Sold!!! At Galatoire's

Mary Ann Fitzmorris January 28, 2020 11:39 Dining Diary

Last night was the Mardi Gras version of the Galatoire’s Foundation table raffle, a brilliant idea that has raised millions for charities. Only in New Orleans would restaurant tables be so desired as to fetch between $8,000 and $15,000 for a four-top or larger group. 

Table 18, which seats 12, did indeed go for $8,500, and the $15,000 was an earlier year. We did not actually witness either of these, This was the first year the media was invited to see this in action,.We arrived after the show to a very generous pour, really bottomless Veuve Clicquot and passed appetizers of steak tartare on housemade potato chips, escargots in puff pastry shells,  souffle potatoes, and boudin balls. Yes, boudin balls. All of this was up to its usual standards, but we can’t vouch for the boudin balls. We were sitting in the wrong place for that, and at this event, you stayed where you landed. That’s how overflowing with jubilant people it was. And cramped.

The usual Gaalatoire’s noise level had crescendoed to a point of irritation for me, so I didn’t want to even think about what Tom thought of this. I whispered in his ear that we drop in next door for Happy Hour while the wait for the start of the auction continued.

A quick glance at the menu at Galatoire’s 33 implied that this was more about snacks to accompany drinks than any real food. I expected something along the lines of a bar burger or sliders or something that other steakhouse happy hours offer. These were gourmet crackers and dips and deviled eggs, all of which are delicious, but not really substantial enough for a meal. Cleverly priced though, all at $3.33. There is a separate bar menu with the burger, though it wasn’t available for happy hour? This was confusing.

We moved into the main dining room and ordered turtle soup and a wedge salad for appetizers, and a steak and crabcake for entrees, with a side of hash browns. The turtle soup was enthusiastically endorsed by the turtle soup expert, who inquired of the waitress why she didn’t offer sherry. She mentioned that it was done in the kitchen, an answer that practically thrilled Tom. My wedge was good, with crispy lardons and a generous non-drizzle of blue cheese dressing. This was enough for a meal in itself. Soon the second course arrived. 

The steak was perfect, though cooked to Tom’s usual specifications. But we asked for medium, which it most definitely was not. I had a few thin edge pieces, which were tender and delicious. Tom was quite satisfied with the rare center. The crab cake (pictured) was one of the real deals, Nearly two inches high, made of solid lump crabmeat held together mysteriously, it sat in a tiny puddle of salmon-colored sauce with serious spice levels. It was crusty on top, and the sear was so dark I couldn’t really tell if the pepper taste that overwhelmed it came from above or below. It was too much, but there is simply no such thing as a bad crab cake. I will inquire about pepper first if I order this again. And I will.

The sear on the large disk of hashbrowns was also too dark to detect where the offending pepper taste was coming from. In short, the consistent overpowering taste in this meal was pepper. Just something to remember. These are first quality ingredients, executed well, I just need to remember to have them restrain themselves next time.

I ate an extraordinarily unusual amount of the delicious bread here, just to soak up some alcohol. I am such a ridiculously cheap drunk, I was really out of it on two glasses of bubbly.

We skipped dessert to get to the auction, which had only one lot left when we slipped back in through crammed chairs. Chef Phillip Lopez was being auctioned as a home chef for six. That fetched around $3k.

A great time was had by all. They made $163,000. Kudos to them for such a great idea.

Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak

215 Bourbon St New Orleans


Sun-Th 5-10

Friday & Saturday till 11

Friday lunch 11:30-3

Happy Hour 4-7