Diary: FR 4/20/2028: Arnaud’s And Other Crowded Places.

Friday, April 20, 2018. The French Quarter Is Full. Every Friday, my thoughts turn to grand dinners, preferably at one of the grande dame restaurants in the French Quarter. Today I am thinking about indulging this hunger at Arnaud’s. As soon as the radio show ended for the week, I turned my steps toward the handsome restaurant and its bright walls of glittering beveled glass. There I learn that every seat in the entire restaurant is taken. I look around for a waiter or manager or some other familiar face,…

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Diary, 4|11, 12|2018: Brilliance At Borgne, And From The LPO

Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Dark And Unfamiliar. The, Brilliance In Food And Music! The drive home last night from the Best Chefs event was nostalgic and creepy at the same time. During the six years when most of my life was staged in or around the University of New Orleans, I knew all the buildings, restaurants (very few) and private neighborhoods. I have had very little occasion to return to those parts since I landed my first big job, well away from UNO. The whole area has become foreign territory…

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Diary: 4/8-9-&10/2018 A Weekend Of Substitution. Best Chefs.

Sunday, April 8-9, 2018. Demoted Singer. Chicken Pannee With Two Sauces. The Wagners–who usually lead the singing at St. Jane’s ten o’clock Mass, but were supposed to be absent today–left me to be the cantor. But they showed up, so I was just the usual singer in the loft. It’s just as well, since we have not run a rehearsal. But then I hear that the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performs its performances with only two rehearsals. In the afternoon, Mary Leigh came in from Meridian. She didn’t take the train…

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Diary 4/6/2018-Train To Meridian.

Friday, April 6, 2018. A Mini-Vacation. A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mary Ann that I needed a short vacation. She became an advocate for that idea, while not including herself in the break. Instead, her idea was for me to be a sort of demi-traveler whose itinerary would appeal to almost nobody but me. The route we came up with was about 200 miles each way, from New Orleans Union Station to Meridian, Mississippi. In Meridian, I would meet up with our daughter and have lunch. Then she…

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Diary 4-4-2018-About Meridian

Thursday, April 5, 2018. A Mini-Vacation. A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mary Ann that I needed a short vacation. She immediately became an advocate for that idea, while not including herself in the break. Instead, her ideas were travelettes that would appeal to almost nobody but me. “You should take the train to Meridian for a day or two and have dinner with Mary Leigh while you’re there,” MA said. Mary Leigh is our daughter. Meridian is where ML she is engaged for her employer with a large…

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Almanac: Thursday, April 5, 2018.

April 5, 2017 Days Until. . . French Quarter Festival–April 12-15 Easter —April 1 Jazz Festival–April 27-May 6> Legends Of New Orleans Dining In 1910 on this date, one of the most important New Orleans restaurateurs of all time was born. Thirty-six years later, Owen Edward Brennan founded Brennan’s. He was later joined in the business by his siblings Adelaide, John, Ella, Dick, and Dottie, and then by his sons Pip, Ted, and Jimmy Brennan. What came out of that combination was a style of grand dining that dominated the…

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Diary 3|30|2030 Blackout In The Steak House. House Flipper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Mary Ann takes delivery on her missing car. What a deal! It cost us a mere $1774 for the wheels to be out of action. The cause of the problem was water spilled into the shifter which, we learn, is operated by an electrical gizmo that is sensitive to inundations. I will remember that. But it might not apply to me, since throughout my entire life I’ve driven only manual transmissions. As in clutch pedals. In the meantime, the Marys are busy readying themselves for the…

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Quiche Lorraine

RecipeSquare-150x150 Quiche–a very popular dish in the Lorraine region in Northeastern France–somehow acquired the reputation as something that real men don’t eat. After that untruth got out, quiche was relegated to salad restaurants and pastry shops. It’s making a mild comeback, now that eggs have been revealed as not the death-dealing element in your diet that the nutritionists had been telling us they were. The filling of this quiche is the classic (although in France they’d probably use bacon instead of ham). But the crust is decidedly offbeat. Read entire article.

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An Unparkable Car, A Decrease In Culinary Enthusiasm.

Sunday, March 25, 2018. Zea. Covington: 110 Lake Dr. 985-327-0520. Here’s how the situation stands right now. MA’s car is still being worked on. So far, the mechanics are incapable of getting the car’s transmission to leave Park. The parts are allegedly en route, but what’s causing the problem is still a mystery. The car cannot move. ML is in town to arrange the final pieces to close on the house that she will be buying later in the week. It’s a modest home, but for her to have bought…

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5-Star Back Issue 3/30/2018 |57157

Just Because By Mary Ann Fitzmorris The weekend just passed was the tenth Hogs for the Cause event, a wildly successful fundraiser ($1.45 M this year) to fight against pediatric brain cancer. That number was matched by 85–the number of teams who entered their works in the competition for prizes like “High on the Hog” “Whole Hog” and many others. Fun is the real theme of this event, as proven by the clever play on words everywhere. The all-star celeb team–it won Whole Hog title–had a roster that included Chef…

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Hogs For The Cause 2018.

Escargots Bourguignonne This is the classic snail appetizer with garlic butter. There are more adventuresome sauces out there, and some of them are really delicious, but nothing beats having the snails sizzling in this fragrant butter, except perhaps having a loaf of hot French bread to dip into the sauce. During my broadcast from Gallier Hall every Mardi Gras, Archbishop Amann visits with us for a few minutes. I always ask about the rules for Lenten eating, especially as it regards unusual foodstuffs as alligator, turtles soup, and snails. The…

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Two Tonys And Two Sinatras.

Friday, March 23, 2018. Two Tonys, And Many Others. After a little driving around aimlessly, I satisfy an urge to have dinner at Two Tonys. There’s something about the family-style Italian restaurant that appeals to my appetite. I’m not the only one with this hunger, and the restaurant is nearly full. I am consigned to the nether reaches of the dining room, but that doesn’t seem to bother me. The menu at Two Tony’s covers a lot of territory, and trying to decide what to eat is time-consuming. I wind…

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Diary 3/21/2018. Loud Shouts @ Briquette.

Tuesday, March 21, 2018. Briquette Again, Screaming. I dine for the third time at Briquette, one of the newest restaurants in the rapidly growing Warehouse District. It’s operated by A. J. Tusa, who has several restaurants in the area of the Convention Center. Briquette is certainly the best of Tusa’s restaurants, with a handsome dining room and an interesting menu of Creolisms. Two aspects of Briquette stand out. The chef spent a few years working with Gerard Crozier, who was one of the best French chefs in the history of…

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Diary: The Chef’s Soiree Dodges The Rain, Feeds Us Well.

Sunday, March 18, 2018. Chef’s Soiree Is Beautiful. It rained yesterday, and the forecast was for rain again this afternoon. At the time, in the place, and in the intensity to take a lot of the pleasure out of the Chef’s Soiree, the most important culinary event on the North Shore all year long. Even though the Soiree will go rain or shine, and many large tents were set up, the weather was heading right at us an hour before the gates would open. But then we get lucky. A…

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The Road To Jacmel Inn.

Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2018. The Road To Jacmel Inn. Mary Ann has been interested lately in dining along the I-55 corridor between Laplace and Hammond. Secifically, she was thinking about Middendorf’s in Manchac and Jacmel Inn in Hammond. She might also have had Baton Rouge on her mind. MA doesn’t hesitate to drive that far and beyond if she’s in the mood. I used to take drives like that myself, but it would seem anathema now. We checked off Middendorf’s a couple of weeks ago. Tonight Jacmel…

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A Taste Of La Petite Grocery.

Friday, March 16, 2018. La Petite Grocery. Nobody is available for dinner with me tonight, and attending a St. Patrick’s parade somehow fails to attract me. So I found myself rolling down Magazine Street, with twilight still bright enough that I can get a view of the ever-overloaded Magazine parking problem. And there I see La Petite Grocery. The Grocery is descended from the old Von De Haar grocery, which in its day (the 1940s through the 1970s) was the place where gourmet cooks would visit for its excellent comestibles….

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Evaluating Curio

Thursday, March 15, 2018. Mary Ann has plans for us to head to City Park, where there is a musical event in the Botanical Gardens. MA thought it involved a program of standards and classical, free for the visiting. But that wasn’t the story at all. So she changed our plans to Curio. The block surrounded by Chartres, Conti, Royal and Bienville has not historically been a major vortex of fine dining, even though the next outer layer of restaurants is one of the best blockfulls of excellent restaurants in…

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5-Star Back Issue 05-18-2018

Diary: Gabrielle || Thursday, 05-17-2018 || For once, I thought of the perfect restaurant for dining out this evening. I left the radio station almost immediately after the show ended, and I drove over to Gabrielle’s. Chef Greg Sonnier has his restaurant well pulled together, to judge by the first visit we made there a few weeks ago. On the other hand, it’s still probably a little too soon after the opening for me to write the definitive review of the place. On top of that, they are doing a…

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Most Recent Articles

Wednesday, March 14, 2018. A few days ago I suggested that MA and I should go to the Country Club in the Bywater precinct of Downtown. The Country Club is a large, elaborate restaurant combined with a public swimming pool, a large array of chaise longues and many outdoor tables for dining. Indoor tables are all in small dining rooms that are very effective in keeping the noise down. Hand-painted art all around adds a nice touch. In the center of all this is a large, oval-shaped bar, which tonight…

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Saturday, March 10, 2018. A three-hour radio show at noon fills most of my day. I start with breakfast at Mattina Bella. The Marys are barely awake, and not interested in joining me. So I shoot the breeze with owner Vincent Riccobono (not the same one who owns the Peppermill in Metairie, but a cousin) and with the guys sitting to my left and right at the counter. From then on I drive up and down Causeway Boulevard, trying to find bookstore managers so I can get the new edition…

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The NOMenu Food Almanac

March 11, 2017 Days Until. . . St. Patrick’s Day–March 17 St. Joseph’s Day–19 Easter–April 1 Restaurant Anniversaries The Palace Cafe opened today in 1991. Envisioned as a more casual version of Commander’s Palace, it was at first managed by cousins Ti Martin, Dickie Brennan, Lauren Brennan, and Brad Bridgman. When the Commander’s Brennans split up their properties, the Palace Cafe went to Dick Brennan’s side of the family. The place opened with an emphasis on seafood and rotisserie dishes, but over the years the restaurant evolved into a jack…

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New Orleans Menu Daily: March 9, 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018: Grandly Opening Vyoon. It’s opening night for Vyoon’s Grand Opening. The party is on the second floor, a handsome space lined by old bricks (the CBD and Warehouse District full of them) that looks down on the Tchoupitoulas Street sidewalks, well occupied by traffic that fills the neighborhood and cafes in the vicinity. There is wine, cheese, cocktails, and a little bit of food, filling the mouths of the guests. a harpist plays all night, even though she has a tough time being heard above the…

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Recipe (Fish On The Half Shell) & Food Almanac For Today

Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Briquette. I continue to take Mary Ann’s advice seriously. She thinks I don’t dine out in as many different restaurants as I can, with the emphasis on new eateries. I admit to going to too many, too-familiar Metairie restaurants. Not because I want to go to those places, but because they’re on my way home, and much easier to approach than, say, the Magazine Street restaurant corridor. Tonight’s exploration takes me by foot to Briquette, a restaurant on the corner of Girod and South Peters. Owner…

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The Food Almanac

March 12, 2017 Days Until. . . St. Patrick’s Day–March 17 St. Joseph’s Day–19 Easter–April 1 Food Calendar Today is National Muffuletta Day. The muffuletta has an obvious Italian ancestry, but it was created in New Orleans, from which it has spread to some other parts of the country in recent years. A well-made muffuletta is one of the world’s best sandwiches, and a perfect lunch for a meeting that needs its brains cleared. (As long as everybody is eating it, anyway.) Although it’s obviously Italian, you won’t find muffulettas…

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Recipe & Almanac

Shrimp Remoulade With Two Sauces I think remoulade sauce is one of the most useful and enjoyable flavoring agents that money can buy. I like it so much that it’s the very first recipe in my cookbook. There are two kinds of remoulade sauce served around New Orleans, and everybody has a distinct favorite. My preference is for the orange-red kind that’s utterly unique to our area. White remoulade sauce, made with mayonnaise, is actually closer to the classic French recipe. It’s good enough that in recent years I’ve taken…

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Shrimp Remoulade Two Ways

Shrimp Remoulade With Two Sauces I think remoulade sauce is one of the most useful and enjoyable flavoring agents that money can buy. I like it so much that it’s the very first recipe in my cookbook. There are two kinds of remoulade sauce served around New Orleans, and everybody has a distinct favorite. My preference is for the orange-red kind that’s utterly unique to our area. White remoulade sauce, made with mayonnaise, is actually closer to the classic French recipe. It’s good enough that in recent years I’ve taken…

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5-Star Edition For Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 8, 2017 Days Until. . . St. Patrick’s Day–March 17 St. Joseph’s Day–19 Easter–April 1 Food Calendar It is National French Onion Soup Day. Let’s make some before the cool weather ends completely. The story behind the dark, slightly sweet, aromatic onion soup, served in a crock with a cap of cheese on a floating crouton, was that it was first served in Les Halles, the gigantic marketplace that once was in the center of Paris. Like all such markets, it opened very early in the morning, and it…

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Recipe And Food Almanac.

Diary: Tuesday, March 6, 2018. ZohReh is Back, With Vyoone. Mary Ann is unavailable for dinner, because she says that she ate too much during the many events surrounding the wedding of one of her nieces. But she tells me to go out to eat in a restaurant that I haven’t visited lately. Since when did she become the editor-in-chief of the New Orleans Menu Daily? I could have sworn I was the only editor on the staff since I found it in 1977. Being married is rightfully a factor…

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Diary: Wedding Aftermath Keeps Coming. Yum Yum Yum Yum.

Sunday, March 4, 2018. The scheduled movements are over for a weekend-long wedding in honor of Mary Ann’s niece. But that doesn’t mean that the family will so much as slow down in the frequency of its meetings. Today’s brought together a dozen people for a supper at the Blue Crab at West End. When I arrived (after my 90-minute radio show), the attendance had risen to fifteen, jammed across the open-air deck. This setup almost certainly meant that Mary Ann–a lover of outdoor dining–had a hand in the seating….

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Diary

Fish On The Half Shell If you cut big fillets from a redfish or drum and leave the skin and scales on, you can grill it over a hot fire without having to turn it. The skin and scales get black, but the fish stays moist because it’s steaming in its own juices. You absolutely must do this outdoors, because the smell of the burning scales in the beginning is not the nicest thing you will ever sniff. (Don’t worry–it won’t show up in the flavor of the fish.) 1/4…

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Diary: The Weekend Of A Remarkable Wedding.

Friday, March 2, 2018. A Delicious, Beautiful Wedding. My wife Mary Ann comes from a large family of very good-looking siblings, both old and young. I remember being told that when MA and I tied the knots. Dick Brennan Senior was probably the first to note this. “That’s a lot of beautiful Irish girls,Tawm. You did say they’re Irish, didn’t you?” Not entirely, I said, but close enough. I may have been the most Irish person there other than Dick himself. And I know I’m nothing much to look it….

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Diary: The Last Day Of The Wedding Du Jour.

Sunday, March 4, 2018. The scheduled movements are over for a weekend-long wedding in honor of Mary Ann’s niece. But that doesn’t mean that the family will so much as slow down in the frequency of its meetings. Today’s brought together a dozen people for a supper at the Blue Crab at West End. When I arrived (after my 90-minute radio show), the attendance had risen to fifteen, jammed across the open-air deck. This setup almost certainly meant that Mary Ann–a lover of outdoor dining–had a hand in the seating….

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Eat Club @ Salon By Sucre. March 21. $75. French Quarter

Join Us For A Unique Dinner Eat Club @ Salon By Sucre. March 21. $75 per person, inclusive. French Quarter: 622 Conti. Click here to reserve. (Payment at the dinner.) The Eat Club investigates one of the many new restaurants that opened in the French Quarter in recent months. This one is a unique offshoot of Sucre, the producer of a spread of brilliant pastries, cookies, candies, and desserts, all produced under the masterful hand of Chef Tariq Hanna. That will be showcased in the dessert course, which is preceded…

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Chez Pierre: A Delicious, Lost Eatery On The West Bank.

Chez Pierre’s Gretna: 2505 Whitney Ave., Gretna 1989-1992 The reputation of Warren Leruth is that he was the most skillful chef in the history of New Orleans. Whether or not that’s true (and I think it is), he was ahead of his time. The people who worked for him went forth and multiplied. But for some reasons Leruth’s influence never reached the levels to which Paul Prudhomme, Emeril, and John Besh enriched their former employees. For one thing, they seemed to have the idea that part of being a true…

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New Orleans Menu Daily

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