Tag Archives: new orleans

MiLa New Orleans

I have amazing luck. I set a trip down to New Orleans to visit my brother for a couple days and just happen to hit Coolinary New Orleans, the city’s restaurant month.

So with that in mind, we decided to go to Restaurant August for their lunch special. However, there was a discrepancy between the website and reality, and it turns out that they only do lunch on Fridays. Hence, the title of this review MiLa, the restaurant we actually ended up at.

So without further ado, MiLa.
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To start out with, I definitely give the restaurant a thumbs up overall. We each got the $20 dollar prix fix lunch menu, and it was fantastic.

Before we ordered, the waiter brought out the bread, and I could tell then that this was going to be a good meal.
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There were two types of bread, a sweet potato roll and a chive cornbread, and two spreads. One was just butter, although very good butter. However, the second spread was pureed lima beans with some sort of spice in it, and it was very good, despite the fact that pureed lima beans sounds like baby food. I will definitely be experimenting to figure out how to make that.

For the first course, I had a summer corn chowder with sauteed shrimp and creme fraiche.
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It was delicious, sweet from the corn, savory from the shrimp and tangy from the creme fraiche.

There was a choice of two entrees.
First, the filo-crusted redfish.
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and the braised veal cheeks.
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at first I liked the veal better, because it was very rich and had a bold, excellent flavor, but the redfish, although a little more subdued ended up being my favorite. The crispness of the filo crust contrasted with tenderness of the fish was amazing.

Dessert likewise had two options: Rice pudding or house made ice cream. The menu said that the ice cream would be peach, which sounded fantastic, but we were later informed that that day it was actually banana, which did not appeal to me so much. So I got the rice pudding, and a small french press of New Orleans style coffee with chicory.
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The rice pudding was good, but the coffee was the standout in the final course. New Orleans coffee has a sweetness to it that comes from the chicory that makes it incredibly smooth and flavorful to drink.

And now I will leave you with the gratuitous close up.
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Product Review

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My brother got me this Olive Salad from Central Grocer’s in New Orleans, and it is some of the most amazing stuff. I have been adding it when I make tuna salad, or when I have a baked potato. Basically, any cold dish that needs a bit more flavor can benefit from it.

Here is a wonderful snack it can make.
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Just a bell pepper with the olive salad on the inside. Maybe a little hot sauce for kick.
And naturally, if you want to make a muffaletta it is absolutely necessary.

Now I just have to figure out how to make it, or find a local source by the time that this runs out.

And just for fun, here is a shot of my machinetta providing me with my coffee.
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New Orleans Part V

Okay, so this was a while ago, but the food was great.

It is time for a restaurant review.

Bacco’s

When I was there, it was restaurant month, so there was a fixed menu/small menu option for less money.

I started off with corn and crab soup, which was delicious, if boring to look at, although they brought it out in a little metal circle dish and dumped it in my bowl at the table. Why do they do that? I don’t understand.
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The main dishes were:

Lobster ravioli
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This was amazing. The ravioli were perfectly made, and the filling was fantastic, along with a delicious sauce. Everything about these, even to someone who had just gotten back from Italy, was perfect.

Bacco Shrimp
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These were a bit of a mess to eat at a fancy restaurant. That is not to say that they weren’t good. They were fantastic, but the thins is, is that you can get good barbecued shrimp in a lot of places, but lobster ravioli that good are not a dime a dozen.

Desert was fantastic, if difficult to eat. Peach and blueberry torte. Now I hear “torte”, and think “cake” because that is what “torte” means.

This was not a cake, it was so much better
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In summation, go there, but find a time when there is a special so you can afford it.

New Orleans Part IV, the French Quarter

On Monday I woke up a bit late for breakfast (except for some fantastic cold-drip coffee), so strait to lunch, wandering in the French Quarter.

I was told to go to the Central Grocer for a muffaletta, which is a traditional Italian-New Orleanian (is that a word?) sandwich.
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However, being Monday, it was closed. So, I ended up going to the French Market and finding another great place to get a muffaletta.
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Okay, technically it was a quarter muffaletta.
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It was delicious. There was salami, mortadella, another meat (prosciutto maybe), provolone and olive salad.

***

Later in the afternoon, for a bit of a pick me up, I stopped in Cafe DuMonde, which is a New Orleans institution. I normally don’t like places like this, but the beignets and cafe au lait were so good that I cannot judge it for being a tourist attraction.
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This is what powdered doughnuts want to be when they grow up.

New Orleans Part III

After the amazing brunch on Sunday, we wandered around in the heat for quite a while on Royal St. in the French quarter. Lots of great antique stores, and a great way to beat the heat.

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The snowball. I had had one of these one time before, at Snowball Joe’s in Balltimore, and I have favorable memories, but this was amazing.

I got PiƱa Colada with condensed milk, which was delicious, if very rich.
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My brother got cherry and granny-smith apple. The granny-smith was unbelievably sour, but very good. Definitely try it, but get another flavor to go along with it, or you might die.
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Dinner was at Port of Call, which supposedly makes the best burger in the USA. It is definitely up there, along with some great baked potatoes.
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New Orleans Part II, Elizabeth’s

On Sunday, after a mass that was almost a concert (and certainly more musically amazing than many concerts I have been too), we went to Elizabeth’s for a gigantic brunch (well, it was already around 2pm, but it was still brunch)

Starters.

Praline bacon.
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This was recommended by a local, so I couldn’t pass it up. It seems like a bizarre combination, but it works really well. Like french fries and a Frosty.

“Old Fashioned Callas”
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I still don’t know what this was, but it was good, and besides, nothing can be bad that shares a name with Maria Callas. I suppose I could google it, but that would be less fun. It was something like deep-fried oatmeal with powdered sugar.

Coffee
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New Orleans coffee has chicory in it, which cuts a little of the bitterness. I had somewhere around ten cups of it at Elizabeth’s.

Now for the real food.

Shrimp and Grits.
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The shrimp was amazing. I have never had shrimp that fresh before. Apparently, despite it being Sunday, it was the first day of the the shrimp season, so the shrimp was definitely never frozen. It makes a difference.

Duck waffle.
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The duck waffle was the most amazingly brilliant thing I have ever eaten. Not necessarily the best thing, although it was really tasty, but genius in that I would never have put it together, or even contemplated it. It was a cornbread waffle with roast duck, sweet potatoes, and pepper jelly. It was an amazing combination. If you ever get a chance, try this, but split it with someone. It is huge.

Announcement

I am heading off to New Orleans for the next four days. I will try to get some posts lined up to come out while I am gone (I have a meal I cooked as a well as a restaurant review to put out), and then expect some great food from the Big Easy.