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Two day trip - recommendations?

We just came back from a long weekend in New Orleans with prix fixe lunches being the theme. Thursday was Commanders Palace, Friday Restaurant August, Saturday Bayona and finished Sunday off with great po-boy's at Parkway tavern.

Great food and drinks at all locations. We especially enjoyed Bayona ($25/3 course) and Restaurant August ($20.14/3 course + amuse+mignardises). My favorite dishes from each restaurant were the confit rabbit at RA, canellini bean puree and roasted cauliflower at Bayona and shrimp and tasso henican at CP. We also went to HH at Domenica for pizza and drinks. They have some very nice wines by the glass and craft beers. The Enzo pizza was also great for us mortadella fans.

All meals were booked through Opentable with the exception of CP. We noticed that a number of diners at CP did not have reservations and it did not seem to have a very long wait.

During a trip in November we had a very nice dinner at MiLa and a great Sunday brunch at Elizabeth's in the Bywater. We've also had pretty good luck at Eat (Dauphine St) for brunch.

Feb 26, 2014
sirbybike in New Orleans

Combination solo/business/couple trip-the results Part Two

Thanks for Part II. We have reservations at CP for Thursday lunch, Restaurant August for Friday lunch and Bayona for Saturday lunch. Definitely have plans to work in Domenica during HH for the Enzo pizza. Last time we were in town they goofed up on half-and-half on the pizza order and we got two full pies for the price of one.

Are you from Philly? Next to New Orleans one of the best food trips we've ever had was Philadelphia a few years ago. Bibou, Barbuzzo, Osteria, Le Bec Fin and Zahav were the highlights with lots of grazing at the RTM.

Thanks for the recs for music venues. We hoping that after "light NO lunch's" we'll be able go out for cocktail and music.

Feb 16, 2014
sirbybike in New Orleans

Combination solo/business/couple trip-the results Part One

Thanks for the great trip report. We'll be in NO this weekend for the Krewe of Barkus parade and will drop in on some your recs. I've been on the fence about Bayona but I think we'll made a reservations.

Feb 16, 2014
sirbybike in New Orleans
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30th Anniversary Dinner

We had a really nice 24th anniversary diner at MiLa a few weeks ago. Nice dining room that isn't crowded or noisy with great food and service.

Dec 08, 2013
sirbybike in New Orleans

"Fine Dining" in New Orleans

Great analogy. I think we'll try Root on Saturday for dinner instead of D&J. Fine dining, No. Inventive and upscale dining outside of the usual NO stereotype, Yes.

I did not mean to imply that D&J was fine dining just an overview of the variety of places to visit on this trip. Just like Seinfeld we "Embrace Diversity"

It's funny how the conversation devolves to biases in dining at long established restaurants or the the thrill of the hole-in-the wall discovery. I'm pretty sure that I've had, as a percentage, many more shit meals at HITW's versus upscale. And as much as I like the same dish at the same restaurant for thirty years I am willing to change my routine and step outside of the box to experience new dishes.

Nov 10, 2013
sirbybike in New Orleans

"Fine Dining" in New Orleans

Thanks for the replies to my poorly worded question. I'm not looking for a Grace or Per Se experience (frankly I am but can't afford it) but dining with inventive new american food without such a tight regional focus. Gautreau's look's like it would fit the bill as would Stella. We had one of our best meals ever at Cuvee when it first opened but on the second trip we felt like red-headed step children. I can see why they closed. We had dinner at Lilette awhile back that was fantastic. La Provence was great. Next week I have reservations at:

MiLa, Thursday dinner,
Restaurant August, Friday early lunch
Dick & Jenny's, Saturday dinner
Commanders, Sunday brunch.

We will probably go to Domenica for happy hour & pizza on friday afternoon and maybe try some bar food at Hermes somewhere along the line. Thanks to both for all your posts over the years.

Nov 07, 2013
sirbybike in New Orleans

"Fine Dining" in New Orleans

There have been a number of inquiries into dining in New Orleans where the poster ask for the dining options featuring creole or cajun influenced food as they can get fine dining in NYC, Chicago, etc. For those of us who are from the south and have exposure to regional cuisine but not "big city fine dining" what would the best options in New Orleans to dine at? Looks like Stellas and MiLa would be a couple of options and the fall tasting menu at MiLa looks quite interesting. What are other options for less regionally focused dining.

Nov 06, 2013
sirbybike in New Orleans

Help Me Select My "High End Dinner ~$260"

Thanks for all the comments. I'll take Nsxtasy advice and try to stay within walking distance of the majority of my selections and convert my $20-$30 cab fare to calories.

I found out that wine pairings at L2O for the prix-fixe and tasting menu are $90 and $140, respectively. Oh well, I can dream.

Feb 19, 2013
sirbybike in Chicago Area

Help Me Select My "High End Dinner ~$260"

Okay, I'm getting a lot deeper into it now. I'll skip the high end and spread the wealth. I am also from the Gulf Coast and I don't have any nice warm clothes!

So far I have reservations for the North Pond on Thursday night, Blackbird for lunch on Friday, Takashi for dinner on Saturday and Nightweed for brunch on Sunday. I thought I would go to Purple Pig or Sable on Friday night. Portillo's or GT Fish sound like good bets for Saturday brunch\lunch. Maybe I'll cancel the Blackbird lunch and go to the Purple Pig and then dinner at one of your contemporary Mexican restaurants recs for dinner. All three sound great, do you have any particular favorite? Any thoughts on Yusho instead of Takashi?

Feb 19, 2013
sirbybike in Chicago Area

Help Me Select My "High End Dinner ~$260"

Actually I'm open to just about everything but Chinese. This trip is a last minute detour as I have wanted to visit Chicago but never been in the neighborhood. The detour is on my dime so I was going to fill in with local spots. I know there's great Mexican in Chicago so that's definitely on the list. I could go for some tapas or small plates of any persuasion. I'll save my sandwich cravings for New Orleans unless there is a great jewish deli convenient and I'm partial to thin crust pizza How about a good non-red sauce Italian restaurant? I thought I would email El ideas and see if there is any chance to slip in.

Feb 18, 2013
sirbybike in Chicago Area

Help Me Select My "High End Dinner ~$260"

I will be in Chicago February 28 though March 3 traveling alone. I will be staying at the Inn of Chicago (rewards stay) located at 162 East Ohio Street. I am trying to sort through all the great places I'd like to dine tempered by my budget constraints. I'm trying to have a few meals in the $75-$100 range for lunch or dinner with one dinner around $250.
My tentative plans are:
Thursday Night - North Pond
Friday Lunch - Blackbird Prix Fixe
Friday Dinner - Boka
Saturday Lunch - NAHA
Saturday or Sunday Dinner - L20 or Acadia

I think I could eat at L2O if I have the prix fixe but I'm not sure if wine parings would put me above $260. I think Acadia has a tasting menu + wine pairings for $195. With tip and taxes that probably get up around $260. Any thoughts or suggestions? I think reservations are doable at all the restaurants with a little bit of juggling.

Feb 18, 2013
sirbybike in Chicago Area

Shout Out to The Philly Board-Thanksgiving Trip

We had a great trip to Philly over the Thanksgiving Holiday. It was the first time that we had been to Philly but it won't be the last.. The recs posted on the Philly forum were the basis for our dining\gorging choices and we had absolutely no letdowns. Excuse the spelling\grammar but here's a brief overview.

Arrived on tuesday around noon and went to Reading Terminal Market for a Dinics roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich. Great sandwich and enough to split with the wife. Tried a pretzel from Miller's Twist and a beef hotdog from an Amish stand with unpasteurized brie from another vendor. After that a few local beers at Molly Malloy's (Walt Wit and Lancaster Milk Stout). Dinner was at Zahav's where we had the tasting menu. Great service and food. The salatim, fried haloumi and cauliflower were standouts as was the lamb tartare. The waitstaff was outstanding including our server Stefan.

Wed was breakfast at APJ Texas wieners for chili dogs and grilled cheese. Fun spot and nice chat with the wait staff to start the day. A not so light lunch of pastrami on rye at Herschel's East in the RTM followed by more beer at Molly Malloy's (Victory Hopdevil & Stoudt's) . Dinner at Osteria for some awesome pasta (casoncelli and ribiola francobolli). Okay pizza and very nice desserts including the polenta budino.

Thursday for some reason we weren't all that hungry. Thanksgiving parade was followed by window shopping and lunch at Au Pain ??? Dinner was in Chinatown at E Mei for szechuan. Again a very tasty meal with $2.50 Tsingtao.

Friday starts with a little bit of a hangover so I have a whole cheese steak in the RTM. The SOB was good but I don't remember the name of the place. Came back with the wife later for pastry from the Metropolitan Bakery and the coffee shop next door. After such a light start to the day we had the tasting menu at Le-Bec Fin. Great food, service and ambiance. And how can you not be grateful for three dessert selections after the first four courses?

Saturday was a day trip to Vineland NJ to visit family with local treats and dinner in Millville. Nice dinner with family at Dori's.

Sunday back to work dining in Phiily. Trip to the RTM for light snacks from various food stalls then the Italian market area. A slice at Lorenzos, tastes at Claudio's and other shops then more beer and sandwiches at Lickety Splits. Dinner at Bibou which was the highlight of the trip. Repeat of above: great food, ambiance and service. The foie gras duo with caramelized seckel pear, and escargot ragout were great and also the mains of olive oil poached tile fish with carrot emulsion, and hanger steak..

Monday started the dining taper prior to flying out on tues. Pastry and coffee in the RTM then sightseeing, then to Monks Cafe for mussels in saffron broth with chorizo, frites, belgium beers, hamburgers and more beer. It seems like the older you get the tapers take longer. The final dinner was at Barbuzzo for lardo pizza, pig popcorn, beet salad with kale and maybe something else but we were fading fast.

Tues was a quick trip to Claudio's for sampling of speck, sopresseta, rosemary infused ham, piave, rochetta, etc. Left with a great assortment for the trip home expertly vacuum bagged at no extra charge. Then chocolates from Anthony's and another trip through the RTM including snacks from Tremini.

Again thanks for all the great information and such a warm reception from all we meet.

Dec 08, 2011
sirbybike in Philadelphia