Here is what we have been eating...
Day Four Monday Lunch:Hit Cochon the Butcher. My husband and I had a muffaletta and side of marinated brussel sprouts. Wow! this place was absolutely packed and with absolute good reason. Best sandwich we had ever eaten. Bread was super soft and very light and the olive tapenade was briny and savory. Wonderful lunch. We would have loved going back but we wanted to try as many restaurants as we could.
Dinner: First stop was the Sazarec Bar at the Roosevelt and had their signature Sazarec made with Rye. Our bartender, Jerry, born and raised in New Orleans was as big of a foodie as we were and I showed him my huge list of restaurants which I composed with the help of the TA forum. The Sazarec was excellent and highly potent. For dinner we walked next door to Chef John Besh' Domenica. Restaurant was jumping and, as usual, we sat at the counter. We ordered the house Chianti which was great and not too dry as some chianti's have a tendency to be. We ordered the spicy lamb meatball pizza and two small plates of pasta - Tagliatelle with rabbit & porcini and the Stracci with oxtail and fried chicken livers. I am not a big fan of chicken livers but tried it and loved it. Super crispy and tender. Everything was amazing. We walked around the French Quarter listening to the musicians and tried to walk off some of the food we consumed.
Day 5 - Tuesday - Lunch at Casamento's. We had seen this restaurant on Emeril's Originals program and were greeted by the people we saw on tv. Everyone was super nice for the head shucker to the owners. We split a dozen chargrilled oysters, a cup of oyster stew and a half of an oyster loaf. Could not pick a favorite - chargrilled oysters were super fresh and had a nice bread crumb topping on top. The oyster stew was a milk and butter based soup with no heavy cream or thickening agent so it was very light and had a wonderful oyster flavor. There were a good amount of plump oyster throughout. The oyster loaf (their version of an oyster po' boy) was incredible. The oysters were fried to perfection, not greasy or heavy. Very crispy and super fresh. The bread is made especially for them and it looked like a very thick slice of white bread but was very light and airy. The restaurant was completely tiled with the original Italian tiles from the walls to the floors. Easy streetcar ride there, just get off at Napolean Street and walk a couple blocks to Magazine. This is a no can miss on anyone's agenda. Will definitely come back again
Dinner: Mr. B's Bistro for their BBQ'd shrimp - OMG. If I could just get gallons of this sauce mailed to us in Florida I would bathe in it. The broth was amazing - so flavorful and perfectly spicy. The shrimp were huge and the bib they give you is for good reason. We also tried the crab cake appetizer and the huge grilled scallops topped with truffle oil and parmegiano reggiano (the undisputed king of cheeses as per Mario Batali). We finished off dinner with the lemon ice box pie which was killer. Very refreshing but not overpowering with lemon. The crust was sweet and crunchy and complimented the tartness of the lemons. Highly recommend this restaurant as well. Our bartender, Larry, was very nice and gave us piping hot steamed hand towels and lemon wedges to clean our hands from the BBQ sauce. What a meal - this one is definitely one to remember.
Day 5 - Luch: Boucherie . Had the grilled cesar salad which was excellent. Cesar dressing was creamy with a light garlic background. The basil croutons were crunchy and bright with the warm slightly charred romaine lettuce. My husband ordered the Roast Beef Po' Boy which is roasted for 12 hours. What an incredible sandwich!!!! Super moist with beef juices and slathered with horseradish sauce. I had the duck confit po boy with arugula and creole tomatoes and roasted garlic. We shared the sandwiches and both agreed that the duck po boy was excellent but the roast beef was better. I think it had to do with the beef drippings. We split the Thai Chili chocolate chess pie that looked very heavy but was super light. It reminded us of a brownie mousse. The crust was very similar to the outside of a brownie and the inside was like a whipped chocolate with a hint of spice that hits you after you swallow. Not super spicy but just right.
Dinner: We hit Frenchmen Street and listened to a few bands and dba and Café Negril. The band at Café Negril was a lot of fun because they had many people from the audience join them on stage. At one point there were 10 musicians playing all at once. We left around 11:30 p.m. and hit Coops Place. I think this was my favorite meal so far because of how spicy their food was. I am a huge fan of very spicy food, my husband is not. We ordered the Cajun Fried Chicken and I am seriously telling you that this was BY FAR the BEST FRIED Chicken I have ever eaten in my life. We have travelled all over Savannah and Charleston and this was better. It was seasoned to perfection. Super juicy, hot and flavorful. They serve it with rabbit jumbalaya which was AMAZING. My husband could not eat this because it was too spicy for him so I reluctantly gave him all (but a giant bite) or my chicken and I ate the entire plate of jumbalaya. I could no eat it fast enough. It was incredible with Andouille sausage and big tender pieces of rabbit. Super super spicy and delicious. We also had a cup of their seafood gumbo to try and again, I had to sacrifice and eat the whole cup because my husband could not eat it due to the spiciness. It was extremely spicy. My mouth was feeling it even after we left. Amazing dinner. I love this place. It is a dive bar and the music is super loud but the food was incredible. This is on my future must go to list.
Lunch Day 6: Just got back from Red Gravy. Wow! Does anybody make a bad meal in this town? My husband worked as a chef for many years and his specialty was Northern Italian so suffice it to say that he is very picky with Italian food and he loved it. We split a bunch of appetizers - the Nonni - 2 meatballs the size of baseballs each with their red gravy and garlic bread. Wow! I am originally from New Jersey and this tasted just like NJ/NY Italian food like I remember. Nothing fancy, just very simple, fresh, garlicky and slightly sweet (not acidic in the least). We shared a small harvest salad with fresh gorgonzola and cranberries and roasted apples - fantastic fresh and sweet/salty, we also ordered a small side of penne which we did not get right away. The waitress apologized for the delay and said she put in the wrong order and gave us a complimentary side of bruschetta which was delicious. Topping had lots of basil and garlic and chopped tomatoes topped with a good quality olive oil. When the pasta came out (Rigatoni) the owner came to our table and apologized for the delay in getting this dish to us. She then told us that it was "on the house". The meatballs were amazing too. My husband is a fantastic Italian cook and when I go to a good Italian restaurant, if the food is as good as he makes, I think that is a pretty high compliment. Even my husband loved everything. He is super picky with Italian food - not enough garlic, they didn't use fresh herbs, the sauce is bland or acidic.... he could not find any fault with anything we ate. Wonderful wonderful restaurant. I would not have known about this place if it were not for the TA contributors. Thank you everyone for writing about this place.
Dinner tonight is at Commander's Palace which by the way, they have extended their restaurant week menu for the entire week. We are leaving tomorrow for 3 nights in Apalachicola (a small fishing town with great oyster restaurants). I will miss NOLA. We have had such a wonderful time meeting people and eating wonderful food and listening to great music. This is one of my favorite cities I have been to - I don't want to leave!!!!