Five-Star NOMenu 8/13/2018 FR

Diary: 8/10/2018. Dante’s Kitchen. Mary Ann’s crusade to have me write more reviews of restaurants that either a) have recently opened or b) I have not reviewed for a long time goes on. Tonight I dined with my little sister Lynn at Dante’s Kitchen. That Riverbend restaurant across the street from Brigtsen’s has been off my radar for years–enough that it looked unfamiliar. But that may be the standard visual for this restaurant, built as it is from an assortment of bricks, hundred-year-old boards, and mismatched windows and doors. Everything…

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5-Star NOMenu Back Issue: 8/8/2018 FR

Diary: Monday, August 6, 2018. Wild-Caught Salmon. Catfish With Pecans. Muffulettas For Singing. Mary Ann joins me for lunch at the familiar New Orleans Food and Spirits. There she has grilled salmon, after having found out from the manager that the salmon is wild-caught, not farm-raised. The rationale is that a lot of salmon that comes in from the South Pacific is in fact the northern salmon species, which introduces a number of problems for some people. For my lunch, the origins of the fish are of less importance than…

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5-Star Back Issue 8/9/2018

Diary Sunday, August 5, 2018. Lunch @ Ox Lot 9. Mary Ann’s new favorite breakfast venue has emerged as the restaurant in the Southern Hotel in Covington. The interesting name “Ox Lot 9” refers in the history book to the days when downtown Covington was a stockyard for bringing cattle from the fields in the area, there to be slaughtered. Not much cattle activity remains, although there are plenty of horses, chickens, quail, and other more polite animals. Indeed, there are several horses and a building full of chickens right…

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5-Star Nomenu 8/1/2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018. It always happens when I return from extended vacations: I don’t know what day of the week it is. It’s a good thing my computers and smart phones display that datum, or else I wouldn’t be sure that it was Richard Hughes, the chef and owner of the Pelican Club who showed up for the radio show on this diary date. Or that Chris Montero from Ralph Brennan’s seven-restaurant group would be on the air with me in the studio today. It was all clear. This…

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Diary Back Edition 8/01/2018 Trey Yuen.

The idea of having dinner tonight came from Mary Ann. It sounded good to me, too, largely because we haven’t dined there in many months. The highly-visible Chinese temple got regular visits from us in the first couple of years after we moved across the lake. But in recent years we’ve patronized the place less often. None of us has a dislike for Asian food. Indeed, our son Jude became mildly famous for his liking for the various Chinese noodles. He particularly enjoyed pot stickers when he was in his…

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5-Star Back Issue 1000 Figs

In my never-ending quest for good restaurants, this column often builds ten-best lists. Readers find them easy to mentally compute, and the lists show a positive stand as to how we feel about a restaurant, a dish, or a general assay of excellence. In making these lists, however, there’s a built-in favoritism that turns up in the topmost elements in the list. It’s called alphabetism. Restaurants with names beginning with an A will rise toward the top. It’s not unfair, exactly. But I’ll bet Antoine’s and Andrea’s are glad they…

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30 Years On The Air Today

Diary: Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Thirty Years Today. Eat Club Dinner @ Broussard’s. Same idea, same station, same host for thirty years. For the past two or three years, I wondered whether this trivial goal could be reached. Now I know. My Food Show on the radio, begun on July 18, 1988, today achieved thirty years on the air. That makes it the longest-running radio show in New Orleans history, interrupted only by two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, I know this is no really big deal. But it means…

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5-Star Edition 7/17/2018

Diary: Tuesday, 7/10/2018. The Sibling Girls. My little sister Lynn called a couple of weeks ago to suggest that she and I and our our sisters Karen and Judy get together to celebrate Karen’s birthday. It was clearly a good idea, as we saw after one of us took a good photograph of the four. It has been a long time since we last were together purposefully. For obvious reasons, I was asked to choose the restaurant. I suggested Café Adelaide. It’s a block away from the radio station, so…

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Francesca Soft Opening 7/10/2018.

Diary 7-10-2018. It’s not often that breaking news runs in the Dining Diary. But sometimes I get invited to an event interesting enough that I can’t pass it up. This morning, Mary Ann informed me of a soft-opening of a new/old restaurant in Lakeview. Scot Craig–the bossman at the excellent neighborhood café Katie’s–just re-opened the doors for what had been Coz’s, a long-running sandwich shop. Coz’s has several layers of history, the most interesting being that it was at one time owned by the bugle-blowing racing-day heraldics at the Fair…

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30th Anniversary Of Food Show @ Broussard’s.

Diary 7-10-2018. It’s not often that breaking news runs in the Dining Diary. But sometimes I get invited to an event interesting enough that I can’t pass it up. This morning, Mary Ann informed me of a soft-opening of a new/old restaurant in Lakeview. Scot Craig–the bossman at the excellent neighborhood café Katie’s–just re-opened the doors for what had been Coz’s, a long-running sandwich shop. Coz’s has several layers of history, the most interesting being that it was at one time owned by the bugle-blowing racing-day heraldics at the Fair…

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5-Star Edition NoMenu

5-Star Edition NoMenu

Missing German Food Diary Saturday, 7-14-2018: Breakfast a deux at Mattina Bella. At first MA wanted to take this meal at the Fat Spoon, but it’s not her kind of place atmospherically. We wind up at at Mattina Bella, of course. The routine runs as usual, winding up with my broadcasting the Saturday show from the Cool Water Ranch. Meanwhile, MA cuts the grass, even though it’s really hot outside. Her greater concern is that the big dog Barry insists on attacking the wheels of the little mower. It’s another…

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5-Star NOMenu 7/9&12/2018

Diary: Tuesday, 7/10/2018. The Sibling Girls. My little sister Lynn called a couple of weeks ago to suggest that she and I and our our sisters Karen and Judy get together to celebrate Karen’s birthday. It was clearly a good idea, as we saw after one of us took a good photograph of the four. It has been a long time since we last were together purposefully. For obvious reasons, I was asked to choose the restaurant. I suggested Café Adelaide. It’s a block away from the radio station, so…

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Cold Food In Hot Weather

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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Lobster Season @ GW Fins

GW Fins’s Lobster Dumplings This light pasta appetizer has become one of the signature items on the menu at GWFins, the best seafood restaurant in New Orleans. Co-owner and chef Tenney Flynn developed it as his standard item at events like the French Quarter Festival and the Royal Street Stroll. Eat one of these irregular ravioli and you’ll want to eat a dozen more, so make a lot of them and invite friends over. The technique and a couple of the ingredients come from the world of restaurant cooking, but…

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Diary: Friday, June 27, 2018. The Most Unusual Omelette. A few Sundays ago, the Cool Water Ranch crowd gathered on a Sunday morning for brunch at Ox Lot Nine in Covington. The menu doesn’t change a lot there, and the interior design of the place creates a happy situation for the Marys and me. I ordered an item they called a frittata–the Italian word for an omelette. It was unlike any frittata I’ve had before. And even farther removed from any omelette in my experience. It was more like a…

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5-Star Edition NOMenu 7/3/2018.

Diary: Friday, June 27, 2018. The Most Unusual Omelette. A few Sundays ago, the Cool Water Ranch crowd gathered on a Sunday morning for brunch at Ox Lot Nine in Covington. The menu doesn’t change a lot there, and the interior design of the place creates a happy situation for the Marys and me. I ordered an item they called a frittata–the Italian word for an omelette. It was unlike any frittata I’ve had before. And even farther removed from any omelette in my experience. It was more like a…

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The Red Onion

The Red Onion Metairie: 2700 Edenborn 1974-1989. Fine-dining restaurants were slow to arrive in Metairie. In the 1960s and earlier, if you wanted to dine out in that prosperous, populous suburb, your choices were Elmwood Plantation, Sclafani’s, and the House of Lee. From there the pickings dropped to bad chain steakhouses or neighborhood cafés. If those wouldn’t do, you went to the French Quarter. By 1970, however, it was clear that so many people with good disposable incomes lived in Metairie that a real restaurant might make it. The first…

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5-Star Edition-Acme Oysters

Diary: 7/2/2018: The Inescapable Grilled Oyster. When Drago’s brought forth its now-famous char-broiled oysters, its popularity skyrocketed. It wasn’t long before every restaurant with a grill and a oyster bar featured the dish. Included in that number always were a mix of generous, meaty oysters cooked to the perfect degree, without too much parmesan cheese. As time went by, it was inevitable that more than a few inferior oysters came from oyster shells whose shuckers were less careful. Since many grilled-oyster operations are scattered throughout the city, I have kept…

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5-Star NOMenu OxLot-Frittata

Diary: Friday, June 27, 2018. The Most Unusual Omelette. A few Sundays ago, the Cool Water Ranch crowd gathered on a Sunday morning for brunch at Ox Lot Nine in Covington. The menu doesn’t change a lot there, and the interior design of the place creates a happy situation for the Marys and me. I ordered an item they called a frittata–the Italian word for an omelette. It was unlike any frittata I’ve had before. And even farther removed from any omelette in my experience. It was more like a…

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5-Star NOMenu Today

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5-Star Back Issue 6/26/2018

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5-Star Back Issue-6-27-2018

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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5-Star Edition 6/26/2018

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/25/2018

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/25/2018

Diary: Friday, June 22, 2018. Beetles And Omelettes. The day begins with the need to fix the rear-passenger tire on my Beetle. The problem developed yesterday, making me take a chance in crossing the Causeway. I was the first customer at the shop, which was the good news. The not-so-good news is the $176 or whatever new tire would cost. But it’s my lucky day, and the shop says that $26.90 would cover the repair. A nail in the tire was all there was to be fixed. I deserve this,…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/25/2018

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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5-Star Edition Today

Diary: Friday, June 22, 2018. Beetles And Omelettes. The day begins with the need to fix the rear-passenger tire on my Beetle. The problem developed yesterday, making me take a chance in crossing the Causeway. I was the first customer at the shop, which was the good news. The not-so-good news is the $176 or whatever new tire would cost. But it’s my lucky day, and the shop says that $26.90 would cover the repair. A nail in the tire was all there was to be fixed. I deserve this,…

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5-Star Back Issue

Cold Eats For Hot Days Not that you need reminding but the last few weeks have been the hottest of the season, with plenty more where that came from. It seems obvious that eating cold food will make you feel cooler than eating hot food will. But that wisdom seems to be lost on most Orleanians. I don’t follow the notion much myself, and I’m supposed to know about these things. During the past couple of weeks, I gave the practice of eating cold foods a trial, and surveyed my…

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5-Star Edition 6/21/2018

Diary: Tuesday. June 19, 2018. Softening An Omelette. Today’s radio show guests are the general manager and executive chef of Broussard’s. Their main theme is that Broussard’s will begin celebrating its 100-year anniversary early next year. They brought us a smidgen of food, the best part of which was a cool asparagus cream soup, with truffle essence. The chef was taken aback to hear my doubt about the truffles, which are not often made from actual truffles, but from some sort of extract. The soup was wonderful, anyway. I wonder…

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NOMenu Diary June 12

Diary: Tuesday, June 12, 2018: It’s another one of those evenings when I can’t seem to think of a place to dine that will suit my tastes, my time, and other matters. When it gets down to this level of consideration, I probably will be headed in the general direction of the Causeway, where there are many restaurants, but too many I’ve already reviewed often enough. Today this situation brings me to Bistro Orleans. I haven’t been there in six months or more, the menu has changed a bit, from…

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Diary Porter & Luke June 1-9

Diary: Week of June 1-9 2018: Hitting The Road With A cookbook. I remember some years ago reading an article about some celebrity or other who had to take a few says off because he was exhausted. The reporter who read about this thought it was absurd. How much energy does a pampered media figure need to make up an honest day’s work? I’m sure that my stress level is much lower than that of a rock star, but at times I get samples. The week just past and in…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/14/2018

The Sazerac Room Returns. The long and glorious era of the gourmet hotel restaurant ended a couple of decades ago, when hotel managers came to accept that the kind of customer who would stay in a hotel luxurious enough to host such a dining room knows that in a city like New Orleans you’d be nuts to eat in the hotel. And so, like almost all the other big-deal hotel restaurants of the past, the Sazerac in the Roosevelt Hotel faded away in recent years, leaving only the Windsor Court…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/13/2018

Attention Fried Chicken Lovers! (And Who Isn’t a Fried Chicken Lover? By Tom’s Wife, Mary Ann Fitzmorris) The Roosevelt Hotel’s Fountain Room (it’s the one that used to the the Sazerac Restaurant) has been spending a lot of time re-thinking its menu. One thing is clear; family-style fried chicken with New Orleans red beans will be a regular Monday night feature. Monday night was the unveiling party, featuring a large centerpiece basket of fried chicken, big cast iron pots of red beans and rice, flanked on either side by a…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/13/2018

Attention Fried Chicken Lovers! (And Who Isn’t a Fried Chicken Lover? By Tom’s Wife, Mary Ann Fitzmorris) The Roosevelt Hotel’s Fountain Room (it’s the one that used to the the Sazerac Restaurant) has been spending a lot of time re-thinking its menu. One thing is clear; family-style fried chicken with New Orleans red beans will be a regular Monday night feature. Monday night was the unveiling party, featuring a large centerpiece basket of fried chicken, big cast iron pots of red beans and rice, flanked on either side by a…

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NOMenu 5-Star Back Issue 6/12/2018

Diary 6-1-2018: Deep In The Renovations of Antoine’s. Q. What do Antoine’s and the extinct restaurant Kolb’s have in common? A. They both had the same kind of air-conditioning system. If you old around long enough to have seen Kolb’s when it was still in action, you would have seen an elaborate network of leather belts and pulleys, all of which were connected ultimately at one spot in the ceiling, where a single electric motor turned a what appeared to be many interconnected belts. The setup ran a bunch of…

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