He apologizes, specifically, for failing to author an edition of Haute Plates last week. Your author was beset, but under ideal circumstances your author would have planned for his actual circumstances and would have written Haute Plates despite being beset.
Your author is only somewhat comforted by the thought that you are not paying for Haute Plates, unless you are, in which case your author is doubly sorry.
Regardless, your author is back, though perhaps not at full strength, given that your author remains in the process of “un-boxing” his family’s belongings following THE MOVE. Yes, Readers, this is yet another paragraph about how stressful your author found moving, but be not afraid! This paragraph ends with a note of optimism! Because behold, your author has cooked in his new kitchen! Your author has more or less put things away in his new pantry! Your author is resigned to the loss of cabinet and counter space in the new kitchen because this house has another bathroom and the closets dear GOD the closets.
Your author has cooked several meals in his new kitchen, though your author must also reiterate how nice it is to be so close to the Freret St. restaurant corridor. (Your author is tipping his imaginary hat at Mint and Liberty Cheese Steak in particular, by the way).
But what, you ask, was the first meal your author cooked in his new kitchen? Technically it was probably an English muffin with cream cheese, but your author will in years hence say it was the chicken braised with tomatoes and garlic served over pasta, because that sounds a lot better than “I toasted an English muffin.”
Your author is willing to amend history.
When your author has eaten out lately it has been pleasant. Your author entertained a client (not that way) recently and this particular client has been to New Orleans on a number of occasions. This particular client is discerning, and this particular client had what he described as two of the best meals he has eaten while here. Your author cannot disagree with this client’s assessment, because we had two really fantastic meals.
We had dinner at GW Fins, which if you follow this column you know is one of my favorite restaurants in town. It is not possible to beat the place on the freshness of its fish or the inventiveness of the menu. Traditional dishes like gumbo are excellent, but I was as pleased with the grilled octopus or the lemonfish crudo.
Then there was lunch at Luke. We were pressed for time, and Luke is directly across St. Charles from my office building. I’ve had good meals at Luke; I’ve had mediocre meals at Luke and I’ve had one sub-par meal there. But the good has outweighed the bad and it’s been a year or so since I had the mediocre meal so we had a meal there last week.
It was a really good meal. I expected it to be at least competent; it’s a Besh joint after all, and I wouldn’t have taken this Client to the place if I wasn’t sure we’d have at least a good meal. But I was surprised a bit by how good it was, and perhaps even as much by how good the service was.
The stuffed, fried squash blossoms were so good my client has asked me for the recipe. The shrimp boudin and the baked oysters also hit the spot, though perhaps not so dramatically.
There’s not much better than fried softshell crabs, and even if what my client was served didn’t qualify as “buster” crabs, they were still delicious. I can also vouch for the cavatelli with crabmeat and tomatoes. There are folks who will say seafood and tomatoes aren’t a good combination; to those people I say “poo.” Because this dish is the perfect example why such “rules” are meant to be broken.
To conclude, your author hopes you do not have to move anytime soon, but if you do… ? Call someone else, because I’m done with moving.