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Cruise To Alaska Aboard Queen Elizabeth This Summer

Eat Club In Alaska The Third Act Of A Trilogy The Eat Club has cruised around the globe on many different lines, but the three Cunard ships are far and away our favorites. We have traveled on the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria, but will achieve a grand slam when we sail to Alaska aboard the Queen Elizabeth this summer. Yes this summer, June 2019, on the only Cunard ship sailing to Alaska this year. It’s the last leg of a round-the-world journey, and the first time Cunard…

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50 Best Restaurants Open Christmas Eve & Day.

Fifty Best Restaurants Open On Christmas Eve. This year, Christmas is Tuesday. That puts Christmas Eve–one of the busiest days of the year for first-class restaurants–on Monday evening. A lot of restaurants are closed on Mondays, but for this Monday, you will find that many of those places will be open and packed. Reservations will be essential, and needed now. On the other hand, many restaurants–especially among the ethnic and neighborhood places–may well be closed. To untangle the confusion, I offer you this list of not only fifty restaurants that…

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Rough Renewal Step One

The Feasting Season Begins! Don’t Miss The Best Of It It’s time to renew your subscription to the New Orleans Menu Daily By Tom Fitzmorris For avid eaters, the best part of fall and winter in New Orleans is the Reveillon. That annual celebration of the holidays has the best restaurants in town devising holiday-tuned four-course dinners for prices that are too good to pass up. The Reveillon is underway now, with over 60 restaurants participating. Every weekday in the New Orleans Menu Daily, we focus on one of these…

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5-Star Back Issue-7/31/2018

Visiting Los Angeles For Food. However, there was one welcome escape: the Langham Hotel, a magnificent but calm refuge from all the buying and selling. MA discovered the Langham some ten years ago. She loves luxurious hotels as a hobby, and this one fits the category. So we begin our days with breakfast on the edge of the pool at the Langham. This is not cheap, but it’s not bad. Indeed, the same can be said about the room rates. When the bill for the five days we spent at…

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Pizza From The Grill.

Grilled Pizza When we have a pizza party, we often make it an outdoor event and bake the pizzas on the open grill. This works better than you can possibly imagine. You don’t even have to put the top down on the grill, unless it’s a windy, cold day. Any pizza topping works, except one: pepperoni, which needs heat from above, just sits there getting flaccid and unpleasant. Spinach and other vegetable pizzas are particularly good done on the grill. The best way to make pizza dough is in a…

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Future Eat Club Dinner-England-Ireland

Diary: June 28, 2018. The Canada-New England Detachment of the Eat Club Meets Again. I don’t know how it happened, but the New Orleans Eat Club managed to sign up over sixty people who want to join me for a cruise we’ve done four times in the past. There’s something about the idea of fall colors in New England that draws a strong interest for people who live in New Orleans, where we get very few autumn leaves. Many of the people who will join us have connections with Brother…

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5-Star NOMenu Back Issue 8/7/2018

Saturday, August, 4, 2018. A New Place For Breakfast. An Old Chef For Dinner. The day begins with Mary Ann and I breakfasting at a new spot in Mandeville. Daisy Duke’s is the name, with a mild Cajun-Creole tilt. (The name is a reference to a character in a Southern-style movie.) It first appeared in the French Quarter, and in recent times it expand into other locations in and around New Orleans. The Mandeville site is in the same strip mall where La Carreta operates. (It’s a little hard to…

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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 6/25/2018

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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Diary: Father’s Day, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Impastato Cellars. It looks as if all the women of all ages tried to express remorse their for not paying much attention to Father’s Day. This is particularly true for young adult women with not-quite-elderly fathers or husbands, who tend to treat the men involved as if having a special Sunday brunch were a parodies of the real holiday of Mother’s Day. However, I could not accuse the Marys as having been among those slackers. I received a funny card with an audio…

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5-Star Back Issue 6/20/2018

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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New Orleans Menu

Diary For Monday, 6/18/2018: Acme Is In Vogue. I don’t remember how or when Mary Ann’s disdain for the Acme Oyster House began, but all the aspects of it were in place as we left for an early lunch yesterday. MA said she wanted a full dozen of the char-broiled variety. These came out on the distinctly large side, which is a plus to me. MA doesn’t really like oysters, especially not the really big ones. What she likes is the mixture of butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese that make…

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5-Star New Orleans Menu

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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NOMenu 5-Star Edition. 5/4/2018

Rizzuto’s Tomahawk. Another One At Apolline. The Latest Line-Up For Dinner. I continue to find more evidence for my conviction that thick pork chops of excellent intrinsic merits are better than all but the very most expensive steaks. (Which someone will order for no reason other than to obey the imperative that one should spend the most for what might be the best.) This one came from the steaks-and-chops side of the menu at Rizzuto’s, where I repaired for dinner a month ago. (I meant to report on it sooner,…

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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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The Future Of New Orleans Food Criticism.

The Future Of Restaurant Criticism. This article originally was prepared to appear in the NOMenu Daily a few days ago, when a computer glitch made the whole article disappear. It was almost as if it were trying to tell me something. A lot of people wrote me, asking me what the deal was. Simply, it speaks for itself. But it’s not announcing my exit from the profession. I don’t expect to check out of this enterprise anytime soon. Sorry if you find it puzzling.–Tom Fitzmorris. It’s easy to get a…

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The Future Of New Orleans Restaurant Criticism.

The Future Of Restaurant Criticism. This article originally was prepared to appear in the NOMenu Daily a few days ago, when a computer glitch made the whole article disappear. It was almost as if it were trying to tell me something. A lot of people wrote me, asking me what the deal was. Simply, it speaks for itself. But it’s not announcing my exit from the profession. I don’t expect to check out of this enterprise anytime soon. Sorry if you find it puzzling.–Tom Fitzmorris. It’s easy to get a…

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May 1 In Eating
* NOMenu.com

May 1 In Eating

AlmanacSquare May is alleged to be all of the following: National Asparagus Month, National Barbecue Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, and National Strawberry Month. And some silly ones: National Chocolate Custard Month and National Gazpacho Aficionado Month. The first week of May is supposed to be National Raisin Week. Read entire article.

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Creole-Italian Chili

RecipeSquare-150x150 For the past few months I have been entertaining myself with new ways to use spicy Italian sausage. Chili, a dish that admits of infinite variations, sounded like a good bet. I wait for it to turn cold outside, because that’s the kind of weather for this. It will be quite chilly tonight. More to come. . .

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Gnocchi with Crabmeat and Prosciutto

RecipeSquare-150x150 This rather rich dish brings crabmeat and dry-cured ham together in a cream sauce with gnocchi, the little potato-and-flour pasta dumplings. You can make your own gnocchi if you like (quite an undertaking), but you can buy relatively decent fresh gnocchi in the refrigerator case at the store. Recipe details. . .

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Soft-Shell Crab with Pecans

RecipeSquare-150x150 We’re just about at the end of soft-shell crabs for this year. But I’m still hearing from listeners and readers that they’ve scored a few, so here’s a grand finale for the season. Pecans add a fascinating flavor dimension to all kinds of seafood. They’re used most commonly with fish, but I think they’re great with soft-shell crabs. Recipe details. . .

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Crabmeat Au Gratin
* NOMenu.com

Crabmeat Au Gratin

“Au gratin” does not mean “covered with a thick layer of day-glo melted cheese.” Unfortunately, that’s the accepted meaning in this country, where we somehow have the idea that adding cheese to anything makes it better. The best versions of crabmeat au gratin prove the opposite is true. Take it very easy on the cheese. This crust is mostly bread crumbs, although there’s some Parmesan cheese both in the crust and in the sauce. You will thank me for not ruining the taste of the crabmeat with melted Cheddar or the like. Read More. . .

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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 4-4-2018-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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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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Strawberry Shortcakes

RecipeSquare-150x150 A true shortcake is not the sponge cake that’s typically used for this famous old dessert, but something a lot like a drop biscuit. We make these all the time, and it’s an essential for our Easter parties. Read entire article.

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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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