Sorry for the delay in posting. Yesterday was jam packed with sight seeing, walking, and enjoying the area. By the time we made it back to the hotel late last night I could barely keep my eyes open to brush my teeth. I’m now blogging from 35,000 feet in the air as I wave good bye to New Orleans and head back to Central Florida. 🙂
Good Bye New Orleans! It’s been fun!
Derek and I had planned to start our first full day together in New Orleans at Brennan’s for breakfast. We had made reservations a couple of weeks ago based off of a recommendation from a family friend.
We knew as soon as we sat down this place wasn’t for us. The menu was very heavy, the prices were outrageous, and I think we were the youngest couple in the whole restaurant. We stayed just long enough to have a cup of tea and then hauled ass out of there.
Another friend had suggested Court of Two Sisters for their Jazz Brunch (Hi Danielle!!) and we just happened to be two blocks away.
This was much more our style.
We were sat outside in this beautiful courtyard that a live band playing jazz and a beautiful fountain within eye sight.
Honestly the actual food on the buffet was nothing to rave about, but the atmosphere more than made up for it.
I started with a plate from the cold side of the buffet and loaded up on fruit and sampled a few of the salads.
Then went back for some hot items.
Derek had one of the New Orleans Seafood Omelets which was an omelet packed full of a creole seafood mix.
I had a bite and it was interesting, but nothing I would order everyday.
There was a dessert station which I grabbed a little sample of everything, but only had a bite or so of what you see.
When we first confirmed New Orleans as our user group location for 2010 we did so soley based on the hotel’s proposal. They had the best rates and we knew from past experience the hotel could deliver on what we needed.
It just so happened that the weekend in which we could lock the best rates also happened to be the weekend of the French Quarter Festival – a fact we didn’t discover until clients were calling to let us know the hotel had sold out the Saturday night of the conference. Ooopss…
Thankfully I was still able to secure that extra night for our hotel and it was really perfect timing that Derek and I were able to check out the festival that sprawled all over the French Quarter and featured local jazz artists.
Derek had not had the pleasure of visiting Cafe Du Monde since his arrival. I told him we were not allowed to leave New Orleans until he had a hotel beignet from Cafe Du Monde.
He loved it just as much as I did.
I had 1/2 of one of his beignets. They were so warm and doughy – absolute perfection!
I also nibbled on some praline samples on the street.
A few readers had reccommended Central Grocery Co for their original Muffalatas.
In fact the only thing on the menu was Muffalatas and the line went out the door. This is how I knew we were in the right place.
I had got out of line for a second to tour the back of the store and check out what the muffalata looked like. As I was doing so this sweet old couple was finishing off half of their muffalata and told me they couldn’t finish the other half. They asked me if I wanted it and it seemed silly to say no. I wouldn’t want to let good food go to waste, would I? 😉
The half size was the perfect portion for Derek and I to split.
The Muffalata was amazing. It was the perfect balance of saltiness without being terribly overwelming. Yum, Yum, and more Yum!!
After our lunch Derek and I strolled through the artists featured at the festival.
We thought it would be fun to get our caricature done.
What do you think? Does it look like us?
After a couple of miles of walking I dug into a pear I had in my bag.
Our choice for dinner was another reader reccomendation – The Green Goddess.
I think I was burning myself out on creole seafood and The Green Goddess seemed to be a one of a kind in New Orleans. It’s a small restaurant with only half a dozen tables or so and offers a unique menu of specialties that seem to think outside the box.
We waited about an hour for our table, but the wait was worth it. Our server was kind and attentive. We had the perfect view of the tiny kitchen where all of our food was being prepared, and the chef greeted us with each of our courses.
The personal attention of the chef was probably the best part of the meal. We ordered the tasting menu which was a 5 course meal featuring 5 of the chef’s specialities. The chef was enthusiastic about each course and was happy to explain the thought and flavors behind each and everyone of them. I presented him with my business card and towards the end of the evening he would ask ‘how the blogger was doing.’ 🙂
Derek and I were pretty chilly once we were seated so we each began our meal with a nice hot tea.
The chef had selected a black mango tea for me. He stated that the bold mango tea would be the perfect pairing with the tasting selections.
The first course of our tasting menu was a Roasted Eggplant & White Anchovy Bruschetta.
As soon as the plate was sat down Derek looked at me and said ‘I’m not eating that.” I guess the anchovy scared him? However, it only intrigued me more. The anchovy added a nice salty flavor the creamy sweetness of the eggplant. I enjoyed the ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to traditional bruschetta and consumed two of the bruschettas myself.
The second course was titled Snail, Tails, & Tasso – a saute of freshwater crawfish, snails, and ham with wild herbs over polenta.
Again Derek was a bit apprehensive about the snails, but I encouraged him to try it and he loved it. Both of us really enjoyed the mushy polenta and made sure to have a little polenta in every bite.
Our third course was a beautiful presented Warm Andalusian Goat Cheese Salad.
This dish was beautiful, flavorful, and delicious. However, if I had one critique it would be that this dish needed crackers. The large serving of goat cheese was a bit strong on its own and I believe I nice crunchy cracker would have easily balanced that out.
The fourth course was by far our favorite. “The Old-Fashioned” Gulf Fish Meuniere is a pan-seared Lousiana fish with yucca cake, sea beans (only the chef informed us they were out of sea beans and I can’t what the substitute was), and a bourbon brown butter sauce.
Wow! All I can say is wow! Everything about this dish was perfect and we made sure to offer up our compliments to the chef 10 times over on this one.
Our final course of the tasting menu was the Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Terrine which featured fresh mint from the chef’s personal garden.
If you put strawberries in anything then you already have my full attention. This dessert was creamy and sweet and the additional mint gave it that little extra something.
As a thank you for splitting the 5 course tasting menu with me, I ordered Derek the Bacon Sundae that he had been cooing over on the menu.
The bacon sundae consisted of pecan praline ice cream with a creamy bacon caramel sauce and whipped cream. There are really no words for how tasty this combination was. The praline ice cream was rich, creamy, and amazing. And the bacon was a surprisingly amazing addition to the sundae. This sundae was in no words healthy, but how many times am I going to be able to try a bacon sundae? 😉
Since we had split the courses we both left the restaurant pleasantly full, but not overly stuffed. It was also ironically one of the cheapest dinners thus far on our New Orleans adventure. The whole tasting was only only $55. Of course neither of us ordered an alcoholic beverages, which usually are the largest $$ add ons. 🙂
If you are looking for a dining experience when you head to New Orleans I highly suggest checking out The Green Goddess. I would go early and with an open mind. Don’t expect a quick meal, but definitely expect a good one. 🙂
Alright, folks. THis has been a very, very long post so I will be back later with the last of our New Orleans adventures.