Dining fine NOLA-style

Sometimes… things can just take the wrong direction. Take eating… New Orleans style, for example. As a native of Cardiff, I could think… wow, an eating sensation has just arrived from New Orleans right on my doorstep…

I could try to think that! But, then again, let’s see what happens if you have the good fortune to travel in the opposite direction. August might be more recognisable as a distinct month of the year… but on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, it just happens to be a place where real New Orleans fine dining takes place all year round.

No Southern Fried Chicken burgers to be seen here. After all, the wine selection alone demands that something a little more, let’s say, refined, should be adorning plates.

When the meal starts with a hollowed egg of chef’s special artfulness of the day, you just know you’re about to experience something that mere cooks couldn’t dream of.

This is where Black Truffles take the measure of Giant Lump Crab, with just a hint of Parmesan, in a dish entitled Gnocchi black & blue… designed to slow down your pace of life and focus your attention, and give thanks for the invention of taste buds!

This is where Escargot come to play delightfully with Wild Mushrooms… hermaphrodite cuisine at its most delicate.

As for the Duck… Huey, Dewey, and Louie, look away now. This is a dish that comes three ways, and is definitely not for the faint-hearted if youre put off by the idea of Foie Gras. But it does come with something called Bayou Cora Grits… ? me neither, but it was a delightful accompaniment all the same.

And the Grouper most definitely comes with a delicate, flaky meatiness that no fish in its rightful mind should dare to claim! Just to compliment this piece of aquatic genius, you might just find a hint of grapefruit backed up by a Persilade of parsley, garlic, and herbs… ? me neither, but I’d come back for more of the same whenever you invite me!

Until we speak again, much of the above required a very delicate German Reisling, but that duck also stood up and demanded a glass of an Oregon Pinot Noir before it gave up its deliciousness.

If your first thought is how small the portions of food are on such wide plates, your quality to quantity ratio is completely out of sync… don’t forget to take your shovel of choice to the nearest food buffet or the newly opened Popeye’s in Cardiff!