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NolaNick's Profile

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Best Outdoor Dining Near Downtown

Would Moonshine be someplace I could take a 2 year old? I know there isn't any live music, but it seems like they do have outdoor seating and if we got there early before the crowds, service might be faster.

Sep 26, 2012
NolaNick in Austin

Best Outdoor Dining Near Downtown

I had another friend recommend Contigo as well. These recs have all been great. Live music isn't a deal maker or deal breaker, it simply makes my daughter much more well behaved as she adores live music and dancing. Being outside really helps as there is so much more for her to see and keeps her entertained.

Sep 26, 2012
NolaNick in Austin

Best Outdoor Dining Near Downtown

I'll be in town for 3 days the first weekend in October with my wife and 2 year old daughter. We are coming from New Orleans and my 2 year old is generally well behaved in restaurants as long as we aren't doing something like a 5-6 course tasting menu.

What I would really like to find are places that have outdoor dining, possibly live music, and where the food doesn't suck but service is fairly speedy. Too tall a list?

Thanks guys,

Nick

Sep 25, 2012
NolaNick in Austin

4 Hour Layover in San Fran

Thanks guys, the traffic thing has me a little freaked, but I'd be down with trying San Mateo, Milbrae, or Burlingame. Good dim sum is tough to find in New Orleans. There are two places, both outside of the city center that are pretty good. Royal China in the suburb of Gretna is probably the best.

Jul 12, 2012
NolaNick in San Francisco Bay Area

4 Hour Layover in San Fran

Is it worth it to try to get into the city from the airport with a 4 hour layover for some great food? I'm thinking yes; here's my problem: My layover is from 2-6pm on a Friday. Are there any good places that serve straight through lunch to dinner? It seems like everything closes around 2 and reopens at 5 or 6.

Jul 12, 2012
NolaNick in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Catering In NOLA Area?

Fellow Hounds,

I'm the head of the Christmas party planning committee for the US Navy's Fleet Survey Team out of Stennis Space Center. Right now, I have a budget of $800-$900 to feed roughly 60 people. Can anyone provide a decent list of 5-6 caterers who can turn out delicious food that will work with this tiny budget?

Sep 02, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

New Orleans most underrated restaurants

One Restaurant and Lounge on Hampson. Just ate there last night for the first time and submitted my report minutes ago. I think Elizabeth's in the Bywater is underrated as well.

Jun 14, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

One Restaurant-Uptown Gem

Last night after the Tomato Festival, my wife and I decided to give One Restaurant at try. It's located on Hampson just across Carrollton at the River Bend. I called to get a surprisingly easy reservation at the last minute.

When we walked in at 7:45 there were only 5-6 other tables occupied. The kitchen is wide open and located in the middle of the restaurant. The decor is modern minimalist and the vibe is very relaxed and homey. It seemed like everyone in the place was a local and a regular customer.

I can't say enough good things about this place. My Pimms cup came with lots of cucumber and was just what I needed. My wife's kiwi, watermelon and lime martini was light, refreshing and very much to her liking.

For starters we shared a seared scallop appetizer over grilled squash in a honey paprika gastrique. The scallops were huge, perfectly bronzed, expertly seasoned, and cooked just right. The squash was cut like an enormous french fry and managed to be crispy on the outside and delicious all the way through. I've personally never thought to mix honey and paprika but it worked amazingly well. Great dish.

We shared a salad of arugula, watermelon, candied pecans and goat cheese for our next course. It was vibrant, bright and refreshing. The chunks of fresh watermelon were interspersed with a pickled watermelon rind that sounds strange but really made the dish. It reminded me of some kind of jelly. I couldn't believe it was pickled rind. The goat cheese was very high quality and the pecans were candied in house.

For main courses I had the beer braised rabbit, which is the best rabbit dish I've had since I moved back to the States from Sicily two years ago. There were some lovely mushrooms and carrots in a very light stew and the rabbit was fork tender and falling apart. It came with some kind of potato and cheese croquette or ball (i really don't recall) that was melt in your mouth fantastic. I wish there were more of those potatoes.

The wife had a lovely spaghetti with huge fried oysters, bacon, and rapini. It was hearty and still had an element of a light summer meal to it. I know that sounds contradictory, but that's how we both described it.

We had been out for more time at that point than my dog's bladder can endure, so we regretfully headed home without dessert, although some Blue Bell ice cream was eaten shortly after our arrival.

Overall, it was one of my most pleasant recent dining experiences. There isn't a dish on the menu above $25 (And that includes the tenderloin of beef), the cocktails are creative and delicious, the wine list diverse and interesting. All this place is missing is people. I feel like it is every bit as enjoyable as Jacques-Imos without the obligatory hour long wait. On one level I'm happy this is our new "secret" spot, on the other I think these folks deserve a little more attention and business.

Jun 14, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

Commander's Palace 25% off! Antoine's 60% off! Deanie's 35% off and more!

That's a good one. Another thing to keep an eye on is Gambit's online version. They are currently selling coupons for Flaming Torch and Helix. Both are 50% off. Flaming Torch is pay $50 get a $100 coupon, while Helix is pay $20 and get a $40 coupon.
http://www.tripsmarter.com/deals/index.htm#neworleans
http://bestofneworleans.com/gyrobase/...

Jun 12, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

New Orleans top 5 dishes

With ya on everything but the Boiled Seafood. One can find great boiled seafood all across the south and it is Much More Difficult Than It Should Be to find decently priced boiled seafood in the city. The reason in my opinion is there isn't a huge profit margin for the restauranteur and there is no turnover. It takes forever to eat boiled crawfish and shrimp.

Jun 10, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

New Orleans Restaurants in Destin

Good to know, we stay in Destin a couple of times a year and have always avoided Commander's over there thinking it would be a bad imitation. I second Bud n' Allies. One of the prettiest sunset drink spots around.

May 26, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

New Orleans report pt. 2: Luke, Commander's Palace

It's crazy, you are not the first person I've heard with problems at Luke. I've been 5 or 6 times and had nothing but outstanding food and service each and every time. The fries are my favorite in the city. The steak frite is incredible.
The same thing can be said for Cochon. I go all the time and love it. I must be lucky as I've read many questionable to bad reviews on here for that award winning restaurant as well. If and when you make it back to New Orleans, I'd give Luke another shot.

May 26, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

NOWFE Vinter Dinners

Bill,
They did pair with a distributor. The wines were as follows:
R Wines Riesling “Diddley Bow” (Western Australia) ‘07
Willows Semillion (Barossa Valley) ‘04
I enjoyed the Grenaches the most. The two we tried were:
Greenock Creek Grenache “Corner Stone” (Barossa) ‘05
Greenock Creek Grenache “Corner Stone” (Barossa) ‘07
The dessert wine was not up my alley, but it was:
Lillypilly “Noble Blend” (Riverina) ‘07

May 26, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

NOWFE Vinter Dinners

We went to the Windsor Court Grill Room for the NOWFE dinner. The food did not blow me away but was above average. Most menus I saw had 5-6 course with 5-6 wines. The Grill Room had 4 course with 4 wines.
1) Poached Shrimp Salad with Cilantro, Watermelon and Heirloom tomatoes. Paired with a very mild Riesling. Not normally a Riesling fan but this was an excellent combo and a great start to the meal. It tasted like summer to me.
2) Fried Soft Shell Crab infused with basil and pecorino romano cheese. The crab was wonderful, but the Semillion wasn't to my liking.
3) Grilled Colorado Lamb Loin with a madeira reduction over some kind of lentils. The lamb was fantastic. The Grateful Palate paired it with two different Grenaches from the Barossa valley. One was an '05 and one was an '07. The '05 was a bit more fruit forward while the '07 being a drier year was much spicier. I truly enjoyed them both. As a side note, my wife LOVED the '07 and the server was nice enough to plot a bottle between the two of us to take down by ourselves. Great service.
4) Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pomegranate. Nice light end to a very good meal. This was paired with LillyPilly Noble Blend dessert wine. It was a bit sweet for me, but met with a positive reception from those around me.

Overall, Windsor Court did not get a big crowd, despite charging $85 a head, which was much less than other restaurants.

Did anyone try La Cote Brasserie's Vintner dinner? It looked like a great menu. Antoine's and Lat Cote were my choices but I was outvoted.

May 24, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

NOWFE Vinter Dinners

Went to La Petite Grocery about two weeks ago and had a fantastic experience. My wife had the crispy skin Snapper (? We'd been drinking most of the day at JazzFest) and I had some fantastic lamb. Service could have been a little better, but prices and food were quite good.

May 24, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans

Trip report (sorry, super long...I ate a lot!)

I probably should keep this a secret, but every Wednesday Rambla has 50% every bottle of wine in the restaurant. They are only doing it as long as Wednesday's in the Square remain. But still, it's a great deal.

May 24, 2009
NolaNick in New Orleans