Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oysters and a Bachelorette in New Orleans

My best friend Avani was celebrating her bachelorette in New Orleans. BEIGNETS! OYSTERS! PO'BOYS! Oh, and bachelorette shenanigans too.

In earth shattering news, I think I've converted from raw oysters to broiled oysters, all thanks to New Orleans. Details to follow below!

Our first stop was Cafe du Monde. So yes, these are yum. But basically anything fried and covered in mounds of powdered sugar would be considered yum. I wouldn't say this is the best piece of fried treat I've ever had, but since it is world famous, I did not want to skip it. But, definitely skip the cafe au lait.

Somehow, I managed to NOT wolf this down in one bite. It is a bachelorette miracle!

Dinner that night was at Cochon, a restaurant that is rated as one the most important restaurants in America for 2012 by Bon Appetit. We were not disappointed. From fried alligator to broiled oysters...oh and dessert. You will definitely need a reservation - this place was packed!

My first foray into cooked oysters was with the wood-fired oyster roast. I think we ordered two more of these for the table. These were superb and actually more flavorful than raw oysters. Yes, because they were doused in a buttery sauce, duh. Yum yum yum!

Next up was the fried alligator. So I couldn't tell if these were yum because of the alligator, or just because they were fried. I am going to say that both were drivers.  I think we ordered one or two more of these for the table, if that gives you any indicator of how tasty it was.

{Pork cheek terrine}

Since we were getting pretty full from all the small plates we decided to share two entrees. We split the rabbit and dumplings and the oyster and bacon sandwich. Yet again, we did not go wrong with either.

Swoon. Crispy bread and delicious meats.

I left * just * enough room for dessert. We ordered black velvet cake (skip this) and the chocolate peanut butter pie you see below. Do NOT skip the chocolate peanut butter pie. I am salivating just looking at this photo below.

{Ooops I almost licked my screen}

Avani's sister, Arti, had made reservations for some of us for lunch at Restaurant R'evolution. More delicious oysters. Are you seeing a trend here?

Below is a sample of R'evolution's lunch menu.

This is where the magic happens...

It hurts my soul to have to look at these photos now, two weeks later, and not be able to dig in. So. Good.

{The most beautiful hom nom nom I've ever had}

The pecan pie and ice cream were also worth mentioning, as I was not really "wowed" by anything else on the menu, especially the veal.

The ice cream accompanying my pie was delicious - the real kind of home made that your grandma would make for you. The pie was incredible. It really redeemed my yucky veal main course. Look at that perfect crust!

We specifically went to NOLA during Jazz Fest, and spent some time there on Saturday. There are several stages set up through out the area and you can stop, relax in the grass, and listen to music wherever you like. There is also a lot of food. This is where I had my favorite po'boy of all time, the cochon du lait. Seriously. Like I mean really. Look at that pulled pork. Topped with a dash of hot sauce (I was too scared to put too much on).

Arti mentioned that the crab beignets at R'evolution were highly rated. Since they are only available after 2pm, I naturally went back to make sure I did not miss out (yes, fear of missing out.). Well, I made a 30 minute pit stop and enjoyed a glass of Sancerre as well.

While I was kind of underwhelmed by the normal beignets at Cafe du Monde, these beer battered crab beignets did NOT disappoint. Each one sits on top of a different remoulade, and was as mouth watering as the reviews claimed to be.

As the trip was winding down, I stopped in at the famous Carousel Bar for a drink. The bar rotates around the bar, which was fun. Yes, this is coming from moi, who grew up going to the space needle revolving restaurant for special occasion dinners. I ordered the sazerac. When in New Orleans...

It turns out I actually like this drink, even though it is made with whiskey. Surprise!

Now, best for last. Charbroiled oysters at Dragos. My heart is racing just thinking about these guys. You can get a half or full order. I opted for the half order, thinking I just had some crab beignets at R'evolution, why would I get a full order? What a fool I was. I'd recommend getting a full order and eating the whole thing by yourself - you won't want to share with anyone. These oysters are doused in butter, and are actually the best thing I ate all weekend.

There is something about the "singed" flavor of the oysters that they get from being charbroiled. The dish is served with some french bread, which is perfect for soaking up the rest of the butter from the oysters.

In the meantime, I did find a recipe...except I don't have a way to charbroil them. Any tips for charbroiling indoors in a little New York kitchen?

New Orleans was fun - a lot of history, great culture, and of course, amazing food. NOLA even has its own Oyster Festival! I would make another weekend trip out of visiting Dragos for its char broiled oysters!

No comments :