them know ahead of time what you'll be looking for. Call a few days ahead of time to inquire.

Only you can decide if it's worth the trouble, but if you do go, you can't help but enjoy yourself.

Mar 01, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Another NY'er coming to New Orleans

I totally forgot about Jacques-Imo's in NYC... It wasn't bad food, but the real thing in New Orleans was about 10x better in every regard.

Feb 22, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Another NY'er coming to New Orleans

As a fellow New Yorker -- with a sense of what's here in NYC and what isn't -- I'm really high on Herbsaint based on my last visit.

I read somewhere that characterized Herbsaint as applying classical techniques to local ingredients (which probably describes a lot of places). I'd compare it to a Danny Meyer restaurant in that it's just really, really good food and good service (probably a step down from DM there, but what isn't) -- really accessible and warm -- with wonderful local-type dishes that at the same time aren't stereotypically "Creole" or "Cajun."

Cochon is a kind of contemporary Cajun restaurant that's really sharp, Frank Bruni in the Times said it was one of his top 10 new restaurants in the USA a few years ago, and that's definitely the type of cuisine you can't get in NY (at least not nearly as good).

Since both of the above are run by the same guy, I'll add a few more:

Jacques-Imo's isn't like any restaurant anywhere, it's casual and loud and lively and fun and great New Orleans food to boot; that's uptown around the riverbend -- Oak Street?

Domilise's for po-boys -- also pretty far uptown. Get a seafood or hot sausage po'boy.

And Brigtsen's, also uptown, which I visited primarily on the rec of Chowhounders and, boy, was it worth it.

Looking over my comments I realize I am pointing you uptown to some extent -- try Brigtsen's if you want a more intimate and food-focused dinner, and Jacques-Imo's if you want to relax and have more of a unique "experience".

Feb 22, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

What to eat at K-Paul's?

My gf and I are coming to town in a few weeks and we've chosen to visit K-Paul's -- it's been on my list for a while and since we are staying close by, the stars are lining up.

The restaurant seems to get praise generally but apart from recs for the gumbo and the jambalaya, specifics are somewhat lacking. The online menu is just a sample, but I'm intrigued by -- well, a lot: blackened drum, blackened stuffed pork chop, crawfish etouffee, rabbit & mustard appetizer, maque choux appetizer, turtle soup, &c.

What does the crowd recommend, whether the above or something I might not order if left to my own devices? Thanks in advance.

Feb 22, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

April in New Orleans/dining solo/relaxed

Unclear why some posts go unreplied to... anyway, the Loews hotel is right across the street from the W on Poydras. The Swizzle Stick Bar there is nice, and I believe they serve food from Cafe Adelaide also in the hotel. You can always chat with the bartenders, who are friendly, if it's a slow day. If you can walk a few blocks Lil' Dizzy's is not too far away, also on Poydras -- that might fit the bill.

Feb 05, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Luke ... or Something Else?

I was very pleased with visits to Luke for dinner and breakfast both. I think the Alsatian-brasserie menu offers some nice variations on the same local ingredients you get elsewhere, but it also has some more traditional N.O. dishes. While it may not rise to the level of must-visit, if it were in my town I could easily envision going with some frequency. It's also very convenient if you are staying in the CBD, and it strikes me that they seat patrons a bit later than the average restaurant. I would say if it appeals to you, it's definitely worth checking out.

Feb 03, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Commander's Palace and Galatoire's

Just spread it out. My parents are visiting soon and I told them I didn't know if trying to visit both in one weekend was excessive or impressive.

Feb 02, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Upcoming NOLA trip - what do u think of my resto choices - Help?!

You're welcome. Fish meuniere amandine is indeed the way to go. Also the grand goute appetizer platter - a variety of classics including shrimp remoulade and oysters en brochette. Personally, I don't think the souffle potatoes are anything to write home about. I'm sure hazelhurst can offer more insight on the menu choices, though. I like the liveliness of a Friday but I believe hazelhurst when s/he says it's perfectly nice other times. You have to sit downstairs, though - don't make a reservation which is only for the upstairs. Same drill, just not as much demand.

Feb 01, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

Upcoming NOLA trip - what do u think of my resto choices - Help?!

There are many mentions of / threads on Galatoire's but here's my interpretation of the basics for Friday lunch, from an out-of-towner who has been a handful of times.

As you know, Friday lunch requires a bit of mental preparation but it's not *that* big a deal.

1. In my experience, getting on line around 9:45-10 a.m. has been sufficient to get a table for four people at the first seating (essentially 11:30 a.m.). Minutes matter, however. Your whole party does not have to be there, btw -- one person can get a table for four.

2. Eventually they'll come by with a clipboard and let you know whether you'll be able to get in or not. If yes, around 11 am they let you go to the bar upstairs, and you'll be seated downstairs by 11:45 if not sooner. But that's the timeframe: 60-75 minutes on line and another 30+ minutes in the bar.

3. If not, don't worry about it. Not everyone stays for three or four hours -- they'll ask if you want to eat later and you can still enjoy a late lunch. Or just stop by at 10:30 or 11 in the first place and they'll tell you how to proceed -- take your name and tell you to come back around 1:30, or whatever. Some say this is the best way to go, period.

4. If you have a group of six or more, you still have to wait on line but my understanding is that it's advantageous to let them know ahead of time what you'll be looking for. Call a few days ahead of time to inquire.

5. Whenever you finally sit down, enjoy.

Various & sundry:

(a) I don't know if people really pay others to stand in line.

(b) In theory, you can certainly drink on line -- the same way you can drink anywhere else in N.O. But don't imagine that the restaurant sells cocktails to people waiting outside; they don't. Save it for lunch, anyway.

(c) As a general proposition, you don't need a big breakfast before Galatoire and a big dinner after. Have a light bite and save your appetite for lunch. For dinner, either make a late reservation (9 pm+) so you have one *if* you're hungry when the time comes, or just plan to eat late when the mood strikes -- perhaps someplace like Coop's or Port of Call. But normal people do not eat full dinners at 7 pm after finishing lunch at Galatoire at 2:30 pm.

Side note: Don't know where you're staying but Camellia is a haul uptown from the Quarter and CBD -- close to 40 minutes by streetcar and 15-20 by taxi. There are many great restaurants and attractions uptown, but better to plan a day or half-day uptown, and stay there than to pingpong back and forth each day. Of all the things to do, I wouldn't start my day with a trip uptown for breakfast, only to return immediately after.

Have fun at Galatoire's. Only you can decide if it's worth the trouble, but you can't help but enjoy yourself.

Feb 01, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans

[relatively] light eats?

Hey Chowhounders -

I'm an out-of-towner getting married in N.O. in a couple of months. Naturally we're looking forward to the food and fun, but we also have to take it easy in the days leading up to the event if we want to be able to fit into our wedding clothes!

In a similar vein, my parents (who have never been to New Orleans) are looking forward to their visit but may not be up to the task of two three-course meals every day for five days.

Does anyone have recs for light dining? I mean, obviously we can just skip appetizers and desserts -- however difficult that may be -- but I wonder if anyone has particular recommendations, either for dishes or for restaurants. Thanks to all -

Jan 25, 2010
Mark Alberts in New Orleans