We’re now more than halfway through, and 2011′s got a lot of work to do if it wants to ascend to the status of even a mediocre year.
Maybe I’m biased, perception skewed by a chef’s table bacchanal at Commander’s in March that set an impossibly high standard. On the other hand, shouldn’t you be able to get an amazing meal somewhere south of $500? Is that too much to ask?
What does it say about us when the most noteworthy openings this year are for places that specialize in children’s birthday food? Burgers, hot dogs, donuts. Is there a gourmet fish-stick destination in the planning stages yet? Have you had the high-end PB&J? Seven-grain bread milled by hand using traditional Anasazi methods topped by Ecuadorian fair-trade peanut butter and organic Polyface farms blackberry jelly. I’m sure it’s on a menu somewhere around town. Do I get a sticker and a juice box with that? Continue reading
Man, there’s nothing to do in this town!
Ever sit on the couch and ponder how few options in dining and entertainment we have in New Orleans? Yeah, me either. On the contrary, any single decision means there are hundreds of others left blowing in the wind. One recent Friday evening after a spirited game of Rock, Paper, Scissors He said victoriously and rather smugly chose Bouligny Tavern as our starting point. (This is of course how I remember it.)
We ventured out early, which is never a good sign if you intend to have plans post-dinner, and arrived at Bouligny about 6:30 pm. There were still at this time several open tables as well as the bar. Looking around the room, I realized that this is definitely one of the see and be seen places around town where the pretty people go. It makes sense, as the atmosphere inside is significantly different (in a good way) from most other bars and restaurants throughout the city. It reminds me of Tomorrowland in Disney. You know, yesterday’s cutting edge vision of tomorrow which has now become yesterday and is therefore vintage. I’m not sure I understand that analogy myself.
This review is long overdue. In August, Chris Starnes, Sophie Lee, and Dan Esses opened Three Muses on Frenchmen Street, between Blue Nile and Praline Connection. Billed as a fusion of hospitality, food, and music, this place looked promising to us. As former residents of the Marigny Triangle and now part-time French Quarter habitués, we have a great affection for our old stomping grounds.
We’ve run across Dan Esses’ food in a number of venues: The now-defunct Bank, formerly at the corner of Dauphine and Touro, the Marigny Brasserie, Clever Wine Bar, and the courtyard Sunday nights at Bacchanal. For whatever reason, Dan’s been kind of a gypsy chef, bouncing from place to place. What has been consistent is the quality of his work. This guy knows what he’s doing, so hopefully he’ll stay around for awhile.
We got to know Chris when he was running the front of the house at The Marigny Brasserie, right after Katrina, when that was a very solid place. After that, he ran Coffea Café in Bywater, where Satsuma is now, and also popped up at the very well-regarded Boucherie.
So, knowing some of the players, we had high hopes. But we also had significant reservations as we waited to see the concept. In recent years, Frenchmen has grown more and more funky, and less and less amenable to fine-dining. The Brasserie, blessed with by far the best space and location on the street, did a good job for awhile, but the wheels have come off in recent years. Some may remember Belle Forche anchoring the other end of the block years earlier. For the most part this stretch of the Marigny has proved friendlier to casual, eclectic places like Yuki, 13, and Adolfo’s. We wondered if Three Muses would open it’s doors with a concept that would catch fire with the very singular Frenchmen crowd, but we worried they might aim too high. We’ve now been five or six times, and this review keeps getting away from me, so it’s time to sit down and knock it out.
I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to partake in a whole slew of adventures over the past 9 months and it would be impossible to include them all in this blog based upon my recent slacking tendencies. Instead, I’ve decided that maybe it would suffice to highlight those experiences/things that stood out.
In true rant fashion, there is no rhyme or reason to the order of my list. If I offend anyone with the below opinions, well, I do have a very finite take- just ask my husband. By the way, this does not necessarily reflect his perspective either. I’m just sayin’.
Posted in Lists, Rants, She said
Tagged Bar-Tonique, Bistro at Maison de Ville, BMC, Cafe Amelie, Cake Cafe, Coquette, Croissant d'Or, El Gato Negro, Envie, French Quarter, Gal Holiday, Hansen's, Hermes Bar, Iris, Irvin Mayfield, La Divina Gelateria, lists, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Mona Lisa, music, Parkway Bakery, Refuel, Rio Mar, Sangria, Sukho Thai, tapas, The Bean Gallery, The Sazerac, Three Legged Dog, Three Muses, Treme, Wasabi, Yo Mama's