Father’s Day Appetizer

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris June 23, 2020 09:01 in Dining Diary

It must be the lockdown that caused me to make such an egregious mistake. In the regular old days it would have been a given that we would go out for two meals on Father’s Day. I guess I just got used to eating at home, so I didn’t plan lunch out. We had plans for a big Father’s Day dinner at Galatoire’s that evening, so I made Tom a big omelet for breakfast, thinking we’d be home for lunch.

About midday I offered a little snack at Steak & Shake, a place Tom likes that is closing a lot of locations across the country. This didn’t sound appealing to him so I defaulted to a regular Sunday spot, Oxlot 9. Our spontaneity usually gets us into trouble here. They are always busy. This time I actually called ahead but no one answered. We live mere minutes away, so we just went. As usual, they were full. Fate was with us though, and a table was getting up. For once there wasn’t a reservation waiting for it. They sat us and we commenced a gourmet brunch squeezed in before dinner. 

Tom got right to it, ordering a drink he found unfamiliar, a Rye, which was beautifully presented with a lemon wheel and a tall sprig of fresh oregano.

Tom started ordering immediately, chargrilled oysters that, on sight were not local. I didn’t like the way they looked, but the smell got me. A hint of tarragon made me dip a finger in the butter-colored cream sauce with green bits of herbs, presumably tarragon. This was terrific! Unique. Irresistible. There were two perfectly square pieces of focaccia served with it, and it was the perfect bread with the proper heft to mop this up. The oysters were tiny, which I liked. Big mouthful meaty oysters are unappetizing to me. These tiny ones were just great.The next time I see Murder Point oysters on a menu, I will order them.

For some odd reason, Tom remembered the beignets here and ordered some of those, so at one point there were chargrilled oysters on the table accompanied by beignets. An odd combination, especially when both items were for one person.

Tom followed these two starters with his usual frittata, but this time crawfish instead of crab meat. I passed on the Crabcakes Benedict in favor of Poutine with roast beef debris. And Mary Leigh got what I would have gotten, just a biscuit. This is my favorite traditional biscuit anywhere. It’s large and dense and usually perfectly crusted on tip. Flaky. It is served with soft butter and fruit compote. It was less done than usual, but still great.

The poutine was a pile of fresh cut fries covered in cheese and gravy with shaved roast beef and a poached egg on top. These are also some of our favorite fresh cut fries, but the last time I had this the roast beef was more of a debris, which I preferred. What could be wrong with roast beef, gravy, cheese and fries in any configuration?

The frittata was piled high with arugula, sitting on a cheesy crusty, and fluffy mixture of baked eggs studded with lots of crawfish. This is consistently delicious, and one of the favorites for us on this favorite menu.

This menu is such a favorite we’ve pretty much worked our way all through it. There are no real disappointments. As I looked around the beautiful dining room, I’ve finally concluded that this place rates  at the very top of my favorite restaurants anywhere. People always ask us what our favorite restaurants are. For Tom that’s easy: Antoine’s. For me also easy: Bottega Louie in Los Angeles is my favorite restaurant in the world. This one is not far behind.