Can't go wrong.
From uptown in full regalia just about for in a knock down drag out with someone I presume is a downtown Indian who is sitting outside of Vaso in street clothes.
I had been thinking that I could never maintain this pace if I lived here, but maybe I was wrong.
I had no idea, but I wore peacock feathers all day and can't wait to wear then again. I was afraid I might be overdressed, but that was far from the case. You can go full sequin, satin, drape yourself in furs... The sky's the limit.
And here is a smattering of the finest millinery from Thanksgiving Day at the Fairgrounds for your viewing pleasure.
Closes for the bad oyster months, so I wasn't able to come in the summertime. But now it's wintertime and the living is easy.
I started with the gumbo, and was fascinated by how the seafood itself differed from Brennan's. There, the pieces were plump and tender. Here, they almost dissolved in my mouth. In neither case were they the gummy mess I had too often encountered (and which made me think, much against my better judgment, that I didn't like seafood gumbo). The roux was dark and thick with okra. Two thumbs up.
The oyster load was good. Great once I added some hot sauce. I washed it all down with an Abita Amber and was about to leave when I suddenly had to stop off at the raw bar.
Can you blame me?
Is a little kitchen at the back of Cafe Negril. It is amazing and inexpensive and has a little something for everyone (except perhaps vegans), and yet often falls off my radar, whereas really, I should probably stop in any night I am dancing on Frenchmen.
Walking down Bourbon earlier today (just one block), I had to dodge two men blocking the sidewalk. As I passed, one of them said, "Oh, sorry." Having had some recent conversations on this word, I doubled back to ask, "Are you Canadian?"
Yes. From Leamington. I feel that the "sorry vs. excuse" me debate has been settled.
I used to enjoy reading a local reviewer who did a "X at X - worth it?" series, and one of the "Hell yes" reviews was of the half price drinks and oysters at Manale's.
I am here to confirm. Hell yes. Sorry, no pics. I was too busy slurping oysters.
The bread is lighter than air with a shattering crust. Leidenheimer. Très New Orleans. The butter is soft and sprinkled with a dusting of sea salt. The Bloody is thick with a slight kick and a hint of bitterness.
The seafood filé gumbo is out of this world. Crab, shrimp, andouille, and oysters, thickened with filé. The seafood was perfectly tender, toothsome, melt-in-your-mouth delicious (none of that rubbery texture you sadly too often get). Miles above anything I've ever had.
For my main, I had the crispy fried oyster salad, whuch was lovely and light, but sadly not light enough to leave me room for the Southern pecan cake with rum reduction, butterscotch sauce and candied bacon.
Is strictly a daytime operation, and what they do, they do well.
My server's first recommendation just happened to dovetail with my own desires, and so I ordered the Jewish Coonass, which is sort of a riff on eggs florentine. Except it's two latkes topped with two eggs, spinach, and, impossibly, shrimp étouffé.
With a biscuit. Of course
My birthday was bookended by brass, so whatever else yesterday might have been, I got no complaints.
After a biscuit and sticky bun from Willa Jean (the sticky bun was amazing and the biscuit was tasty, but the texture was strange, almost laminated like a croissant), I headed to the Upper Ninth for the 9 Times second line. There were more people there than I have ever seen at a second line, and the streets were a bit hard to navigate, but it was still a blast.
I met another birthday girl and her boyfriend pinned my dollar on me (thanks mom!), though because of the cold, it stayed hidden under my layers.
The second line was still going strong at 4, but luckily I had reservations at Sylvain, and needed a quick nap, so I grabbed a cab and didn't cross the bridge or stay for what turned out to be an after party.
At Svlvain, I donated my table to a nice couple and sat at the bar, where the bartenders noticed my dollar peeking out. And offered me some mezcal. I took food advice from a charming guy who works at Manale's and am glad I did. (The Bolognese was perfect.) And I also took a shot of Amaro from him, and plan to take him up on his offer of oysters tomorrow for happy hour.
After another nap (I'm not as young as I used to be), I made it to the Hot 8 for what might have been the best show of theirs I've seen.
Brass and food and the kindness of strangers. That's what I call a perfect day.
At Brigtsen's tonight, and so, uncharacteristically, I have not ordered seafood. Rather, I am finally enjoying the paneed rabbit with sour cherry sauce.
With a side of incredible dirty rice.
In other news, I'm very sorry to say that a recipe for their meunière suace is available on their website.
And while dinner was not photogenic, this lemon ice box crème brûlée certainly was.
While I got what is called a Priority Pass along with a fancy credit card earlier this year, and while I set it aside in the "bring with" pile when sorting wallet contents this morning, I never would have thought to use it had I not seen the priority pass lounge on my way down the interminable corridors that lead to the very last gate down a lost byway in Terminal 1.
Of course, I'm here at the ends of the earth (or at least the ends of Pearson) and not in the lounge, because the Priority Pass somehow failed to make its way to my wallet.