NYC – 2/27/17 – Isaac Toups @ Tasting Table Test Kitchen

I have always loved the guys chef dinners at the Tasting Table test kitchen although it was certainly easier to get reservations years ago.  Isaac Toups is one of my favorites in New Orleans and he brought some great crawfish dishes to NYC.

crawfish roll, brioche, celery hearts, citrus

crawfish bisque, stuffed crawfish heads

Louisiana crawfish pie, potato puree, herb salad

cinnamon and blood orange “Mardi Gras” hand pie

New Orleans – 1/19/17 – Latitude 29 and N7

Latitude 29
The perfect start to a long weekend in NOLA!

I have to start with a disclaimer as the photos do not to justice to N7.  It is a bit off the beaten path and our uber driver was somewhat confused.  Behind a tall fence is the most adorable outdoor space which is the perfect location for a dinner with a group of friends.  Loved everything about this place, but like the band that is fantastic live and not so great recorded, N7 is far better first hand.

sake cured salmon tartine, goat cheese, cilantro

escargot tempura, garlic cream sauce

avocado salad, wasabi dressing

can to table

hamachi carpaccio

duck a l’orange

New Orleans – 1/21/17 – Maypop and August

Such a great space totally different from Willa Jean next door but with the same fantastic light making it a perfect brunch spot.  A really great meal with flavors that I tend to gravitate towards.

The Pom Dot Com – gin, aperol, green chartreuse, cava

Chilled buckwheat noodle salad – roasted apple, jumbo lump crab, spicy pickled mirliton, green szechuan

Crispy fried P&J oysters – bourbon barrel soy mash aioli, idiazabal cheese, spicy cucumber

Whole roasted fairytale pumpkin – shaved apple, housemade pancetta, roti bread

Charred lamb with roti

I love this dining room and it still is my favorite in New Orleans although the evening lighting is not conducive to photos. A perfect last meal to this trip.


salad of heirloom beet and apple, bruleed goat cheese, pecan

foie gras prepared three ways

Louisiana stuffed blue crab – andouille, shrimp, black garlic

grilled sea scallop, parsley root, local citrus, pig’s ear


New Orleans – 11/23/15 – Willa Jean

I rarely go out for breakfast, even when traveling, but Willa Jean is one of the few places I wish I could go to every day.  All of the baked goods looked absolutely amazing and I decided on the banana bread which was fantastic.  And the avocado toast was one of the best that I have had.  Such a lovely and sunny space which made you think it was much warmer outside than it actually was.  Definitely a NOLA go-to!

banana bread
avocado toast

New Orleans – 11/22/15 – Coquette, Erin Rose , and Tableau

Continued evidence that so much of the great stuff in NOLA now can be found on Magazine street.  An absolutely fantastic brunch (even if the beef didn’t photograph well) and I will certainly return on my next visit.

negroni sbagliato – campari, sweet vermouth, sparkling wine
cinnamon roll

cobia crudo – satsuma, hibiscus, jalapeño

beef cheek, stone ground oats, scallion, poached egg

sweet potato tart, molasses chantilly, salted pecans

Erin Rose
It was an absolutely freezing day and the infamous irish coffee definitely hit the spot. Thanks Bobby for the recommendation!

I ended up at Tableau after compromising on to-do lists with a travel companion. When I walked in it appeared to be full of tourists, the lighting was dreadful and my initial thought was to walk out. But without another reservation I stayed. I wish i could remember what my entree was but it was a special and photographed poorly and for the life of me I can’t tell. I can’t say it was bad but not a good use of limited days in the city.

Crabmeat Ravigote – local jumbo lump crabmeat, lemon aioli, marinated grilled tomato, lavash

New Orleans – 11/21/15 – Commander’s Palace, Sazerac Bar, and Square Root

Commander’s Palace
Not having been on previous visits, I thought I needed to visit Commander’s Palace at least once in my lifetime.  While I love the history of this place and that so many chef’s have passed through and gone on to great things, it is unfortunately too touristy and felt a bit like hotel food.

Commander’s Creole Gumbo
 New Orleans Barbecued Gulf Shrimp
 Pecan Pie

Sazerac Bar
Another place I felt that i had to cross off of the list having not been here on previous visits. As I was staying at the Roosevelt it was certainly convenient. At least now I can have an informed opinion that this is not the best sazerac I have ever had.

Square Root
I salvaged this day with dinner at Square Root and a pre-dinner drink at the upstairs bar Root Squared. Fantastic service and descriptions of dishes as presented by the chef’s. I really enjoyed this meal tremendously from the whimsical elements like cotton candy to so many of my favorite ingredients to perhaps the perfect muffaletta.

 Mussels – Watercress, Calabrian Chile
 Wianno Oyster – Dill, Honey Vinegar, Horseradish
 Muffaletta – ‘Nduja, Face Bacon, Olive Salad, Grana Padano
 Southern Picnic – Fried Chicken, Watermelon Rind, Mustard
Pig Head – Caramelized Squid, Boiled Peanuts, Seaweed
Matsutake – Raw Lamb, Barley, Egg Yolk
 Foie Gras – Parsnip, Date Leather, Vadouvan
 Garden Sorrel – Oxalis, Chartreuse
 Arctic Char – Onion, Sunflower, Carrot
 Rohan Duck – Persimmon, Satsuma, Trimmings
 Orchid Root – Muscadine, Sichuan Peppercorn, Black Locust Palm Seeds
 Butternut Squash – Curry, Pecans, Raisins, Poirier’s Cane Syrup

New Orleans – 11/20/15 – Shaya, Latitude 29, and Toups’ Meatery

Visiting Shaya was at the top of my to-do list for this trip and it was so fantastic that I almost (and should have) cancelled something on a different day and come back.  I almost ate to the point of making myself sick because everything was just too good not to finish.  I only wish I could have tried more and really want the recipe for the butternut squash hummus!

 moroccan carrots – chermoula and mint
lutenitsa – Bulgarian puree of roasted pepper, eggplant, garlic and tomato
tabouleh – parsley and bulgur wheat salad, red onion, toasted almonds, preserved lemon
 butternut squash hummus, black garlic putter, pecans
 lamb kebab – tomatoes, pine nuts, tahini, cilantro

Latitude 29
Latitude 29 may be the best, and one of the only tolerable things in the French Quarter.  I had planned to make a quick stop for just one drink and continue on, but the first was so good that one turned into three.  Unfortunately I don’t recall what the second and third drinks were but all really great.

Suffering Bastard – Dutch gin, French brandy, lime cordial, bittters, ginger beer


Toups Meatery

After Danny Meyer posted an amazing photo of a large format meat board at Toups I had to get here.  Terribly dark for photos but the meatery board lived up to expectations and could easily have been dinner itself.  Also it was great to get out of the touristy part of the city to more of what I would consider to be a neighborhood restaurant.

the Meatery Board
 Pickle Plate
 Roasted Gulf Shrimp – eggplant, tomato, olives, sherry vinaigrette