I am away from New Orleans for the summer, but the city is still very much on my mind. I definitely miss it. I visited a few restaurants before I left for Martha's Vineyard and I am just now finding the time to write about them!
This is Donald Link's newest restaurant in New Orleans that focuses mainly on seafood. It also just won a James Beard award for best new restaurant in the South. Peche has been the talk of the town and I had been waiting to eat here since it opened! I figured this would be the perfect place to host our birthday dinner and Courtney agreed. We had a large group and we all picked 1 or 2 things from the menu to share. It probably wasn’t the best idea considering the amount of people we had, but I was glad to sample a lot of things. We were advised by Karen D’Or to get a whole fried fish and it was delish! So good! I also enjoyed the beets with horseradish sauce and pickled catfish with greens. The drinks were great too! Would love to go back and sample more!
Robyn and I went here for drinks and snacks! We ended up having the same server here that we had at Peche for our birthday dinner. It was so funny we recognized each other right away and she took great care of us again. I wish I could remember her name, such a sweetheart. We couldn’t turn down the watermelon martinis that she offered us and we split THE MEAT BOARD and an order of cornbread. Toups is famous for their meat board and I HIGHLY recommend it. It was crammed full of liver pate, country terrine, house made sausage, roast beef, head cheese, fried boudain, ham, pickled onions & peaches, mustard, and a whole basket of fried cracklings! Just do it, you won't regret it.
We went here in the middle of the day on a Sunday and there was one other table besides us. I’ve heard a lot about the small plates and cocktails, but it seems we picked the wrong time because they were only serving their brunch menu. Don’t get me wrong, I love brunch. However our plan that day was to restaurant hop in the Marigny/Bywater and we were looking forward to smaller portions. The food was just ok. I wanted to love it more. Would love to give it another try for dinner or happy hour.
Court and I went on a much needed sister dinner date (aka I owed her dinner) to Ye Old College Inn! It's a spot that we've both been eager to try, however I was a bit surprised that the place was so empty when we walked in at 9 on a Saturday night. I was beginning to worry that we made a mistake by picking this as my last dinner out before leaving NOLA for the summer. I suppose it may have been because of the location and time of year? We split a yummy salad with Brussels sprouts, blue cheese, and bacon. You can’t really go wrong with that. We also shared crawfish mac & cheese that I was less impressed with. I had the short rib and Courtney had BBQ Shrimp. The portions were huge and food was good.
I saw an episode of Lidia Bastianich’s cooking show where she recreates some of the desserts from this Italian bakery. I have driven past here dozens of times on Carrollton and finally scraped out some time to go while my dad was visiting. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that it was only 2 of us sharing all these desserts. They were classic and delicious. It's a great place to go for dessert and coffee and they serve gelato as well.
I went to Sue Zemanick's restaurant with Robyn Dorch, Karen, and Karen's friend. We had a fabulous dinner! Everything was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. I would say the ambience was very quiet and I was actually afraid of being too loud. The dining room is quite small and would probably be best suited for a cozy date night. I would go back for the food but the atmosphere was a little lacking for me. I guess I'm just spoiled with all of the fun places in New Orleans. I had the snapper and sweetbreads and I have to say that I'm partial to the sweetbreads at Bayona:)