Po-Boy Festival, Sunday.

EatingNowSquare-150x150 The Eighth Annual Po-Boy Festival is this Sunday, along Oak Street from Carrollton Avenue to Eagle Street. No new edible event ever drew the instantaneous, explosive popularity that greeted the first Po-Boy Festival. Every year since, it surprised even its organizers with an almost-unmanageable throng of attendees. During its eight hours, Oak Street looks like Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras. More to come. . .

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Diary 11|12, 13|2014: Bon Ton And Terroir. 200 Wines For Hospice.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 To Benedict’s Plantation, where Hospice Foundation of the South has a fundraiser tonight. I am the honorary chairman, the main duty of which is to walk around the room and talk with people about food and such. What I am not allowed to do is complain that in grazing events like this, I can’t walk three feet without being stopped by another guest who wants to talk about food, wine, or the radio show. But that is a light load to shoulder, and I am happy I can be of service. More to come. . .

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The Old Chef’s Cornish Hen

RecipeSquare-150x150 The Old Chef is a guy I met in the early 1970s at a big-deal gourmet society dinner. At this dinner, he made doctrinaire pronouncements about almost every food. One of his dogmas was that Cornish hen was meant to be cooked with bacon, and without bacon it could be nothing. His recipe called for wrapping the bird completely in bacon, which I think is going a little overboard. But he was onto something, and here’s my approach to his idea, using half the amount of bacon. This recipe is second only to smoking as my favorite recipe for these little chickens. Recipe details. . .

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Smoked Salmon And Bagel @ Stein’s Deli

500BestSquare In this well-worn deli, the refrigerator cases are full of meats from both the Jewish and Italian traditions, and are as fine as can be found locally. This is also true of the breads, which becomes a godsend when one has grown up eating New York bagels and has a hankering for them. New Orleans has as few good sources of excellent bagels as New York has poor boy bread bakers. Dan Stein brings his bagels in from New York regularly. Add the silky smoked salmon and the usual accoutrements, close your eyes, and pretend you’re in the Apple. It almost works. More about this dish. . .

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November 20 In Dining

AlmanacSquare National Roast Duck Day. Roast duck is a dish that only ambitious diners order in restaurants. Chef give their duck dish added attention for that reason. It also alerts the kitchen that the table is likely to be more discriminating than most. So make sure somebody orders duck at your table tonight. It’s also a great enhancement to the Thanksgiving table.

There’s more. . .

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The Imminent Global Disaster. ;-)

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The Imminent Global Disaster.

The list of all the dangers we face seems to have no end. Here’s another one. I’ll bet you’ve never considered it.

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Diary 11|11|14: A New Generation Of Restaurant Critics.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 My efforts to find writers to review the rising tide of local restaurants–it is long since I admitted that I can’t do it alone–have not been very successful. But lately three people who were unaware that I was looking just sort of turned up. One of them is. . . More to come. . .

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Orleans Grapevine. French Quarter: 720 Orleans. 504-523-1930.

Remember wine bars? They made their big splash here in the 1980s. After a golden decade they faded, as restaurants co-opted the idea by offering dozens of wines by the glass. But wine bars never went away entirely. New ones continue to open sporadically–particularly as restaurants and bars have become more like one another. Here is a good such place. More to come. . .

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Lost Bread (Pain Perdu)

RecipeSquare-150x150 “Pain perdu,” as the Old Creoles like my mother called it, got its name from its use of day-old stale French bread. Lost for most purposes to which French bread is usually put, these crusts are soaked in eggs and milk, fried or grilled, and served for breakfast. It is, you’ve noticed, quite like French toast, but a good deal richer. Recipe details. . .

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Deep Fried Bread Pudding @ Ye Olde College Inn

500BestSquare This sounds both silly and unappetizing, but suspend judgment until you taste it. The reason this won overall at the Po-Boy Festival’s annual competition is clear. The effect of frying gives the pudding a crispy, thin crust all around–not a property we often observe in the dessert. . . More about this dish. . .

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November 19 In Eating

AlmanacSquare Today is National Whole Ham Day. I cannot imagine Thanksgiving without a turkey. But I also cannot imagine it without a ham. It’s not just because I like ham. It’s also because I love the way the house smells when this ham is in the oven. As it is all morning Thanksgiving. And I love the way the early arrivals fight over the black ham–the crusty stuff I cut off at the beginning of the carving, coated with the brown-sugar-and-mustard black crunchy stuff. And I like to contrast of color and flavor with the turkey, even though the two are sliced more or less the same. A whole baked ham is a joy far beyond the more familiar deli sliced ham. The texture and flavor. . . There’s more about this. . .

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The Overselling Server. ;-)

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The Overselling Server, #527232

The place has to make up for the expense of tablecloths, after all.

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Diary 11|10|2014: Opera. Drago And Clara. Chicken Delight. Dixie.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 The building where Dixie operates was, a long time ago, one of a handful of Chicken Delight restaurants in New Orleans. Chicken Delight was a national chain of over a thousand restaurants in the 1950s and 1960s. It could be called the first of its kind in America. Its slogan–while less than catchy–is known by almost everyone who grew up in those years: “Don’t cook tonight, call Chicken Delight.” More to come. . .

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Demi-Glace

RecipeSquare-150x150 The flavor of demi-glace is the essence of a meat flavor, and when used in a sauce it adds a tremendous dimension of flavor. With red meats, the effect is thrilling. Making your own demi-glace is a real challenge. Not even many chefs do it routinely. After you prepare your first (and probably only) batch, you can consider yourself an accomplished cook. Patience is the main virtue to bring to bear on this recipe. More to come. . .

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Seared Foie Gras Du Jour @ Dakota

500BestSquare When Dakota opened in 1990, foie gras had just become a sine qua non on the menu of any restaurant that wanted to be taken seriously for its food. Partners Ken Lacour and Chef Kim Kringlie were indeed in earnest, and from day one foie gras has been in the appetizer section. Now that foie gras has become old hat (although very good old hat), Dakota still features it, with a wide repertoire of different presentations. All have a nice slug of the fat liver in the center, but what else is included in the presentation is always a pleasant surprise. More about this dish. . .

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November 18 In Eating

AlmanacSquare Austin’s, the upscale Suburban Creole bistro that Ed McIntyre spun off from Mr. Ed’s, opened today in 2002. It has become one of the best and most successful restaurants in Metairie. Explanation: it’s one of surprisingly few white-tablecloth restaurants in that populous suburb. There’s more. . .

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Which Way To The Vegetarian Steakhouse? ;-)

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Which Way To The Vegetarian Staeakhouse?

Something about this menu gives me the creeps.

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Brennan’s On Royal Street Reopens Tuesday Next Week

EatingNowSquare-150x150 The New Testament of the original Brennan’s begins November 25, 2014, at eight in the morning. The early hour tells us that Breakfast at Brennan’s–one of the most unusual and successful gambits in the history of New Orleans restaurants–will resume as if nothing had happened. More on this. . .

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Diary 11|8, 9|2014: Nuvolari’s Revisited. Glassware Surplus.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Too many restaurants are on the Marys’ unacceptable list. Tonight, I am able to get around this by insisting on Nuvolari’s. We haven’t dined in that 1980s Italian restaurant in Mandeville in a long time. Mary Ann is less than sanguine, for atmospheric reasons I can’t dope out. But I think tonight’s dinner changed her mind about that. It was quite a feast. . . More to come. . .

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Reveillon Dinner With Beer, Dec. 3

EatClubSquareAlmost since our Eat Club dinners began twenty years ago, many would-be guests have asked us to slip in a paired-beer menu between our usual wine menus. What better place to do that than the Crescent City Brewhouse? Owner and brewmaster Wolf Koehler–a sixth-generation brewer and native German–makes beers in house. Literally. You can see the copper tanks and the other apparatus as you walk in. Beer is brewing as you inspect it.

 

Wolf is also a big fan of New Orleans food and music, which explains the oyster bar (a good one, at that) and nightly performances by jazz bands. We’ll enjoy all this with four courses of Crescent City Brewhouse food and brews. The price is good, too: $55 for the whole package, tax and tip included.

 

Baked Oysters 3 Ways
Beer: Weissbeer

Shrimp and Grits
Beer: Pilsner

Redfish Pontchartrain
With crabmeat
Beer: Red Stallion
~or~

Southern Crispy Duck
Beer: Black Forest

Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

Crescent City Brewhouse

Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
French Quarter: 527 Decatur. Map.
$55, inclusive of tax, tip and beers

 

Click here to reserve.

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