Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans dining’
One of the oldest operating restaurants in New Orleans, and generally regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the country, Galatoire’s is emblematic of fine cuisine in the Big Easy. I’ve had dozens of spectacular meals there. Unfortunately, our Revillion dinner, on Christmas eve, was not one of them. Revillion menus are set price, multi-course holiday dinners. Galatoire’s offering pays tribute to local ingredients.
As you might expect, the restaurant is extremely popular for these meals, and at this time of year, but with advance reservations, we were seated prior to our actual reservation time. All good so far.
My personal menu selections included starters of a Shrimp Scampi dish, followed by Lobster Bisque, a Beef filet with red wine reduction and creamed spinach, and a flan-like dessert.
The “Scampi” was an interesting approach to the traditional prep, with a number of hot, seasoned, shrimp perched atop a piece of crispy bread that had been marinated in shrimp and butter liquids. Very nice.
The soup arrived, and the four of us at the table received a wide range of temperatures for the soup – unfortunately, the range started at tepid and went all the way down to cold. Any attempts to get the server’s attention to get new, hot servings, fell on deaf ears. She made a major server faux pas at this point, and said she was busy with a “very large table.” Tsk. Tsk.
The entrees arrived prior to the return of the soup, and they too, were room temperature. They were probably plated beautifully in the kitchen, but the server had apparently jiggled them enough en route that the wine reduction had splashed all over the plates.
By that point, we had given up trying to convince the server to rectify matters, and (reluctantly) said a word to the manager, “Billy,” who offered to “make things right,” to our satisfaction.
Two soups reappeared, and oddly, they kitchen had just nuked the partially eaten soups instead of sending a new serving. Soup has splashed and dried along the inside of the bowl, and wasn’t very appetizing in appearance.
Billy reappeared, and his solution to the experience was to shower us with as many cocktails and desserts as we cared to consume. We indulged, but didn’t take advantage, of course.
He also sent around a “prepared table side” special flaming coffee for the whole party. Nice effort, but too little too late.
He did step up with the bill tho, and whacked about 25% off the tab, which was unexpected. So the Revillion dinner for four with cocktails, desserts, after dinner drinks, came out to about $240. A good value for Galatoire’s and for the season.
Will I return? Absolutely – as I said at the top, I’ve had dozens of great meals here. Most diners at the restaurant are used to being waited on by servers that have worked their for decades, and maybe our person (who was young) was new, and to her, it was just a job.
Galatoires Revillion Fail
(From our archives) Went to Bozo’s in Metairie tonight, had been meaning to get there. A bit hard to find if you don’t know exactly where it is, and very little signage when you are right on top of it. (It’s behind Borders in Metairie).
It’s one of those places that locals say is the “best…” of whatever – in this case, fried catfish is the order of the day, so they say.
The Vodanovich family opened the restaurant in 1928 and moved to its present location in ’85. The recipes have stayed the same since day one.
There’s not much variety on the menu, and fried or broiled seafood is what people flock to the burbs for.
What’s different about Bozo’s catfish? For one thing, they claim to serve only “natural” cat (not pond raised) and if you’ve had both, you know the difference. For another, there’s no intermingling of fry oil at Bozo’s – fish, oysters, shrimp and fries each deserve their own fryer.
Fried seafood comes in a corn-meal batter (what else?), but it’s a bit ‘coarser’ than many other outlets. The result is that the fish and seafood retain more of their own moisture, IMHO.
Someone had said that the shrimp were “peculiar,” but I found them delightful, plump, butterflied before frying, and tailless. The waiter will happily bring seafood cocktail sauce components, so you can mix to your own liking.
Starch choice is fries or a loaded baked. All this fried food, I would have liked some coleslaw, for both the texture and the vinegar, but alas, it’s not one of Bozo’s offerings.
Seafood platters run in the $10 – $14 range, certainly less than the “big name” places in the West End – just as filling, and not the mélange of flavors that Deanie’s or Syd Mars might offer.
Bozo’s cooks to order, so be prepared to wait (after you wait to get a table).
Ambience is non-existent, service is satisfactory, but I doubt either of those two aspects are reasons why people keep returning over and over.
Bozo’s; 3117 21st St., Metairie, 831-8666. Reservations every night except Friday.