It might be somewhat true what Tom says about the Marys. Yesterday was Father’s Day by golly, and there would be no forced alfresco, and definitely no La Carreta or Chimes. This was Tom. His Father’s Day. A Grande Dame would be involved.
With his true love Antoine’s temporarily but still sadly shuttered in Mardi Gras colored plywood (a terrible sight), and Arnaud’s doing only private dining, Galatoire’s was chosen. Only tables from 5 pm on were available.
The same three rows of tables I had seen before on a pick-up run were still there, with wide aisles between them. Fortunately the blue tape markers on the floors, (telltale signs of even darker times were gone.) It was quiet and slow-paced. No waiters darting about the room and colliding. No buzz.
They were pretty busy, and no one seemed to mind the weird circumstances. The Maitre’d was barely recognizable behind his coverings but was in good spirits, reporting a good time despite it all, and lots of business. Galatoire’s and GW Fins, more than anyone else, seems to have fought the good fight with an air of fun.
The kitchen turned out the same level of deliciousness one expects here. We started with souffle potatoes which to me seem much ado about nothing. Tom loves these, and he did again. He had them all to himself.
This he followed with oysters Rockefeller, which was also right on par with those in normal times. This was stove piping hot, and the only thing on the table that could be described that way. The Trout Amandine I got was room temp at best. Other than that it was Galatoire’s perfect. Fried golden brown and covered in a light Meuniere sauce with piles of slivered almonds. This house specialty and New Orleans trademark is best here. To me at least.
We also got creamed spinach and hash browns as sides. Tom got four perfect rack of lamb bones with a Bearnaise sauce he loved.This lamb was meaty, tender, crusty on the outside and rare on the inside. Exactly as Tom hoped it would be. And our daughter got a wedge salad, which had an adequate amount of everything, bacon, iceberg wedge, a few tomatoes and blue cheese dressing that seemed to include creole mustard? The dressing was definitely different than the usual.
Tom had a caramel cup custard, which is exactly what this was. Nothing fancy, No torched top, no special beautiful dish. This is the old-fashioned New Orleans classic.
Tom had a big glass of one of the favorite Rhones out there, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which was the perfect complement to his lamb, and he was quite pleased with it all.
The best kind of Father’s Day for Tom, except, of course, having the whole family together.