Academically, a patois is a colloquial tongue, the non-standard common speech. Culinarily, Aaron Burgau’s Uptown restaurant has rather quickly become part of the New Orleans dining establishment, drawing widespread praise since opening a couple of years ago.
We dined there a couple of weeks ago. It was a place we’d not yet been in 2011, and it is typically part of the discussion when considering the best dining venues in the city.
I really like the feel of this restaurant very much. Patois is a creature of its environs, comfortable and welcoming, but unmistakably upscale. When weather permits, there’s outside seating, and the windows along the front dining room permit nice views even from indoors. Excessive loudness in restaurants (anyone been to Mondo?) is a pet peeve of mine, but this place gets it right. On this Friday evening the dining room was humming with enough bustle to be energetic without crossing the line into annoyance. Continue reading
My first time was 6 years ago. It all started one Thursday evening strolling down Royal Street with my eventual husband (I like the fact that we experienced the inaugural indulgence as a couple). I am talking about the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience’s Royal Street Stroll of course!
We enjoyed the stroll so much that the following year we added a Vintner Dinner. That night at the Windsor Court changed my life, perhaps not cosmically, but certainly regarding my approach to food and wine. To this point in my existence, I had never had a truly mind-blowing dinner, much less one paired with fantastic wines. I had no idea what I was getting into (other than $250) and was completely blown away. What stood out to us was not only the indulgent atmosphere but also the fact that this NOWFE dinners were like some secret life of which we’d been blissfully unaware for years. By the end of the evening NOWFE, and the vintner dinners in particular, were on the must-do list.
It’s not like it’s the end of the world, you know.
Just in case you’re wondering, the world is not ending Saturday. Today’s five second theology primer concerns the Rapture, confused by many with the end of the world. On the contrary, the Rapture forecast for this weekend is more like the beginning of the end, a special kind of cosmic Bonnaroo in which the righteous among us simultaneously disappear, leaving the remainder to muck out their days attending festivals, eating and drinking, second lining, and engaging in other tawdry pursuits. But don’t give these clever biblical numerologists too much credit; we all know that a detailed vision of the Rapture was foreseen in the ’80′s, and here’s the evidence:
Fields of Pinot in the Willamette Valley
He and She Said:
You are going to dinner with us, right?
We’re winos, ok? Let’s just get that out of the way first. We know what a good wine dinner is (and what it is not, but no hating today). The Wednesday Vintner Dinners at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) are on our non-negotiable must-do list each year, and they should be on yours as well.
But, there’s a small problem. All of the dinners are on the same night (May 25 this year) so you have to choose which restaurant to grace with your commerce. There are many good alternatives, but the breadth of the list can be a bit overwhelming, and who wants that?
Overwhelming sucks, when you really get down to it. We’re going to MiLa, and we think you should too.
Why MiLa? The world as we see it pretty clearly breaks into two categories: Those who have been to MiLa and can’t wait to return, and those who have not been and should go.
He and She said:
Well, Brett Anderson from the Times Picayune has released his annual list of the top 10 restaurants in New Orleans, so we thought it might be time to do our own.
On a brief side note, an additional benefit of Anderson’s list is the way it brings out the tinfoil hat crowd in the comments section, an enlightened crew who appear convinced that Anderson, Donald Link and John Besh have united in an unholy triumvirate to rule the galaxy while making tasty Louisiana dishes. Multitasking, I guess. Then again, its Snooki and The Situation’s world, and I’m just living in it, so what do I know?
Ok, enough ranting:
We’ve done a post on the most interesting restaurants in NOLA (might be time to update that soon), but that is not what we’re after here. This is our take on the best, so the charming and interesting Mimi’s, for example, probably won’t find a place here.
I had the great idea to do this as a mock draft. When I explained this to my wife, she enthusiastically replied: “What the hell are you talking about?” But, after I explained a bit, she came around to my way of thinking. So, ladies first, and we’ll take turns picking a restaurant and telling you why it’s so great as we fill out our list of ten. Nobody loves a gimmick more than me.
A quick note: some relatively new entries to the NOLA scene that might be contenders for this list, most notably Le Foret and Meson 923, are ineligible, for the simple reason that we have not been there. And for the record, we are in neither Besh, Link, or anyone else’s pocket, although we hope to be one day. Until then, we have nothing to offer but unbiased opinion and the dream of one day being corrupted via a free plate of foie gras. Or pomme frites (in duck fat). Or pretty much anything else.
Posted in Dinner, He and she said, Lists, Restaurant
Tagged Adolfo Garcia, Brett Anderson, Commander's Palace, Coquette, Donald Link, Emeril's, Herbsaint, John Besh, John Harris, Lilette, lists, MiLA, Patois, Restaurant August, restaurants, reviews, Rio Mar, Stella!, Top ten