A month ago a new hotel opened quietly. The Higgins Hotel is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, which is a brand of eclectic properties, much like Marriott’s Autograph Collection. This is a stunning hotel with a theme, and that theme is the 40s. It is owned by donors to the WW2 Museum and managed by Hilton. Cafe Normandie opens this evening, but we went for a tour and had a bite or two to eat in Kilroy’s, the perfect name for the bar at such a place.
The WW2 Museum is the number one reason tourists come to town, believe it or not, though this year it has dropped to number three. This property is right in the middle of the growing complex and is perfect for the person whose main reason to be in town is the museum. On the way to the event, ML and I spoke about the permanent memorial to these men and that place in our nation's history, and what an honor it is to have it here.
We started the tour in Kilroy’s where crab beignets were set into little cones alongside tartar sauce. These were really tasty and the perfect size. Little bites were set up throughout the tour, like the ceviche (pictured), which was at the rooftop bar. This was definitely period, right out of that era, with a really nice view of the city.
It was our intention to have lunch at Cafe Normandie, but it wasn’t open. We settled for lunch in Kilroy’s, where we got a Sensation Salad and the duck gumbo. The most notable thing about the gumbo was its price, which we thought outrageous at $12. It was not a cup or a bowl, but something in-between. There were maybe two thin slices of sausage and only shreds of duck in a gloppy soup, but it was not a bad flavor. This definitely needs work. We also got a salad that looks like a Caesar but tastes like an Italian salad. A really delicious flavor of raw but not overpowering garlic and an oily dressing, complemented by Romano cheese. Some olives would have elevated this to really great, but it was just plain great. Simple, proving that sometimes the simplest is the best.
Service is not there yet either, but this is a work in progress, We felt confident that better things will come. And we look forward to dining in Cafe Normandie, which coincidentally has a chef from Normandy.
Kilroy’s at the Higgins Hotel
1000 Magazine New Orleans