Friday, May 24, 2013

Wayfare on Freret

Checked out Wayfare on Freret earlier this week for lunch. It's been open for a couple months now, and I've heard good things and have been meaning to give it a try, but every time I am in the area I get distracted by Ancora, High Hat, or the Company Burger. But this past Tuesday, it was time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Post beer crawl lunch at Grand Isle

Not too long ago, I got a press release from one of the local PR firms that I've worked with about the new cocktail guru and list at Grand Isle.

Direct from San Francisco’s “Best Neighborhood Bar,” mixologist Eric Dahm has over 10 years’ experience in custom cocktail making and has created a line of craft cocktails that follow the long legacy of New Orleans libations. Eric’s new bar menu blends his California bar philosophy with a more visible marriage between the bar and kitchen programs. Just like Chef Mark Falgoust of Grand Isle, Eric focuses on in-house production and local sourcing: using fresh ingredients and in-house touches that are changing up the way the restaurant approaches drink making! All of the new specialty cocktails range between $9 - $12, however during happy hour on Thursday’s, all of the “specialty cocktails” are ½ off from 4-7 p.m.
After our FESTIVales beer crawl in the Warehouse District, I got a chance to meet Eric when dining at Grand Isle and sample one of his cocktails, the Spa Collins, which is a collins cocktail (served over ice with club soda) with Hendrick’s Gin over ice with fresh lemon and lime juice, ginger, mint, and cucumber. It was damn good and refreshing.

2 Abitas and 2 NOLA Brewing beers.
 Then we proceeded to order and eat all the oysters! We ordered the "Isle Sampler" which included three of their baked/stuffed oysters: Grand Oysters – Tasso, Havarti, Jalapeno, Oysters Fulton – House Made Bacon, White Cheddar and Caramelized Onions, and Oysters Fourchon – Olive Oil, Bread Crumbs, Parmesan, Lemon, Garlic. We also ordered a half dozen of their smoked then fried oysters. OMG, all the oysters were amazing.

smoked/fried oysters in the foreground, baked/stuffed oysters in the background
Tom got one of the poboys that had gotten a win at the PoBoy Festival, the Shrimp Caminada poboy with Spicy Citrus Butter with Asian Herb Slaw. I stuck with the oyster theme and got their linguini with parmesan cream sauce and oysters. I thought that Tom's poboy was amazing. My pasta was pretty good, but paled in comparison to our starters and the poboy.

Since I rarely get downtown for eating and drinking, I was happy to have to opportunity to sample a little bit of Grand Isle's menu. FYI, in addition to the Spa Collins, their new cocktail list includes:

Opening palates with Beefeater Gin, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice.

Miss Azalea
Sparkling wine and St. Germain in a lavender-laced flute, this Miss is floral, refreshing, and downright bubbly.

GI Martini
Ice-cold Grey Goose Vodka makes a most civilized bed for a just-shucked raw oyster. With a gentle touch of dry vermouth.

Visit to Peche

Donald Link's Link Restaurant Group has recently opened a new seafood-focused restaurant called Peche. Tom and I went there a couple weekends ago for a very late lunch/early dinner and had some amazing food.

First of all, the beer list is actually quite nice. I got a NOLA Brewing Flambeau Red to accompany some of the sweetest raw Apalachicola oysters.

Then I ordered their grilled mussels and their crawfish gratin, both of which were amazing:

The dessert menu was incredibly tempting, but I was in the mood for chocolate so I got the flourless chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream. Tom got this amazing pineapple rum cake with dulce de leche ice cream:

Damn, that was some excellent, excellent food. I left very happy.