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Monthly Archives: June 2011
Want a side of history with your glass of wine?
What if I told you that you could go out for some vino (or a cocktail) and be 100% guaranteed to learn something interesting you didn’t know before? Not a bad proposition, right?
As of yesterday, you can. Patrick’s Bar Vin, New Orleans’ newest wine bar, opened its doors Tuesday, giving wine geeks like me another compelling option. We’re in a kind of golden age of the wine bar in NOLA these days, and lovers of the grape have choices that suit almost any taste, from the Bywater funkiness of Bacchanal to the Riverbend luxe of Oak and everything in between. But Bar Vin offers something the others will find hard to match. Continue reading
Consistently exceeds expectations
Great stuff if it’s on your office performance review, but not always a positive. I’ll guess the Bataan Death March consistently exceeded expectations too, if you know what I mean.
In much the same way, our kitchen renovation just keeps on exceeding. Boy does it ever.
If you read us with any regularity, you might remember us writing about this project long, long, ago. Here are links to part 1 and part 2. if you need them. You might be forgiven for thinking surely the project must be done by now. We’re probably so absorbed in our new Kitchen Stadium that we’ve not had the chance to write a wrap up piece.
He and She Said:
We’re stuck, but maybe y’all can help.
We like to take a little trip when we can to celebrate our anniversary every March, and we need to figure out where to go.
Why worry so soon about a trip 9 months in the future? Two reasons: First it is our 5th, so we feel it’s an event of some significance. Perhaps more importantly, we poured all our money into our kitchen this spring, resulting in no vacation at all (unless you count that time we went to Laplace for Andouille). These things can get away from you if you don’t prioritize them, so we’ve resolved to do exactly that. We’ll book our flights very soon so we know we’re committed; we can work on lodging and the other details in the months to come.
But, we can’t book until we know where to go. We started out with a map of the world and grouped the entire planet into four categories:
- Places we didn’t want to visit. (North Korea, Detroit, Shreveport, etc.)
- Places that were too far for us to visit: (Australia, New Zealand, the Westbank)
- Places a little too ‘adventurous’ right now: (Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, Vancouver, etc.)
- Everything else
After much discussion we uncovered more evidence to support what we already suspected: We’re shameless Eurotrash apologists. So here’s the sales pitch for each of our final contenders; check them out and please vote in the poll below to help us pull the trigger.
It’s been several weeks since some trivial shit completely pissed me off, so I guess I’m due.
Discovering that Paul Revere was actually a secret agent working for the British? I can get past that. Learning that the Gay Girl in Damascus was neither gay, a girl, or anywhere near Syria? I’ve internalized it. Anthony Wiener publicly auditioning to join Bonerama? Rolled right off my back.
Waiting to get the check after eating? That I won’t stand for.
I’ll have whatever he’s having. Actually, this almost never happens. People in New Orleans are serious about their libations and I think it’s high time we address where and how we enjoy ours.
With that in mind I’ve asked Steve some very serious philosophical questions and have documented his responses below.
Who’s shaking your juice: mixologist or bartender?
Bartender. The Robert Graham shirt wearing part of me loves the fancy pants infused everything, but I hate to wait for anything, so set ‘em up and knock ‘em down, bartender.
- My 2 cents: Lord how I know. Continue reading
He and She Said:
This feels like the end of the world.
Some destinations are made greater by virtue of the journey to them; some stand on their own. The Amalfi Coast does both.
From Rome’s crowded Termini station it is less than one and a half hours to gritty Naples via the ultra high-speed Frecciarossa. After arriving, an hour on the delightfully named circumvesuviana will take you around the Bay of Naples, past ancient Pompey and Mount Vesuvius, and into Sorrento, where famous Capri lies just off the coast. From there, a bus around the backside of Sorrento’s little peninsula delivers a cliff top throat-in-your chest drive to your destination.
Amalfi Tip 1: Travel light. Really light, if you’re not renting a car. Positano is the most vertical town you’ll ever visit. We stowed most of our gear in Rome and came with only a backpack each, and we were glad we did. Toting multiple heavy bags is a major undertaking here, and those we saw doing it had the only sad faces in the town.
And what a town it is. The Via Marconi splits off the main coast road and dives through a series of switchbacks from clifftop to shore before snaking back again to rejoin the road at the far side of the village. Scattered amid this is the town itself, pastel-hued and hugging the side of the mountain as it plunges into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We know Nathaniel Zimet, but not well. Even to say he’s an acquaintance would be stretching it. We’ve spoken and corresponded a few times, and we’ve of course seen him in his restaurant, Boucherie, which we’ve been to at least ten times. What I hear is that he’s a great guy; what I know is that he’s a great chef. The two don’t always go together, but in this case it seems they do.
We did a piece a few months ago on the best cheap eating in New Orleans. As is customary for us when we mention a place or event, I emailed a link to the post to each of the restaurants featured. Boucherie was the only place to reply thanking us for the mention. Certainly not necessary, but absolutely very classy, so there you go.
He and She Said:
This place is different. Really, really different. But we know that already, don’t we? It’s not one thing that makes NOLA special; it’s everything. With that in mind, and in no particular order (except for number 1), here’s our list of the 100 essential New Orleans experiences, the stuff that makes us what we are. Which are on your list, and what did we miss?
100. The NOLA Running of the Bulls
99. Attend a Treme watching party
98. Buy produce from Mr. Okra
97. Bacchanal on a Sunday night
96. Eat a Hubig’s pie
95. Eat fried chicken in the morning on the neutral ground
94. Satchmo Club Strut
93. Dinner at Antoine’s
92. See the Indians on Super Sunday
91. Ride in a Mardi Gras Krewe
90. Cruise the Lakefront
This ain’t no greasy spoon.
Diners have a certain gritty appeal, never more so than when the sun rises on the scorched earth of one of those NOLA celebrations that merge late night into early morning, if you know what I mean. We all have those give me something with bacon and get the hell out of my face days every now and then, right?
But for the more discriminating palate, might I suggest the best breakfast in New Orleans just may be on Hampson Street in Riverbend at Refuel Cafe?
That’s where you’ll find the post-Katrina creation of Guthrie Banks, who originally opened his place when he saw a need to feed construction workers swarming the neighborhood in 2006. Guthrie tells us he lost 100 pounds and at the same time gained new insights into the food he wanted to cook and serve. We didn’t know him in those days, so we can’t vouch for the 100 pounds, but I can tell you that it’s nice to see the owner running the joint in person, and that has been the case literally every single time we’ve entered Refuel (and there have been many). Continue reading