Instagram Launch Party Launches New Interest
Tom Fitzmorris October 09, 2019 11:03 Dining Diary
Galatoire’s 33 now has an Instagram account, which would ordinarily not mean a lot to me, except that it was a great excuse for a party. And what a party it was last night.
First of all, this is a beautiful restaurant. MA is thrilled every time we walk in. I don’t know why we don’t go more often. When we ran into the Maitre'd and he gave us a chronology of our visits, it was embarrassing. We’ve only been twice. Is this possible? His memory seemed faultless, though. The food tonight was so spectacular, and the place so appealing, we vowed to be better.
We walked in through a gauntlet of very attractive young women, who were the hosts for the evening, Tables were set up to encourage pictures and Instagramming. I just don’t understand this. We made our way past all this and settled into one of the cozy leather booths. I got a drink and Mary Ann didn’t. Appetizers were passed which I loved and Mary Ann didn’t touch. She was kind enough to take some each time, so I was pretty filled before dinner. Not her thing, but definitely mine. It was a very generous assortment of the good stuff: steak tartare on fried potato chips, fois gras on puff pastry, deviled eggs with caviar, and escargots. It was a gourmet's dream. And all delicious.
While I kept busy with appetizers like this, MA struck up a conversation with a beautiful young woman at the next booth, who was awaiting her husband. She is an influencer with an Instagram @amournola, who began to be invited to these events when the page got the attention of PR people in town. This lovely young couple who did this on a whim, explained that they went to bed that first night and woke up with 100 followers. We were fascinated by their account of the success of this little lark, and the pressure it has created for them to keep up with the demand for their posts. Interesting times in which we live.
It was soon time to move to the dining room, where four tables were set with different menus, each highlighting the new fall menu from Chef Phillip Lopez. The sommelier worked the room offering the house Red or White, and everyone chose a table. We sat with our new friends, and had a fantastic evening. These events aren’t usually this much fun.
The food was just great. The first course was escargots with an Herbsaint cream sauce, of which I had quite a few already from the pass-arounds. Next came a very elegant salad containing frisee, radishes, and brown butter vinaigrette. MA flipped over this salad, calling it one of the best she has ever had, and she is not a frisee fan. A potato pave was placed before us, which was also very good, and some green beans au gratin. Excellent. The entree course was the most generous. A bone-in filet came to the table that was so rare MA almost cried. I loved it. She sawed off the edges and gave me the red middle. I realize that sawed off implies tough. Quite the opposite. It was butter-like tender. Finally on the table was Lobster Thermidor. And that brought to the table and my brain something I haven't encountered in a long time.
The word "Thermidor" goes back to ancient times. At one time it designated the hottest month of the year in Rome. When Julius Caesar took charge of the Roman Empire, he changed the name "Thermidor" to Julius Emperor. It later became July. It has popped up in other times and usages, one of which was to give names to a lot of food, all the way to the present day. Many of these were French. In New Orleans, we once saw Antoine's Restaurant and others with lobster on the menu, called Thermidor. The lobster in use was the spiny tropical lobster from the Caribbean, as opposed to Maine lobster now preferred by everybody except Julius Caesar and Tom Pittari, whose son holds the secret of Lobster Kadobster.
Tonight’s lobster was less chewy than usual, enough for MA to eat it. Split in half and roasted, it was stuffed with a creamy sauce and some cheese. This was surprisingly good. Even my wife thought so.
We left the table after this feast and went back into the bar for pass-around desserts. There was strawberry shortcake, and peach ice cream in pastry, and a few other things that looked great and tasted better.
Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak
215 Bourbon St. New Orleans
Friday & Saturday till 11