Monday, April 21, 2014

Lunch at NOLA

I think my mother and I have a new favorite American city. New Orleans is just such a unique place to visit for so many reasons. The romantic architecture of the French Quarter, the ease of pedestrian tourism, the culinary delicacies of the Creole/Cajun restaurants, and (my personal favorite) the ghost stories!

We were there for Easter weekend, so our trip was to get a great seat for the Easter parades they have in the French Quarter on Sunday.

But since we had the time, we flew down early Friday morning and were able to have a late lunch at NOLA (Chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant). While it wasn't as highly sought after as Cochon, we had a great first introduction to New Orleans cuisine.

Since we were able to check in at 11AM at the Westin on Canal Street, we enjoyed a nice 10 minute walk to NOLA located on 534 St. Louis Street. The perfectly sunny April Friday was exactly what we needed after a long cold winter up in NYC. As we walked, we'd often pass by horse drawn carriages, which I couldn't help but observe from the sidewalk. I'm aware that Manhattan has these same carriages up in Central Park, but I hate being a tourist in my own city, so we don't venture up that way too often. When we're in another city, however, we can let our tourist flag fly.

The restaurant was quite nice though not overwhelmingly so. We weren't dressed very formally, but even being a 2.5 year old, I didn't feel out of place at all. The wait staff was quite accommodating to me, even giving me a cup with a straw for my beverage of choice - ice water. My father, of course, had a Sazerac (the official cocktail of New Orleans made with an Herbsaint-lined glass, some Peychaud’s Bitters and Sazerac Rye Whiskey, then finished with simple syrup and a lemon twist). To me, it just looked like an iced tea, but whatever floats his boat.


Our meals came out and they were delicious. My parents split an appetizer of Gulf Shrimp Remoulade. My mother ordered a Duck Confit pizza and my father had a Garlic Crusted Drum (fish).


The service was super friendly and on par with some of the nicer restaurants we've enjoyed all around the world. The staff is well trained, though you could see their hometown urban roots coming through as well. The server we had made some great recommendations which I always appreciate more than the "Do you like chicken? Then you should order the chicken" type of suggestions that befall many inexperienced waiters.

While we had a great (albeit pricey) lunch at NOLA, I wouldn't call it a MUST TRY place in New Orleans the way I would about other restaurants I've heard about. But if you do happen to be around the area and wanted to stop in, you'd be making a wise choice!

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