Seafood diet

Nowhere is the old adage “a see food and eat it diet” more apt than in a culinary navigation of New Orleans. What is it with that fundamental cats to fish attraction? This cat has always been rather circumspect about eating them, and much happier to enjoy them as a visual display. But, as I stroll around New Awlings anything that enjoys a water-based existence had better look out.

If you are looking for a tasteful starting point, listen when your knowledgeable company interrupts the fine Californian Pinot Noir with a recommendation. “Have you tried Turtle Soup?” she asked. A quick scan of the cans in my mind suggested that neither Heinz or Campbells have yet delivered up such a delicacy in my local soup kitchen. “Garçon, crack open some turtles!” I thought, fortunately without actually saying it. And Tableau on Jackson Square introduced me to a whole new gastronomic pleasure…

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Then, if you fancy a salad to satisfy the palate in the build up to the main event, why not drop in on Vacherie on Toulouse Street for a fried oyster and spinach salad. Sophisticates amongst you may say that a cool sauvignon blanc will complement it just fine; unsophisticates such as I, will find a glass of porter does the trick…

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When thinking about main dishes I rarely find myself wondering what will go with the brussels sprouts. But, at EAT on Dauphine Street the blackened salmon provides the perfect mix of crispy and tasty accompaniment. They just don’t know how to do great chips in America though! Fries! what’s that all about?

Meanwhile, back at Tableau on Jackson Square, the gulf yellowfin tuna with a poached egg came with a waiter recommendation of “cooked rare”. My lifetime scepticism about the edification of fish led me to go medium rare; which convinced me that the rare variety would probably have been eyeing me up for a fight or making its own way back to the kitchen…

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And my dining companion decided on the ‘heads on’ shrimp and grits. Nothing like having your dinner eyeing you up! Though hiding behind some plant-like camouflage wasn’t really going to fool a ravenous Mississippi belle…

Until we speak again, if it is the Oceana Grill in the French Quarter it must be time to share half ‘n’ half blackened and fried alligator bites… and make it snappy! The old ones are the best (jokes, that is, not alligators). Okay, so it’s not exactly a seafood dish, but that’s not a conversation I’m having with any alligators, so they’re in…

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A French Connection

Call this food!As a consumate carnivore my drug of choice is fillet steak. I’m led to believe that France portrays itself as the world’s leading dealer of my favourite fix, but why should a Cardiff cat, a creature of home comforts, need to contemplate long distance adventures for such a top quality fix?

Little was I to know that a casual glance out of the window while emerging from my Central Library slumbers might just have provided an answer to my cravings, also eliminating the potential travel challenges.

Cote Brasserie

A closer look is needed…

Cote Brasserie [1]

That distinct Cote lettering tells me we are talking French connections here, so I thought I would make use of the opportune visit of a couple of cats from Brighton as a cover for checking the joint out. The Cote Brasserie menu is not overly fussy, so we settle in with some olives and rustic bread while I search out that fillet steak.

Cote Brasserie [3]

I wait with great expectation as my steak is being prepared. My fellow cats are going for varieties of bird on the menu, but I have enough of the chicken at home in my bowl or when my in-house garçon deigns to patronise me with morsels of deli counter meats. The wait is worthwhile, as the steak looks perfect, the peppercorn sauce is tasty, the french beans are crunchy, and the chips satisfy (well, despite their claims the French can’t get everything perfect!).

Cote Brasserie [4]

Apparently the chargrilled breton chicken also gets the thumbs up. So, if you happen to be in Cardiff and need a fix of your favourite fillet style drug, Cote Brasserie on Mill Lane is well worth a visit. Until we speak again this Bella will be joining Popeye Doyle in successfully finding Frog One, and I might just check out French Connection I & II again.