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Vineaux's Profile

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Best Place to Buy Scallops in New Orleans?

My wife and I enjoy cooking fresh scallops and to date have only come to trust those procured at Whole Foods. Any suggestions on where else we can.

Sep 10, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Farmer's Market and other miscellaneous thoughts......

I'm going to differ with you on that one. I think it's all a matter of vision, marketing, and positioning. From the purely local standpoint, a vibrant farmer's market in the FQ is a contributor to quality of life and would exert a long-term positive influence on real-estate values. Additionally, the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods continue post-K to be without a traditional market.
Much more important than this, however, is the tourism impact. Markets tend to draw an economic demographic higher than the aggregate of the neighborhood in which they are located. When one considers the brand that is New Orleans, you could argue that food, music, and architecture are the big three differentiating factors for our city. A world class FM fits perfectly into that branding scheme, easily positioning itself as a "can't miss" stop for any visitor wanting authenticity as an aspect of their trip. Kind of like Pike Place in Seattle, although I think we could do even better than that. By any objective standard, NOLA's food culture is a stronger part of our identity than is the case in Seattle.
Once the ball got rolling, the boudin stand becomes a stronger revenue generator than the t-shirt guy, and market economics takes care of the rest.
I admit that I am a ridiculously biased foodie, but my wife and I are both of the opinion that the FM is perhaps NOLA's must underutilized asset.

Then again, maybe I just don' t like t-shirts!

Aug 05, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Farmer's Market and other miscellaneous thoughts......

Great list, but the OP's point is a valid one. Given the increasing popularity of Farmer's Markets and the fact that the French Market is the oldest public market in the U.S., we are missing the boat here. The FQ Farmer's Market is a first-rate facility, and could accomodate one of the most vibrant markets in the country, drawing local buyers from the FQ, Marigny, and Bywater.

Aug 05, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Best Service in NOLA?

Prompted by a visit to MiLa last week in which the service was haphazard at best. Very disappointing in a restaurant with aspirations (and prices) of that level. It got me thinking about the relatively few places in New Orleans with truly top-notch service. So, forgetting about the food for a moment, what are your top 3 or so restaurants for service? Mine:

Commander's
Emeril's
Delmonico

What am I forgetting?

Jul 27, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Best Bar Burger

Sorry, but POC is off my list until they hose it out. I understand that people line up for it, but is it too much to ask that they take an hour or two and a bucket of soap and water to the place? The last several tims I've entered, there's what can only be described as a stench. Very unappetizing. Best example I can think of (other than Mother's) of the old axiom: get a reputation as an early riser and you can sleep 'till noon.

Jul 27, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Help me pick a lunch spot!

Bayona. great lunch deal in a v ery romantic setting

Jul 08, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Bulk Red Pepper Flakes

Thanks for the tip!

Jul 01, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Bulk Red Pepper Flakes

Any idea where I can get bulk red pepper flakes? it appears our puppy likes our vegetable garden even more than we do, and we need to discourage him.

Jul 01, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Disappointing food trip to NOLA (very long review)

You are correct that Dante's (which is very good) does not take brunch reservations. They open for Sunday brunch at 10:30, meaning an 11:20 arrival placed you right in the middle of the first seating, probably the worst possible time to arrive. Even the very first diners were likely not yet finished, and so no table had turned. Additionally, it was ridiculously hot on Father's day, so I am sure many patrons declined the patio option, cutting down on available seating. I'll echo the other posters here that Mr. B's is and has consistently been very good. Not at all a tourist trap. I can understand your frustrations with peeling the shrimp. The ability to peel them unconsciously in about 1.5 seconds seems to be coded in the Louisiana DNA, and perhaps we miss the fact that it can be a challenge for others. I recall watching a man in a Barcelona restaurant attempt to peel a shrimp with a knife and fork. My wife and I discussed leaning over and peeling the little guy for him (ok, there WAS wine with our lunch), but we decided that sort of cultural outreach might not be appreciated. Hope your next visit is better.

Jun 30, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Wanting to try all new restaurants on this trip

Based on your list, easy choice for diners: Stella! and MiLa.

Jun 21, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Out of the ordinary foods...

Bayona has always been known for their sweetbreads. Recently. I've had them at Brigsten's (very good) and MiLa (outstanding)

Jun 09, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

NOWFE Vinter Dinners

Went to the dinner at Commander's: seven courses, eight wines. Amazing experience, although it was $140 per person.

Jun 01, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

NOLA Duck Derby follow-up: Upperline moving up on the rail!

Curiously, we were also at Brigsten's Wednesday (on the porch) and had the duck w/cherry sauce (in addition to the sweetbreads and the tuna). Certainly among the best in the city. To quote my wife: "pretty stinkin' good." I still vote for Stella's duck five ways as the city champ.

Jun 01, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Wine/Cheese Shop Near Quarter

There is an incredible cheese board and an all Italian wine list at The Italian Barrel, on Barracks at the Fench Market

Apr 28, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Looking for farm to table restaurant in Nola!

+2 MiLa and +1 Dante's

Apr 24, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Favorite Items At Patois?

I had the pheasant last time, and it was exceptionally good.

Apr 22, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Corkage Fee At Stella

There is a $25 corkage fee. I assume that it is an unusual wine perhaps with particular sentimental value. Call ahead and ask for the sommelier to be sure that the wine is not on their list (very much a faux pas) and be sure to let the sommelier taste the wine. We brought a boutique Napa cab there last year and had no problem at all.

Apr 22, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

The New Santa Fe

To answer your question, Santa Fe had been for sale for quite some time before Katrina. After the storm, Marc and Wendy sold it entirely (property, branding, recipes, equipment, etc). At this time, Alan was the chef at the Brasserie (where he brought the Chicken Maximilian to the menu). There was some common ownership between those who purchased Santa Fe and those who opened La Vita (where Gabrielle was and Santa Fe now is). I agree with you that the "new" Santa Fe was a complete disaster, and it justifiably failed. However, Alan was not connected with that incarnation. So, I was very pleased to hear he was associated with the new version. Had that not been the case, I would have given it no consideration at all. Given the common ties between this building and the old building, my suspicion is that the owners who bought from Marc and Wendy brought Alan in as a partner in the new venture, although I have no evidence of this. Alan is in fact a terrific chef and, in my opinion, made the Brasserie as good as its ever been, so I am hopeful that this will be more like the old Santa Fe.

Apr 16, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

The New Santa Fe

Dinner at the new Santa Fe last night. Opened five days ago on Esplanade in the old Gabrielle building.

Very uneven, as should be expected less than a week in. The servers were swamped, they were cash only, and they ran out of sangria and most of their wine. That said, my wife's fish of the day (puppy drum) was done perfectly and was easily the best of the evening. The good news long term is that Alan, the owner and chef, was the chef at the original Santa Fe (working under the owner, Marc) and later the chef at the Marigny Brasserie. He is used to these recipes, and one hopes that once they get the kinks out this might be a good place. It would be great if we could have something close to the old Santa Fe return again.

Apr 16, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Cafe Amelie Suggestions

No worries. It is indeed a fabulous courtyard, but I think the food is underrated. Try the crab cake. Also a great place if you'd like to have some absinthe. They have the most extensive absinthe menu I've seen.

Apr 14, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Breakfast: since I'll miss Bluebird...

Stanley, Eat

Apr 03, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

What do New Orleanians eat in Savannah?

Try Sapphire Grill. Fine dining, very sleek. Also, A Vida restaurant and wine bar is a terrific place if you're wine-centric.

Apr 02, 2009
Vineaux in General South Archive

Help! On a budget dinner..$50 a couple...Irene's, Boucherie, Elizabeth's, or Lola's?

If you can get out of Irene's for $50 together, let me know how you did it. For your purposes, I'd suggest your best value would be to bring a bottle of vino to either Lola or Boucherie. Both are good, but totally different. If you're partial to Paella, you can pick up an inexpensive Tempranillo or Garnacha at Swirl (or Sip, or Swizzle, or whatever the name of that place is) across the street and easily stay in budget. Boucherie promises no entree over $15, so with tax and tip you should be around $39...grab a $10 bottle, and you're rock-solid.

Apr 02, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Jacquimos, Vincents Cafe Degas or Ciros Cote Sud

If the operative word is "fun," I'd go with Jacues Imo's. For awhile, the place was really hot, and I think it suffers a bit from foodie backlash. I would never confuse it with the best restaurants in town, but then again, that's not what you seem to be after. The food is certainly very good, and the atmosphere is fun and funky.

As for the others, some love Vincent's; I think it is pretty good. But there's nothing about the place that brings me back.

Degas is without question a better option for French than Cote Sud. I really want to love Cote Sud, but I was a bit disappointed my last time there. Also, Degas has the added advantage this time of year of their indoor/outdoor seating setup- always worth a visit in the spring and fall.

In summary, based on your criteria:

1. Jacques Imo's
2. Degas
3 Vincents
4 Cote Sud

Good luck!

Mar 18, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Ideas for a Sunday?

I think Stella is the best choice in New Orleans right now on any night, so therefore a no-brainer on Sunday. I've found it worthy of the hype every time.

Mar 16, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans

Four Amazing Dinners?

+1 for Stella, Galatoire's, and Patois, but I have to differ on Clancy's. While it's very clubby (in a good way) and very New Orleans, I just don't think the food measures up to the best places in town. Not even close, in fact. I'd suggest MiLa downtown and Lilette on Magazine.

Mar 16, 2009
Vineaux in New Orleans