Do you ever walk into a place and instantly feel it is doomed? That’s just what happened to us last Monday afternoon.
It’s noon on Christmas Eve and I’ve just wrapped up a half day of work. The husband and I decide to escape the crowds at our house and head instead to lunch. For whatever reason we were in the mood for an experience slightly more upscale where we could enjoy a glass of wine over a festive meal. This was very spur of the moment, and every place we called was either closed or booked.
Rene’ Bistro had been on our radar since it opened in the Renaissance Arts hotel earlier this year. And after the first several places we considered were closed Steve suggested aptly any place that is in a hotel should be open. So to Rene’ Bistro we headed. We arrived to an empty house. No trouble getting a seat in this place, it would seem. Few places need a festive set of diners more than this one; the decor is hotel-bland with the kind of could-be-anywhere vibe that has you looking for the buffet station. Shortly after being seated we were greeted by another patron however: a fruit fly. And then another. You get the idea. Not exactly what I was looking for. Strike 1. Continue reading
Crawfish season! Why on earth did I leave this off my list of top spring things? Maybe because it stands alone as the most instantly emblematic symbol of New Orleans this time of year. If friends haven’t yet invited you to stop by for some crawfish and beer (for non beer-drinkers like myself, always keep a bottle of Rose on hand) God might be telling you it’s time for some new friends.
But crawfish etouffee done right might be the best Louisiana dish ever made, and it can all begin with the remains of those boiled crawfish, believe it or not.
First, embarrass everyone you’re with by scavenging the crawfish pile. That’s right, grab enough discarded heads to fit into about two gallon-size ziplocks. If you have the storage space (ie: an extra freezer) you can take all the heads, because you’re gonna make stock.
We were fortunate enough to host one of my absolutely favorite friends and her husband this past week. They flew in from Santa Barbara on Wednesday evening and we had several days to hang out together. They were coming in for the LSU vs Bama game which has become tradition. These friends are the ones we met up with in Napa for a wine tour last year as well as in Colorado this past March. We were happy to host them at our apartment in the Quarter for their stay.
She had planned a surprise dinner for us months in advance that had He Said and I so intrigued that we couldn’t wait for Thursday evening. We grabbed a cocktail at our corner bar followed by another round at Napoleon House and were off to our top secret destination. What comes next folks is nothing short of pure love. These guys must really like us because they brought two of their favorite boutique wines from obscure vineyards in Santa Ynez and hosted us to an extravagant meal at Stella!
Those of you who have read a few of our past posts and/or rants are likely to hone in on just how much we love Stella! Our friends certainly did as they proved in planning this event. We, as always, loved the meal. Them? …well not so much. Disclaimer: I believe this reflects more on us than them as I had a very similar experience with another couple who were equally, if not more, unimpressed. This was eye-opening for me because it made me realize just how far from our roots He Said and I have veered.
Posted in Dinner, Rants, Restaurant, Reviews, She said
Tagged dinner, food, rants, restaurants, reviews, Stella!, wine
Apologies to Dean Wormer for the paraphrase. Last year, I wrote about a great piece of marketing by New York City public health officials aimed at alerting people to the deadly perils of soda. No longer content with attempting to shape public opinion, NYC mayor Bloomberg and NY governor David Paterson are now seeking permission from the USDA to ban sugary drinks entirely.
Ok, so that’s not completely true. If Bloomberg and Paterson have their way, you can still have a Coke and smile. Unless, of course, you’re poor. New York City is seeking to ban sugary drinks from food stamp eligibility. Here are the details.
What an interesting concept.