Probably the worst time to go to NOLA, (there being no half shell eating) but I had some business there and stayed a couple of extra days just to eat.
I had some real disappointments and some amazing ones as well. Here’s where I ate:
Unimpressed. The cucumbers and herbs were flavored unpleasantly strongly with mint. The gumbo was tepid and just okay. The famous boucherie plate was adequate meat wise, though the pork rillette was outstanding. There were some pickled green tomatoes that tasted just like the potpourri you put in your house at Christmas, but you don’t want to eat it. Just awful, is it allspice? Cinnamon? A combo? Definitely a mistake. The featured “Louisiana Cochon” was dry and even the waiter mentioned that when it was delivered and encouraged me to mix it liberally with the small amount of cabbage and peaches it came with. Odd presentation that I would not order again.
I have been to and like Mr. B’s a lot, but after the Cochon meal, I did not want heavy food again. A trip to the bar to check out the bar menu revealed the bar menu is just a shorter version of the actual menu. I was hoping for 1/2 po-boy and such like you will find at Hermes bar down the street (the separate bar tied to Antoine’s), which is terrific. So off we went back to the Hotel Roosevelt, which also has Dominica in the lobby…
Amazing pizza and pasta here. If you watch the HBO series Barry, the actor who plays Barry (Bill Hader) was also here noshing the pizza while filming in NOLA and staying at the Roosevelt, which by the way is a great place to stay, not only because of the pizza accessibility. We took a margarita “add pepperoni” up to the room, but they don’t actually have pepperoni on the menu so it was another meat that was great.
I don’t know anything about this restaurant but found it nearby for breakfast. it is sandwiched between two other small places that are populare 24 hour eateries, Daisy Duke’s is one. The bennies were terrific, the bloody Mary I had was top notch. Oyster Benedict pictured.
Much later we planned dinner at Mosca’s but they never answered the phone and I’m not driving 30 minutes out of town to find it booked or closed. Mosca’s is highly recommended by a friend who lived in NOLA over 20 years ago and has fond memories, but the menu is limited, it’s cash only and it’s mostly italian dishes and chicken, so it’s never appealed anyway. So last minute, we changed plans to Arnaud’s-a first time visit-and booked online in the main dining room sight unseen, but in search of the puffy potatoes (souffle potatoes, of which my fav are at Hermes mentioned above. But first we snuck in a mortadella pizza at Domenica - very good.
Arnaud’s is a hard pass for me. The short story: the main dining room is incredibly loud, no hope of conversation. The service was abysmal and the servers scampered about like nervous rabbits, there just wasn’t enough of them. Bread came with no bread plates, soup came with no spoon, main course with no flatware. We were able to have two cocktails only because we darn near tackled a server to get the second. The food was a mixture of the adequate, the bad, and the curious, but my judgment may be colored by all the chaos.
This here’s my happy place in NOLA, I just love everything about this intimate, friendly neighborhood eatery with top notch cookery and a new menu every day. They are open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays only, or sometimes only on Fridays, check their site before making plans. To get there go all the way out St. Charles through the lovely garden district and turn left on Henry Clay and left again on Annunciation. Park with proper etiquette in this actual residential neighborhood.
You can’t go wrong here, but the most posted pic on Yelp is of their famous smoked soft shell crab with garlic muniere sauce, WHICH I HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO SCORE sad face. The last two were sold moments before I walked in for lunch and the daily truck delivery had not yet arrived. Again. Reason to return.
My starter of blistered shishito’s with fried and unfried pancetta, smoked peaches, tasso jam and whipped sheep’s milk feta was terrific, the sweet potato and corn vichyssoise with crab was raved over, the ever popular veal was being eaten everywhere. I had the crab ravigote salad which was lovely. I don’t like bread pudding but the strawberry and white chocolate version with caramel sauce was sure pretty.
It was a good time!