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J and J Say Two 11-year-olds visit and review Memphis' top restaurants
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Princess Aioli Mix 1/3 Italian-American princess, 1/3 Southern belle, and 1/3 Miami gringa. Result is one self-indulgent foodie who’s trying to figure out how to use her law degree to become the next big food writer.
Sad Lonely Crafter Inside the life of a housewife. A lover of knitting, crafts and all things Gamecocks
The Chubby Vegetarian A great source of anecdotes and recipes from one of Memphis' most famous vegetarians
I recently went on a work trip to Birmingham, where I got to explore (culinarily speaking) a city that's not familiar to me. I've driven through Birmingham on several occasions (as Birmingham sits in between Memphis and my hometown Anderson, South Carolina, depending on which route is taken), but my dining experiences have generally been limited to fast food options along the highway.
(Spring Salad - Hot and Hot Fish Club)
It took a lot of arm twisting from me and the front desk manager at the Birmingham Embassy Suites, but I was able to convince my colleagues that we should dine at Hot and Hot Fish Club, a popular fine-dining restaurant that has received tons of acclaim from folks like the James Beard Foundation.
(Cheese Plate - Hot and Hot Fish Club)
The food was obviously very fresh, and the plating was extremely whimsical. The spring vegetable salad was almost like a beautiful painting. Every time I ran my fork across the plate, I scooped up different flavors and textures. No one bite was the same, and the salad was light, refreshing and satisfying all at the same time.
(Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Olive & Sinclair Chocolate, Candied Blood Orange and Bitter Chocolate Cream - Hot and Hot Fish Club)
I think my traveling companions were also very impressed with the quality of the food. While the price point is a little higher than I would spend on an average evening out, if I were a Birmingham resident, I would definitely put Hot and Hot on my special occasion go-to list.
Our group was full of coffee afciandos, so when we spied a sleek, non-chain coffeehouse, we had to stop in.
(Pour Over, Hand Dripped Coffee - Octane)
Apparently, the Octane concept began in Atlanta, and recently expanded to the Homewood neighborhood of Birmingham. At Octane, they utlize the pour over coffee method, which is said to extract more flavor thantraditional brewing. They also stock a large variety of baked goods (the cinnamon rolls and the scones looked particularly scrumptious the day we were there) as well as breakast items like biscuits and oatmeal.
Octane Coffee 2821 Central Avenue Homewood, AL 35209 (205) 969-1177
During one of our meetings, it was suggested that we visit Steel City Pops, a gourmet popsicle shop. Now, you all know my love of the Mexican frozen treat, the paleta, so of course I was on board.
(Me and my buttermilk popsicle in front of a mural - Steel City Pops)
There's something for everyone with fruity flavors like strawberry balsamic, tamarind, hibiscus and blood orange, along with decadent creamy varieties, like peanut butter, chocolate chili and avocado. I went with the buttermilk, because the woman at the front counter said it tasted like cheesecake. It absolutely did, and I was very happy with my choice. There's very little seating, and it looks like parking can be an issue, so I would suggest visiting Steel City during non-peak hours.
Interim Restaurant & Bar has had many ups and downs in its relatively brief history. The space started out as Chef Wally Joe's signature namesake restaurant. When Chef Joe left to create his dream space (the popular Acre restaurant) the ensuing space was called Interim as a temporary fix. Well, Interim might as well be permanent fixture, because six years later, the concept has stuck. With Executive Chef Jackson Kramer (in his second stint at the helm), it looks like Interim is here to stay.
(Grilled quail with roasted grapes, pistachio cream and grappa)
Interim is one of those restaurants that's nice enough to impress, but reasonably priced, so as not to break the bank. The wine list is extensive, and the mixed beverages are potent. The bar is a popular weeknight hangout spot, but it's the food that helps Interim keep its permanent banner.
The appetizers are a bit more inventive than the entrees, but everything is well prepared and exemplifies the importance of the details - the housemade chutney that is served with the cheese cheese board, the beet puree that comes with the lamb, the garlic aioli that makes the Interim burger one of the best in the city. Interim doesn't skimp.
Diners may want to take advantage of the lunch menu, which offers the same thoughtful cuisine for half the price, and some dinner appetizers, like the grilled quail with roasted grapes, is large enough to satisfy a hearty appetite all on its own.
I can't wait to get back to Tokyo. Next time, I hope to visit as tourist, so I have the ability to visit some of the great attractions that I missed out on this trip.
As soon as I found out there was an Eataly in Tokyo, I knew I had to get there. I've been trying to get to Eataly for years.
So it's absolutely true that I made it to Eataly in Tokyo long before I got to the one in New York City, and from what I know about that store, the one in the Daikanyama neighborhood of Tokyo is much smaller in scale. But I didn't care.
Since I couldn't get there before our final day in Tokyo, I was limited on time. I also had to select my items carefully as I needed to make sure that everything I bought would not only fit in my suitcase, but also not cause issues in customs when I got back home.
We also stopped at the cafe for a snack. I still have dreams about that chocolate croissant.
Tokyo is one of the culinary capitals of the world. I knew that I didn't necessarily want to just stick to Japanese cuisine. Since Italian is my absolute favorite, I was really excited to try some Italian food in Toyko.
Elio Locanda was suggested to us as a place where Italian ex pats go to eat. I was sold. We gorged on stuffed prawns, seared beef, and of course, pasta. The creamy risotto was to die for.
Service in Japan is exceptional. Every waiter or waitress waits on every table. And, there is no gratuity. There is a 10% service charge added to every check and that is what the servers split.
And if you know me, you know I enjoyed the dessert cart. There were so many options, and they would just pull a tray off, cut you a slice, and keep on rolling.
My other foray into Italian fare was at at Obika Mozzarella Bar. A place dedicated to cheese? I'm so there.
First of all, you get a free appetizer when you order a drink. The night we dined, we were offered these delicious spinach and mozzarella fritters. We also indulged in a mozzarella sampler with two kinds of bufala mozzarella, burrata and a smoked mozzarella. It was an excellent way to start our evening. The restaurant also had a fantastic vibe. It would be a great place to grab drinks after work.
But, the crowning jewel of our culinary tour of Tokyo started with a little film that Tom saw via Netflix called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. This set in motion one of the most interesting dining experiences of my life.
We dined at Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro, while Jiro's son prepared some of the freshest sushi I've ever seen, straight off the fish. Course after course after course - fatty tuna, abalone, squid, makerel, bonito, scallop, clam, uni and so much more, finshed off with a little tamago.
Now if you know me at all, you realize that this was not my idea of a good time. But, I was more than happy to be a part of the experience, and I enjoyed being there with Tom.
Now this place is not for the faint of heart. This was the most expensive meal we've ever eaten in a restaurant, by quite a lot. Keep in mind, if you ever find yourself at this famed restaurant, that they will keep sending out courses until you say stop. I think Tom and I had around 25. The cost can get out of hand really quickly if that's the case. When it's time to settle the bill, there's no itemization, just a slip of paper with a number on it. (If you really want to know how much it was, drop me a note, I'll be happy to share that with you)
I'd love to make another trip to Tokyo and try a whole new set of restaurants, but I fear the memories of this trip will have to last me for quite a while.
I'll wrap up my tour of Tokyo with life-sized Buzz and Woody from Legoland in Roppongi Hills because...well, why not?
Anybody who knows me at all, knows that I absolutely adore Italian food. It is my absolute favorite type of cuisine. So you know that I was excited when a mediocre barbecue restaurant in Bartlett was replaced by a casual Italian eatery.
Thank goodness Bruno's is here to give me a low-key, non-chain Italian restaurant near my house. And this one really delivers.
We started out with the fried ravioli; Bruno's version rocks! Instead of the typical bread crumb coating, this ravioli had a light, almost tempura-like batter. It was crisp, and not at all greasy. I could have made a meal out this and a side salad.
For entree's, we had the chicken parmigiana sandwich with asparagus and the eggplant parmigana. Looking back, it probably would have been a good idea to vary our choices so we could have maybe tasted a different sauce, but c'est la vie.
That being said, these were very tasty plates of food. The asparagus is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette and topped with some chopped tomatoes. This elevated it above the standard steamed version. I found Bruno's marinara a little tangy; it was too much for the plain spaghetti that was served with the eggplant parmigiana, but absolutely delicious with the eggplant and melted cheese.
For dessert, we split a slice of cannoli cake. It was enormous, super rich, and decadently creamy. The combination of ricotta cannoli filling, chocolate ganache and orange zest was really tasty, but I was glad I was splitting it with Tom. I don't think I could have taken it down by myself, and I have a serious sweet tooth.
Bruno's has an extensive menu of traditional classics. The prices are reasonable enough to put it into our regular dinner rotation. We don't even have to save it for a special occasion.
The weather has gotten a bit colder, and it's perfect soup weather. Now, I told you about the delicious pho at Noodle Star, but if I had to pick my favorite soup in town (outside of the ones I cook in my kitchen), this one would win, hands down.
The tonkotsu ramen from Sekisui in Cordova is by far the richest, most delicious, amazing soup of its kind that I've tasted outside of Tokyo (Oh wow, I can legitimately say "outside of Tokyo") The cream based broth is so savory; it definitely has that "I've been cooked for 2 days" flavor. It served with slices of roast pork, scallions and hard boiled egg. You can also get additional accoutrements like sweet corn and bean sprouts.
It might be hard to tell from the picture, but the bowl is massive. I always get two enormous meals from one serving.
Sekisui Cordova has an entire menu of soups that are currently unavailable at any of the other Memphis locations, so take a trip out east. I promise this soup will blow your mind.
If you're a frequent reader of Tiffany Tastes, you might remember that I'm not expert on BBQ. For someone who lives in Memphis, this is probably unheard of, but it's really something that I only get a taste for about once a month. When my mom comes to visit, we eat barbecue everyday for a week, and most of the time, that's enough for me. That being said, when I do eat it, I enjoy it. And, people often ask me what's my favorite barbecue in this great barbecue city. I'm not certain this particular establishment is the best, but it's definitely in my top 3.
I'm not the only person who considers The Bar-B-Q Shop in Midtown Memphis to be one of the best barbecue restaurants in the city. I find that almost everything on the menu is done very well. It's one of the few places in town where you can get your barbecue sandwich served on buttered Texas toast. Let me urge you to take them up on that offer. The richness of the buttery bread is a great counterpoint to the barbecue sauce, which is on the sweeter side.
Another popular dish that you'll find in restaurants around the Bluff City is barbecue spaghetti. While it is an acquired taste, some restaurants do it better than others. The Bar-B-Q Shop is tops in my book. Barbecue spaghetti can easily be overly sweet, especially since noodles don't offer much flavor to counter the sauce. So if the barbecue sauce sucks, the barbecue spaghetti will suck, too. If you want barbecue spaghetti, definitely get it from here.
You won't find a bad barbecue dish on the menu. So, if you have friends or family from out of town and you're looking for a place where everything across the board is good, this is your place.
Ever since Do closed, I have been looking for a place to get my all-time favorite cold weather staple, pho - the traditional Vietnamese soup. I've tried it at several other places around town, but I've been less than impressed. Until I found Noodle Star (in the space that formerly housed Jimmy's Hot Dogs).
Noodle Star features Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes. It's like one-stop shopping for all of your Asian cuisine needs. There's s a wide variety of sushi, as well as noodles, stir-fry, fried rice and traditional Vietnamese soups.
We started off with the egg rolls (my standard adequacy gauge at any Asian restaurant.) These were crispy, light and not at all greasy. I really liked that the dipping sauce had a bit of a kick to it.
The pho at Noodle Star is first rate. It has that unique mix of savory with a hint of sweetness that I look for in my soups. While they don't have the more standard chicken pho, the sliced steak is super tender and makes a great substitute. The paper thin pieces of beef really soak up the flavor of the broth. It comes with the usual accoutrements: mint, bean sprouts, lime and jalapenos.
The sushi is pretty standard. They have regular rolls like the California and crunchy shrimp, but also offer a good selection specialty rolls like the namesake Noodle Star roll and the dragon roll.
The atmosphere is pretty casual, but prices are more than reasonable.
Noodle Star 6773 Stage Boulevard Bartlett, TN 38134 (901)266-0033
It's been a long time coming, but here it is, the final installment in our New Orleans journey. We decided to save the best for last, so here are our top 3 favorite restaurants.
We went to Dante's Kitchen on our first night in New Orleans. It sits in a quiet residential neighborhood where you'll miss it if you drive by too quickly. They also tell you to leave your diet at the door.
We started off with a variety of excellent appetizers including an artisinal cheese plate, boudin noir and charcuterie.
Each table gets a small cast iron skillet with molasses spoonbread, which is like a sweetened cornbread with honey butter. Most of our appetizers were so savory, the spoonbread was a great compliment.
For our entrees, Tom chose a cajun spiced pan-seared gulf fish with a crab salad which was tasty, but I humbly believe that I won the battle this time. The Dante's Kitchen maple-glazed chicken under a brick over a potato bacon hash cake with a fried farm egg was by far the single best dish of food put in front of us during our entire trip. Everything about it was amazing.
For dessert, we split the butterscotch pudding with salted whipped cream, the perfect blend of sweet and salty and great end to this awesome meal.
Donald Link is well known throughout the culinary circle for his attention to detail and his touch with meat dishes. He's probably the most lauded for his upscale restaurants, Cochon and Herbsaint, but the more casual Cochon Butcher is worthy of the same kind of praise.
This is almost like really great bar food. All of the meats are cured and smoked in house. We started with boudin blanc, duck pastrami sliders.
Then we took on the Gambino sandwich - which was piled high with the restaurants housemade meats and served with homemade pickles. Oh, the pickles. I loved them so much, I bought a jar to take home with me. I'm sure Link's other restaurants are fantastic, but for my money, Cochon Butcher gave me a great bang for my buck.
Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas Street New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 588-7675
Our last meal in New Orleans was at the James Beard nominated Lilette in the Garden District, and what a great way to finish out our cunlinary expedition in the Big Easy. This quaint Italian-influenced eatery pushes all the right buttons for me. The food is thoughtful, simple and delicious.
I started out with the antipasta plate which was piled with coppa, salami toscana and burrata (my absolute favorite)
Tom went with the tuna ceviche for his meal. It was light and lucious at the same time, with just enough citrus to make it interesting.
For my entree, I got the gnocchi with San Marzano tomatoes. It was really hearty and comforting, just like homestyle Italian food should be.
The real stars of this meal were the desserts, but the failing light made it impossible to get a good photo. We shared the Nutella custard with salty caramel brittle. It was creamy and decadent, and so very good, but it didn't hold a candle to the quenelles of goat cheese with lavendar honey, poached pears and pistachios. This dessert definitely made my "Top 3 Dishes of the Trip" list along with the chicken under a brick from Dante's Kitchen and the deconstructed banana pudding from Restaurant August. I loved it so much, that I've attempted to recreate at home. It was a delicious way to end a fantastic trip.
Lilette 3637 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115 (504) 895-1636
Whew, and we're finally done with New Orleans. Yay! Coming up, I'll do a little work on my Memphis backlog, and then - TOKYO! Thanks for reading!
New Orleans is a food city, and plenty of "celebrity chefs" have at least one restaurant in the Crescent City. I wanted to experience some of the best food in the city, so we patronized some of the big-name places.
As a James Beard Award Winner and a prominent female chef, Susan Spicer was at the top of my list, and we decided to hit up her flagship restaurant, Bayona.
I was so excited when I read the menu and saw cream of garlic soup, but this was just a bad choice. The soup was thin and watery with a very bitter aftertaste, as if the garlic a little burnt. Maybe it was just an off night, but I'd never order it again.
There was some redemption with my second course - smoked quail salad with pears and bourbon molasses dressing. The sweet and salty combo worked very nicley together and my quail was juicy and perfectly cooked.
My main course was rabbit, and as you can see from the plate, there was a whole lot going on. White and dark meat rabbit, house made pasta (which was very heavy and dense) artichokes, broccolini, lima beans, two different sauces, ricotta salata and that's just what I remember. They needed to pare down a couple of things and take better care with the pasta, and this entree would have been much improved.
For dessert, we had the chocolate caramel hazlenut tart with Earl Grey ice cream. Now, I'm not one who particularly cares for tea, but the mild flavor of the ice cream paired very well with the richness of the tart.
I appreciate all that Susan Spicer has been able to accomplish in a male-dominated profession, but this meal was hit or miss. I can't even remember what Tom ate, but it definitely didn't stand out. I could have accepted the mediocre food if it hadn't been for the poor service we received. We made a late reservation (9 p.m.) and were seated on the patio. Fortunately, the weather was mild, so this wasn't really an issue. We had just completed our cocktail walking tour, and to be perfectly honest, just the thought of more alcohol made me queasy. Our waiter seemed to be very disappointed that I ordered a soft drink and Tom stuck with water. There was a couple next to us that ordered a bottle of sparkling water, cocktails and a bottle of wine with their meal, and that was where our waiter focused his attention the whole evening. He checked on them at least 5 times before he revisited our table. For example, I asked for a refill as my soup was taken away, and I received it from a busboy that I had to flag down right before they brought dessert (which was my fourth course). I drained Tom's water glass while waiting for another Coke through my salad course and entree. At the table next to us, our waiter was consistently refilling the diners' glasses from the wine in the icebucket next to the table; Their glasses were never empty. I understand that they spent more money than us, but our bill was still almost $200, and for that kind of money, I expect great food, or at the very least, great service. To get neither was very disappointing.
I hope to get back to New Orleans in the near future, but Bayona won't be one of the places I'll revisit.
Bayona 430 Dauphine Street New Orleans, LA 70112 (504) 525-4455
No trip to the Big Easy is complete without visiting the famed Commander's Palace. As soon as we decided to go to New Orleans, I knew that I'd have to visit Commander's Palace if for no other reason than to indulge in their signature bread pudding souffle.
I started off my lunch experience with the turtle soup (complete with a shot of sherry). It was very earthy, but I found it to be a little one-note in flavor.
Tom got the soup trio - turtle soup, seafood gumbo and a lobster bisque. He enjoyed all three, but I think the gumbo was his favorite. (He'll correct me if I'm wrong).
In an effort to eat more greens, I enjoyed a very tasty salad of strawberries, bleu cheese and candied pepper bacon. It was a tasty addition to the meal, but with the appetizer, an entree and dessert, I really didn't need it.
Tom chose the oyster and absinthe dome appetizer as his entree. It featured oysters poached in tarragon cream topped with a puff pastry shell. He chose it because of the inclusion of absinthe and seemed to enjoy it very much.
My entree was extremely impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed my sausage stuffed quail (and Tom enjoyed the portion I couldn't finish.) He put it in his top 3 dishes of the entire trip. (I always order the best stuff :P)
The bread pudding was everything I imagined it to be: the fluffy texture of souffle with the warm, comforting flavors of a good bread pudding. I'd go back for that alone.
The service was impeccable - attentive without being overbearing. It was the best thing about our experience (along with the 25 cent lunchtime martinis - limit 3). Going for lunch saved us some money, but it was still a pricey meal. The quality of the food and the high level of service left me more than satisfied.
I don't think any chef embodies the essence of New Orleans like Emeril Lagasse. The lunch menu at his flagship restaurant, NOLA, is eclectic, pulling influence from Creole, French, Vietnamese and Italian cuisines.
I highly recommend the butterscotch martini. Delicious!
I started with Miss Hay's stuffed chicken wings. These were absolutely delicious. It was almost as if they took an eggroll filling and stuffed it inside deep fried chicken wings that had the bones removed. This was one of my favorite dishes of the entire trip. It was savory, creative and the hoisin sauce took it over the top.
Tom started off with the New Orleans-style crab cake appetizer. While he enjoyed the crab cake and the corn relish, he didn't care for the sauce as it was a little too sweet and a very non traditional accompaniment for a standard crab cake.
Tom selected Miss Hay's Vietnamese po boy, an interesting take on a mix between a traditional New Orleans po boy and a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich: barbecue pork, duck liver mousse, pickled carrots, cucumbers and kimchee salad. Tom really enjoyed the rich, yet refreshing combination of tastes and textures in this salad.
I went with the duck confit pizza with fried egg and truffle oil. It was okay, but the flavors didn't really come together for me. I feel like they went a little overboard on the truffle oil, and it could have used a little more parmesean cheese.
We finished up with a deconstructed ricotta cheese cake with blood orange sauce and toasted pine nuts. I absolutely loved it, while Tom was less than impressed. The cheesecake was definitely not as sweet as a standard one, and he would have preferred an actual crust as opposed to the bruleed top for texture. I, however, found it to be delicious - creamy while not at all heavy. A definite A+ in my book.
NOLA is a large space in a very busy section of the French Quarter. Make your reservations early, as the restaurant will fill up due to Emeril's popularity. Our lunch was perfectly serviceable, and I was more than satisfied, but I'm not sure I'd make a return trip if I revisited New Orleans in the Future.
NOLA 543 St. Louis Street New Orleans, LA (504) 522-6652
I love John Besh. Every time I see him on the Food Network, I think he would be really awesome to grab a drink with after work. He has a certain kind of southern swagger that I can appreciate. I just knew that Restaurant August would have to be one of our dinner stops.
We started off with a cocktail, and while we were making our selections, the kitchen sent out a langiappe, or a complimentary small bite. This is a custom that I absolutely love, and it's such a small gesture that can really get the meal started off right. The customary langiappe at Restaurant August is a delicate seafood custard in an egg shell topped with caviar. Caviar is not my thing, but Tom really enjoyed his and the remainder of mine.
I started off with the spring onion soup with lardons and a poached egg. This was just dreamy. Savory and light. The egg was perfectly cooked. I could have licked the bowl.
Tom started off with the gnocchi with blue crab and black truffle. He definitely liked the flavor of the dish and said that the texture of the gnocchi was perfect. However, he wished that he had more as the portion was quite small for the money.
Tom had an entree from the specials menu (I think it was elk), and I had poussin (young chicken) with tempura-fried, spicy ricotta stuffed squash blossoms. The poussin was tasty, but the squash blossoms completely rocked my world. They were one of the most delicious things I put in my mouth during the entire trip. I'd eat a plateful of just those any day.
But dessert is where this meal really shined. Tom had a chocolate bavarois with salted toffee ice cream. It was absolutely delicious, but it didn't hold a candle to my banana pudding. If you know me, you probably know that I really don't care for banana pudding at all. But tons of online reviews stated that this was the best dessert in the restaurant, and they were telling the ever loving truth. The bruleed bananas, vanilla wafer ice cream and marshmallow tuile completely changed my mind about what banana pudding could be. I've had dreams about this banana pudding. It's at the top of my list.
(Small dessert bites - compliments of the chef)
Three courses each, one cocktail and two glasses of wine, along with the already steep prices, made this far and away the most expensive meal we had in New Orleans. The food was very tasty and the service was impeccable, but there comes a point when you have to consider value. Tom and I really enjoy eating out, and we both agreed that we've had equivalently delicious meals for 1/3 of the price as our evening at Restaurant August. That, alone, would prevent a repeat trip in the future.
As the organizer, I asked Tom what kind of stuff he wanted to eat on this trip. His main request - an authentic New Orleans poboy (or poorboy or po'boy - it differs wildly, even in New Orleans).
So, I made sure we did that first. We rolled into town at about 1 p.m. on a Monday, and we hit up Parkway Bakery & Tavern before we even checked into the hotel.
(Tom's roast beef poboy with gravy)
The line was long and seating limited. It took about 30 minutes for us to place our order and another 10 before we received our food. I don't think either one of us ordered what would be considered a traditional sandwich when you think of a poboy.
(Tiffany's ham & swiss poboy)
But even so, they were delicious. You could tell that the bread was freshly made in-house and the toppings were good quality and plentiful. Parkway Bakery & Tavern offers over 30 different kinds of sandwiches as well as gumbo, chili and standard sandwich sides: fries (regular and sweet potato, potato salad and potato chips).
I love a good crepe. I think taking delicious things and wrapping them in a nice, tasty bundle is my idea of culinary heaven. Since the French typically do it better than most, I wanted to make sure that we made it to La Crepe Nanou, a fabulously intimate French bistro.
(French onion soup)
It was really everything I wanted it to be. Quiet, casual and very, very tasty. There was a great variety of both savory and sweet crepes. There was everything from crawfish, to shrimp, to filet and lamb. It was really hard to decide what I wanted.
(Foreground: Crepe Florentine - creamed spinach and bacon. Background: Crepe Ecrevisse - crawfish tails in lobster sauce)
They also have a very suitable wine list and plenty of by-the-glass options.
(Crepe Marrons - coffee ice cream and chestnut cream flambe - Get this!)
We walked right in at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday, but La Crepe Nanou does not accept reservations. The wait can get lengthy on the weekend, so be prepared.
La Crepe Nanou 1410 Robert Street New Orleans, LA 70115 (504) 899-2670
We All Scream for Ice Cream
I saw some special on the Food Network that featured Creole Creamery, and I was instantly intrigued. Tom and I are both big fans of really good ice cream, so I put it on our to-do list.
(Four-scoop ice cream sampler)
This place is right up my alley. They had tons of great inventive flavors liked red velvet, candied bacon & cinnamon and gorgonzola & toasted walnut. And the sampler is perfect for people like me who can't make up their minds. You can get 4 mini scoops for $4 or 6 for $5.50.
Note: I considered casual eats to be places where 2 people can eat (appetizer, entree, dessert) for $50 and under. In this case, my future New Orleans fine dining post will consist of restaurants that are over $50 for two.