FunnyJohn

New Orleans, LA

443 posts in this topic

Hope all good Rockwellians are keeping the City and people of New Orleans in their thoughts and prayers this evening. Looks like the Big Easy is about to catch the full force of nature's fury.

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This is the link to WWL television which is a LIVE stream of the actual television broadcast:

http://www.wwltv.com/perl/common/video/wmP...&props=livenoad

I love this city: there is passion and conviction in the hearts of all those who live there for their city's culinary heritage. After tonight I fear that it may never be the same. The above link would not have been possible only a few years ago. Today, as long as there is power, you can watch first hand as if you are living there while this unprecedented tragedy sadly unfolds.

I wish the best for all of those in the path of this storm.

Note: As of midnight they have closed their television studio in the French Quarter and are broadcasting from a remote location at LSU in Baton Rouge which is about 80 miles west of NOLA. Unfortunately, the reception on the web is intermittently spotty unlike earlier which had been uninterrupted. WWL also has a 50,000 watt clear channel radio station at 870 AM which can be picked up from the D. C. suburbs after dark. Reception typically is spotty but this evening it came in clear around 10:00PM. It's website is: http://www.wwl.com/

Edited by Joe H

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I'm cautiously optimistic that this has developed into the best possible scenario compared with what was expected yesterday. Watching with bated breath and hoping those levees hold back the water. ...

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Through my work, we have been involved with the US shrimp, crawfish, crab and and catfish farmers, producers and processors in the areas being hit by Katrina. I saw several families I have met interviewed on the news. Say a prayer for their safety and livelihood - these are families and industries already operating under distressed conditions and barely able to make ends meet.

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I don't know what's scarier. The flooding, the wind damage, the stranded people -or- the dregs of society taking thier kids to the Winn Dixie for a cart full of five finger discount food.

Oh, the humanity.....but hey, they're eating filet mignon tonight!!

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The Acadiana grand opening was planned as a benefit for America's Wetland: Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. I'm wondering of it will turn into a disaster relief fundraiser.

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I was just in New Orleans earlier this week. The devastation is overwhelming. Block after block of gutted out homes. And even in the areas that were not terribly damaged by the storm -- the city is a ghost town. Not many businesses are open, and the streets are dark and empty. It is upsetting, and I can only hope that the New Year brings hope and renewal to that wonderful city.

While there, I did have a wonderful dinner at one of the restaurants back in business, Cuvee, in the CBD. My hope was that putting money into the economy, in any way, has to be a good thing. And the side effect of that was a phenomenal dinner. If anyone is in NOLA and is looking for a treat, check it out.

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Guys, I'd give my left earlobe for Cuvee to be here. It's similar to Vidalia in some ways. Sadly, its sommelier, Jeff Kundinger, is leaving the restaurant to spend more time with his family, who he's seen three times since Katrina. But it's a great spot, with great people and one of the best yound dining room managers out there in Chris Ycaza. And they sell lots of Wild Grape wine :-).

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I don't think Don will object when I tell you that reading Brooks Hamaker's dispatches on eGullet (the Louisiana forum), are heart-breaking. Please visit that site and read his stuff. He now wants us all to visit, although I don't know where there is to stay.

A great, unique American city has been ruined. It is beyond my comprehension that we could allow such a thing to happen and not do whatever we can to alleviate this situation.

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To balance out all my careless, thoughtless, useless posts, here is less of that... some

news about a creative charity that's helping the city and its people better preserve and archive their living traditions.

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I could definately use some pointers for New Orleans. During my last trip there, I got sucked into the unholy vortex of bourbon street and ended up eating at what were some of the worst "restaurants" I have ever been. Luckily, I hear there will be plenty of great food vending during Jazzfest....

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Cuvee...see above.

Cooter Brown's for great beer, great oysters, sport, and Wi-Fi.

[speaking of oysters, the Acme in the Quarter has reopened]

Herbsaint, August for more fine dining

Domilise's for seafood po-boys

Parasol's for roast beef po-boys and good Guinness

d.b.a....the best drinker's bar around. Bring your own food (plenty of good options around).

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One word: Longbranch.

Go now.

Indeed.

Sara and I ate dinner at Longbranch--located in Abita Springs, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain--in mid-March. It was the best meal of our trip to NOLA, although we also ate very well at August, Jacques-Imo's, Drago's, Felix's Uptown, and Herbsaint.

Allison and Slade are doing something special at Longbranch, bringing it home from appetizer to dessert. Longbranch's wine list is also reasonably priced and well thought, with a heavy nod toward Europe.

I rarely get excited by a salad, but Longbranch's current one is beautifully done. The foie gras appetizer may be the best one I've ever eaten. And the flavors in the perfectly cooked beef filet were in perfect unison.

Here is Longbranch's current menu--not including desserts which should not be overlooked.

Appetizers

Oyster Rockefeller "Deconstructed" -14-

Pan Roasted Sweetbreads, Truffle Grits, Glazed Bacon Lardons -13-

Covington Market Lettuces, Organic Sprouts, Louisiana Meyer Lemonette -8-

Salt Cured Foie Gras, Louisiana Strawberry Jam, Warm Country Biscuit -18-

White Asparagus Soup, Asparagus Marmalade, Louisiana Crawfish -12-

Blue Crab Stuffed Tomato, Creole Remoulade, Avocado Mousse -15-

Entrees

Smoked Pepper Dusted Filet of Beef, Parsley Potato Confit, Shallot Sauce -30-

Filo Crusted Dover Sole, Fondue of Carrots and Leeks, Sweet Red Pepper Jus -32-

Wild Striped Bass, Caramelized Artichokes, Tomato Confit, Spicy Lobster Sauce -26-

Poached Foie Gras Stuffed Duck Breast, Scallions, Toasted Quinoa, Hibiscus Syrup -29-

Rabbit Saddle "AU Boudin", Cabbage Choucroute, Creole Mustard Jus -28-

Here's a link to a recent Times-Picayune review.

And here's a photo of the restaurant:

post-310-1143781183_thumb.jpg

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It's JazzFest in New Orleans... and for the first time in many years, I'm not there. Of all the years to miss, this seems like the worst choice -- eight months after Katrina, with the city fighting to rebuild and its people yearning to return. With another hurricane season approaching, new evacuation plans being unveiled, a mayoral election pitting old New Orleans politics against new... In some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In others, New Orleans will never be the same again. I still miss it.

For those of you lucky enough to be on your way down for JazzFest this weekend, or for some other reason soon, a list of my "can't miss" restaurants follows. (I don't know whether they've all reopened after the storm.) Be sure to poke your head into one of the jazz or blues clubs in the Fauborg or Uptown, avoid Bourbon Street at all costs, and tip your hat to the local New Orleanians, who are fighting for and celebrating the rebirth of their city every day.

Longbranch - Abita Springs - see above.

Bon Ton Cafe - CBD - near the courthouse, this is where lawyers and judges go for lunch after arguments; it's worth it more for its place in NOLA history than its food, although their bread pudding with whiskey sauce is a good way to clog your arteries...

Cuvee - CBD - see above - run, don't walk.

Herbsaint - CBD - one of Susan Spicer's restaurants, and possibly my favorite for lunch.

Horinoya - CBD - surprisingly good Japanese. If you're a visitor, you probably don't need sushi during your time in NOLA. If you're a local, this place satisfies a craving.

Mother's - CBD - my favorite lunch counter in town, stop here for a bowl of gumbo, and whatever looks good. Don't expect it to be healthy. But expect it to taste amazing.

Palace Cafe - CBD - owned by the Brennan family (see Commander's Palace, Brennan's), and my favorite of the bunch. Solid food, without pretension or the resting on laurels/unevenness of the others.

Restaurant August - CBD - one of the best newer restaurants in town, Chef Besh works wonders with his menu. And located in an old bank building, the space is phenomenal.

Bayona - French Quarter - Susan Spicer has probably received most fame for this sweet restaurant, located in a romantic little house in the Quarter.

Cafe du Monde - French Quarter - beignets and cafe au lait. Best to start off your morning, or end your night. If you're wearing black, you'll be dusted in powdered sugar by the time you're done, but you won't care!

Central Grocery - French Quarter - home of the muffaletta.

Peristyle - French Quarter - another fine-dining can't miss.

Port of Call - French Quarter - be a local, go here for beers and burgers.

Trolley Stop Cafe - Lee Circle - another local haunt, this one is good for a greasy breakfast after a long New Orleans night. So is Camellia Grill.

Brigtsen's - Riverbend - one of my favorite little restaurants, Frank Brigtsen works wonders with local flavors.

Jacques-Imo's - Riverbend - loud, raucous, no reservations, and delicious.

And, if you have the time and the inclination, travel west two hours to Cajun Country. Wonderful people, fascinating culture, vibrant music and nightlife, and some gems of restaurants... the best po-boy in Louisiana is at Olde Tyme in Lafayette, and a zydeco brunch that'll bring you to your feet to dance is at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge. Oh, I miss it...

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I have to echo all the good things that have been siad so far about Cuvee. Based on the recommendations here I took some clients there two weeks ago and had a great meal, along with one of jparrot's wines. Do not miss the pork belly with chile glaze. People are constantly amazed at my ability to always find good places, especially hidden gems like this, in cities I've never been to. I just smile and say "I have my sources."

My other meal in town (not my choice) was at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, Paul Prudhomme's place. I was a little hesitant, but ended up havign a very nice meal there too. My advice here - if one chef is almost single-handedly responsible for making a cooking technique nationally popular (i.e. Prudhomme and blackened fish), you should give it a shot. I didn't and had a very good etoufee, but I was able to snag some of the blackened drumfish from my boss sitting next to me. Spicy but not overwhelming, cooked perfectly.

This place is a little old school, with mixed vegetables coming with every entree and a menu that probably hasn't changed much in 25 years. But it didn't feel like a waste either. Plus I got to meet Prudhomme, who was sitting on a scooter outsied the restaurant greeting people as they came in.

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Cafe du Monde - French Quarter - beignets and cafe au lait.  Best to start off your morning, or end your night.  If you're wearing black, you'll be dusted in powdered sugar by the time you're done, but you won't care!

Yep - Black shirt and charcoal pants looked really nice with a dusting of sugar on my last morning there.

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Important safety tip:

Breathe in before bringing beignet anywhere near face.

Do not accidentally inhale confectioners' sugar. Repeat, do not inhale sugar. Injury to dignity may result.

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Important safety tip:

Breathe in before bringing beignet anywhere near face.

Do not accidentally inhale confectioner's sugar.  Repeat, do not inhale sugar.  Injury to dignity may result.

Made me chuckle. Gosh, I miss New Orleans. Must plan trip. Summer is of course the worst time to go, but I don't think I can wait til the weather turns cool again... in October...

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I have to echo all the good things that have been siad so far about Cuvee.  Based on the recommendations here I took some clients there two weeks ago and had a great meal, along with one of jparrot's wines.  Do not miss the pork belly with chile glaze.  People are constantly amazed at my ability to always find good places, especially hidden gems like this, in cities I've never been to.  I just smile and say "I have my sources."

My other meal in town (not my choice) was at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, Paul Prudhomme's place.  I was a little hesitant, but ended up havign a very nice meal there too.  My advice here - if one chef is almost single-handedly responsible for making a cooking technique nationally popular (i.e. Prudhomme and blackened fish), you should give it a shot.  I didn't and had a very good etoufee, but I was able to snag some of the blackened drumfish from my boss sitting next to me.  Spicy but not overwhelming, cooked perfectly. 

This place is a little old school, with mixed vegetables coming with every entree and a menu that probably hasn't changed much in 25 years.  But it didn't feel like a waste either.  Plus I got to meet Prudhomme, who was sitting on a scooter outsied the restaurant greeting people as they came in.

K-Paul's has the best slice of cake that I have ever had in my life: fresh coconut (two coconuts are cracked to make it) served on a "puddle" of Chantilly whipped cream (laced with Courvoisier and Grand Marnier and a bit of sour cream mixed in). You have to order it in advance; it only appears on the menu when this is done. Similarly, they also have a great caramel cake that must be ordered in advance. Anyone going there should seriously consider this. Also, Chef Paul has the best bbq'd shrimp I've ever had-better than Pascal Manale's, Emeril's, all of them. Serious, funky, murky seafood gumbo, too.

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