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Feb 14, 201910:32 AM
Haute Plates

A weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Valentine’s Day

 

I’m not particularly “into” Valentine’s Day, but I’m aware that I’m in the minority on this issue and I don’t begrudge people who want to take a night to celebrate love. Because love, with a little help from inertia, makes the world go ‘round.

Do we have a day to celebrate inertia? We do not.

I do recognize the difference between love and inertia, though, and am very grateful that I have the pleasure of my wife’s company. I hope you are similarly situated where romance is concerned.

I cannot hope to apprise you of all of the Valentine’s Day events at various establishments, but I can point you to a few that are likely to be good. For example, Marjie’s Grill is hosting a Thai beach party, and while I don’t have a menu I would be very surprised if they weren’t doing it up right. It’s a place without pretension, but they take the food they serve very seriously. The format seems like a perfect alternative to the sit-down dinner for two most of us think of when we think “Valentine’s Day.”

But speaking of that sort of dinner, there is also a special running at Ralph’s on the Park. I like Ralph’s because it is beautiful and I know that there will always be multiple items on the menu I will very much like, as well as several things that will appeal to those with less adventurous palates. That is a hell of a balancing act to pull off, but Chef Flanagan seems to do it every time I’m there.

The Valentine’s menu is available tonight and through the weekend. For $65 you get the following menu: For appetizers you can choose between truffle risotto and pasta with uni (sea urchin) butter, poached lobster and persillade. The entrées are filet mignon with marchand de vin sauce, or lobster “Americane.” For dessert you can choose red velvet cake or chocolate pave with caramel corn and chocolate sauce.

They had me at “uni butter.” I know doing anything to uni other than serving it over a little rice is anathema to purists, but purists are sometimes assholes and I love uni butter. I know the combination of fatty sea urchin roe and pure milkfat is not good for my cholesterol, but the Lord wouldn’t have made it if he didn’t want us to eat it, right? Amen.

As for us, we will be dining at home. Our immature humans require supervision after dark, and this is not a great night to get a babysitter. Also we like eating at home and cooking together now and again.

I hope that whatever your plans may be this Valentine’s Day, that you enjoy those plans and I further hope that you are not martyred like Saint Valentine.

 

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Haute Plates

A weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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