Eatin’ in New Orleans 4

November 19, 2016 at 11:50 PM Leave a comment

This trip to New Orleans was different. We did not visit any of our favorites. Instead we concentrated on new places that have been well received, We couldn’t have been happier. Sure, we do miss the old favorites, but this is how new favs emerge.

Occasionally and oh, so rarely a new restaurant stuns you. Everything just plain works. The greeting is warm, the atmosphere is inviting, the staff is beyond prepared and the food, from the bread to the last spoonful of dessert is flawless. That was our experience at Sac-A-Lait. This place has almost immediately risen to “single-digit” status in our favorite places in NOLA. It was that good.

Before our meal started to arrive, the amuse-bouche did exactly what this opening act should. It prepares you for the meal to come. Buffalo Chicken Feet. While Michele politely passed, Jeff dug into the “unusual” food. Lots of bone, orange sauce covered fingers and flavor for days. Sac-A-Lait works with local Louisiana farmers and fishermen and uses EVERY conceivable part of the animal. If you’ve had any Cajun food, there are a lot of unusual “pieces and part” on a Cajun menu. Our Chicken Feet Amuse Bouche established a benchmark that the remainder of the evening achieved and even exceeded.

Even the bread and butter was noteworthy. The bread was a nice mild grain biscuit and the butter was goat-milk that provide a grassiness not found in typical butter. We shared an appetizer. A bowl of steamed oysters was topped with fries covered with truffle honey aioli. It took a second to realize the fried were dusted with black sea salt. The broth was rich and scooping up a spoonful (or four) was derigueur. Boy, was that good! Michele completely devoured the Whole Stuffed Flounder. With a gentle citrus topping and Oysters Rockefeller stuffing, how could she have left a morsel on the plate? Jeff ordered the seared Grouper served over a duck egg carbonara. Not typically a “fish guy” he couldn’t have been happier. After a Cane Sugar Cake (blessed with a hint of lime) dessert that equaled the entrées, a walk back to the Quarter was certainly in order!

After enjoying the Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade, Michele in costume and Jeff, still in his work suit had a late dinner at Angeline. Not to worry, personal oddities, even if it is dress are generously tolerated in New Orleans! Angeline is located in the former home of Stella! One of the New Orleans restaurants that managed to bridge the pre and post Katrina city. The chef comes from Sylvain, a non-touristy French Quarter haven. The provenance has afforded it an excellent foot forward and they delivered completely.

We shared the Crispy Cauliflower appetizer. The veggie was seared and combined with sheep’s milk cheese, served over a tapenade base. Crunchy and nutty, it was a nice reprieve from the obligatory roasted cauliflower found EVERYWHERE. After almost thirty years of traveling to New Orleans, Michele has become a “shrimp Snob.” She insists that no shrimp is the same as fresh gulf shrimp and the shrimp in New Orleans is both. She ordered the Gulf Shrimp and Country Ham and could not have been happier. Served over butter-beans, it was everything a shrimp-lovin’ gal could want! Jeff always knows rabbit in New Orleans is going to be special. The Mississippi Rabbit Milanese was no exception. The leg meat was extremely tender, served over collards, bacon and a remarkable tomato-carrot gravy, each mouthful was an event. On the side was a luscious spoon bread (something us “northerners” really experience far too little.)

Angeline was the perfect end to a “typical” parade day in New Orleans. Crazy people, crazy costumes, great food!

Michele needed to leave New Orleans before Jeff completed his work assignment. Because of this turn of events, Jeff of course orchestrated an evening of food for his coworkers. They decided to dine at Trinity. Trinity is on the Far East end of Decatur, not typically linked to fine dining, albeit a few places were opening there in the early 2000’s (pre Katrina). To begin, Jeff ordered a trio of Smoked Oyster Deviled Eggs. A decadent deviled egg was topped with a smoke oysters, and it was good!

While his coworkers enjoyed a plate of raw, fresh oysters, Jeff decided to try the Crayfish, Fontina Beignet. Likely a mistake. The beignet was pasty. Jeff had hoped for a gougere like consistency and instead got a heavy doughnut (yes, the menu did say beignet!) Perhaps this was his fault.

Dinner was better. The Lamb Chops featured a nice seared exterior and baby-tender, pink insides. It was SO good. His coworkers both ordered and appreciated the Gulf Coast Fruitte de Mare.

In our opinion, New Orleans is one of the top four restaurant cities in the United States (Chicago #1, New York and San Francisco) Each time we visit, the bar is raised farther up and up. With Sac-A-Lait especially, New Orleans only gets higher on the list.

http://www.sac-a-laitrestaurant.com/ 1051 Annunciation Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-324-3658

http://www.angelinenola.com/ 1032 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA 70116 504-308-3106

http://www.trinityrestaurantneworleans.com/ 1117 Decatur Street New Orleans, LA 70116 504-325-5789

Entry filed under: Eatin' Out of Town. Tags: , , , .

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