Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Good Tastes At Trinity. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the Channel 12 Seasons of Good Tastes was underway for this year, and that the menu I’d seen for at least one of them sounded very attractive. I also admitted with some chagrin that although the Good Tastes dinner are a lot like my Eat Club dinners, it seems that Channel 12 was a few months ahead of me when we premiered the Eat Club. Given that I think the Eat Club was the best stroke of imagination I ever had, this made me write too much on the subject. I figured I could make up for that by giving WYES an extra plug for their upcoming dinner at Trinity. Aislinn Hinyup–the public relations pro at WYES–was more appreciative than usual, and to make up for that I would also attend her dinner, along with a half-dozen people who had been to many of our Eat Club dinners.
Was that worth all the words? I’m sure it will be for Chef Michael Isolani, who also had been on my radio air a few days ago to tout this dinner.
It lived up to all this hoopla. It began with bay scallops, something we almost never see around New Orleans. bay scallops are the little ones, the size of miniature marshmallows. They are usually barely edible, and usually fried. But when the little guys come in fresh from Florida waters–as these did–they are very good. Especially in the company of a corn-based broth, avocado slices, and pickled onions.
The chef was in the running for an award from Community Coffee. What he had to do was cook a dish with some coffee in the recipe somehow. Also in there was some pork belly and escarole. Those last three ingredients are not my cup of tea–or coffee, either. But I had to vote my conscience. Sorry, chef. Maybe he won anyway, since all fifty-something people in the dining room were also voting.
The next two entrees were a large jump upward. We have the breast, the confit of leg, and the foie gras of an unfortunate duck. Some beets in there, too. And fried parsnips. This was not merely a standard collection of gourmet items, but an explanation why duck done those three ways is very, very good.
That dish was paired with a Barolo, which was nice enough. The next course was even better. A filet of Wagyu beef (once again, it was no more special than a standard well-prepared steak) was served simply, with truffled sweet potatoes. Second best dish of the night (the duck was first). And the best wine partner. Altesine Brunello di Montalcino. One of the great Italian red, this was on the money in coordinating food and wine flavors.
Warm plums were the dessert, asking the question why we eat plums so seldom. Creme anglais for richness, amaretto crumbs for the crackling, and mint for that great minty flavor.
A marvelous dinner, at which I ingested more wine than I have in awhile. That will make me sorry in coming days, but for tonight, we live.
Trinity. French Quarter: 1117 Decatur St. 504-325-5789.
Louisiana Seafood Festival
The reasons that the words “Louisiana Seafood Festival” taking place this weekend don’t bring a clear idea of what, where, why, and how the event are:
1. The name “Louisiana Seafood Festival” could apply to quite a few events like it.
2. The festival has moved around a lot since its beginning. Perhaps you remember the three years it was on Fulton Street? How about the ones at Lafayette Square? The long-ago years when it was near the Old U.S. Mint?
3. The prices are a bit higher than those of comparable festivals. To be exact, you pay $10 for a day’s admission, $25 for all three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Children 12 and under are free when with a paying adult. The food costs extra, with most dishes in the $7-$9 range. That price brings you a plate a bit bigger than you’d get at, say, the French Quarter Festival.
So here’s a closer look at the reasons you might choose this as your big eat-a-thon this week.
1. The Festival runs along the riverside in Woldenberg Park. Nice place.
2. Live music will emanate from the venue all day. (Opens at 11 a.m. all three days, and closes at $9 on Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
3. It will go on rain or shine. The rain part might be late Saturday, but the forecast for the other times look very good. In case of rain, there are tents.
4. The event is managed by the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, whose many functions include encouraging young people to learn the skills in New Orleans’s biggest employment category. (Recently, the LHS has also been helping the disaster-stricken folks in Texas and Florida.)
5. In addition to the aforementioned attractions, the Festival will feature cooking demonstrations by name chefs, arts and crafts, and a lot of food people you probably know.
Here is the web page where you can buy tickets, thereby saving what could be a wait in line. Perhaps I will see you there.
Tickets To The Seafood Festival.
And here is the long list of the cooks who will be in the kitchen on the site, cooking everything fresh before you.
Here’s the list of food that will be served at the Seafood Festival.
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