Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finally more travel

So we didn't make it out of the country this time. Not enough time for that, but we did finally get some more travel in for a long weekend. A trip to New Orleans over the long Easter weekend was quite enjoyable. I will admit I had some doubts as to wanting to travel here. It has somewhat of a reputation as a shady city. It is an interesting city. Two very different sides to the town and they are right next to each other. You have the party and debauchery side of town, mainly encompassing Bourbon St, and some other parts of the French Quarter. The next street over is Royal St, and it is filled with Art Galleries and Antique stores. We wandered both interchangeably throughout the course of the weekend.

We stayed at the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It just finished up a $145 million renovation post Katrina and reopened last year. It was an amazing hotel. Probably, the nicest I have ever stayed in. It wasn't much to look at from the outside but when you walk in and see this view that goes the width of the block it is located on, its a nice feeling. The first night we got in around 9, so we dropped out bags in our room and hit the hotel bar to try our some historical beverages. I say this because the hotel bar is named the Sazerac Bar, after what is thought to be the first cocktail drink ever invented. The specialty of the bar is said drink. It consists of rye whiskey, bitters, a sugar cube, and 1/4 ounce absinthe. It smelled like licorice and tasted like whiskey. Can't say it was the greatest drink ever but not bad. We also tried a Ramos gin fizz which was much worse; Tasted like flowery soap. After a few more drinks we called it a night.

The following day we walked the city. I was surprised by how busy the city was considering it is still in recovery mode, but it is spring break time still so that probably helped. Our first stop was a restaurant called Deanie's. It was a seafood place that made Creole style cuisine. It was
pretty good. They ripped us off on our appetizer of shrimp remoulade, giving us only five small shrimp, but the main dishes were large and tasty. I also could have probably killed someone with the beer glass I was given, it was so large and heavy. In the end I ate too much which became a theme for the weekend. It was the first time I had craw fish Étouffée, it will not be the last. Other sites seen in the city that day were various places along Bourbon and Royal street, the basilica, walked along the river, and walked through the Harrah's Casino. What a depressing place. Casino's are just sad, particularly when they aren't nice casino's.

We went to dinner back at our hotel at one of John Besh's restaurants Dominica. The appetizer was delicious, it was a buffalo mozzarella, with some garlic and olive oil on toasted bread. Hard to screw up. The rest of our dishes were a little too salty though. Somewhat disappointing for the price and for the level of chef who owns the restaurant. We had purchased a bottle of wine earlier in the day so that was how we ended the day. I had eaten too much again. Three dishes not counting desert will do that too you.

The next day we wandered the city again, stopped by an art museum, had some beignet's, got a drink on Bourbon street and walked around; things you are supposed to do in New Orleans. The highlight of the trip was dinner that night. We went to a the Le Foret Restaurant and had the tasting menu with each dish paired with a glass of wine. Some of the food was a little different than I have had before, foie gras, rabbit pate, caviar things of that nature but the food was delicious. The highlight was the diver scallops and the soufflé. Both were amazing. A great way to spend the evening. The service needed a lot work would be my one complaint.

The last day we hit McDonald's, great Easter morning breakfast. Almost as good as when we ended up at a McDonald's for breakfast on Valentine's day this year. I continue to be that classy. All in all a good trip. New Orleans impressed me a lot more then I would have thought.

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