Friday, October 18, 2013

new orleans rewind (part 2)

So I've already shared my action-packed Saturday in New Orleans with you, but let's rewind to Friday.

Hello, lover

I was so happy to hang out with my bayou bestie, Indrina. To thank her for picking us up at the airport, I made her favorite treat, salted caramel brownies.  They looked SO GOOD for a brief time:

But unfortunately, I forgot that Lousisiana is 9 million degrees all the time.  When she opened the tupperware, they were just regular brownies in a pool of caramel, cemented to the bottom of the tupperware.  Luckily, this is a woman of high perseverance, so she managed to eat them all anyway.  Clearly, I still have some kinks to work out for taking Sugarbomb on the road! 


Immediately after landing, we headed to Bouligny for cocktails and snacks. 

We enjoyed some gougeres and then a tasty duck confit and roasted vegetables. I personally wouldn't consider this a "small plate," but I guess I'm not the expert in savory cooking.  We embarrassed my husband by making him take 8 million pictures of us until our arms looked skinny enough. I'm not sure I ever really nailed it.

Actually, now that I look at this, my arms look minuscule in comparison to my GIGANTIC HANDS.  The better to knead bread with, my dear. 

After rolling out of Bouligny, we headed to what looked like a total dive bar Delachaise had me at $5 cava.

 It was actually a classy joint in the disguise of a dive bar.  (I like to think of that as my personal style, as well.)  Indrina feasted on smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and caviar on blinis. You know, like you do at 4pm in the afternoon.   I loved that you ordered everything, food and drinks, up at the bar.  That way you could chill out as long as you wanted or eat right away without a server checking up on you every five seconds.

I myself restrained from feasting at Delachaise, because I had plans to meet my mother in law at Herbsaint for dinner. I will say that the service was surprisingly inattentive - we had to wait 30 minutes past our reservation time, and then it took another 20 minutes for a server to come over.  Luckily, we had gotten a drink at the bar.  For the size of the restaurant, they did seemed to be overwhelmed by their moderately-sized Friday night crowd.  I was surprised at this given the restaurant's longstanding popularity and reputation.
  I can't tell if the service got better halfway through the meal, or if our wine to food ratio (a lot to none) brightened our spirits. Either way, we ended up having a good time after a rocky start.  

Reading the menu, I was mega excited about a first course described as "Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg".  I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting, but it was not this plate of incredibly rich deliciousness:

When I think "fried egg," I'm imagining sunny-side up, not actually DEEP fried. But hey, I'll take it! It was basically a deep fried poached egg on top of a spaghetti carbonara. It. Was. Amazing.  I was so full after this that I could barely eat another bite.  I ordered a shrimp and white bean dish for an entree - it was probably delicious, but i was still fantasizing about this spaghetti. 

The desserts at Herbsaint were pretty impressive - despite our full bellies, I forced my companions to order 3 desserts so I could taste them all.  The winner, in my opinion, was my pick, which was a brown butter almond cake served with peach ice cream. 

YUM. See you next time, New Orleans!

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