RESTAURANT INSIDER:

Lately I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic – looking for and feasting on food or experiences that remind me of when I was very young. Here are some of the places and dishes I’ve been craving …

BITTE BABY – German food. I miss Kolb’s, The Chalet and Chef Willy Koln, but there is German food to be had in New Orleans – if you hunt it down. With many thanks (or Danke vielmals) to Chef Chuck Subra, the “Wienerschnitzel” at La Côte Brasserie more than satisfies that need for pounded, breaded veal, pan-fried to golden and laid across a bed of “spaetzle” (little noodle dumplings), and red cabbage. More? Okay. Even though it’s not called Wiener Schnitzel (although that’s more or less what it is) there’s a really good dish at Restaurant August of “Paneed Veal Over Wild Mushroom Ragout and Spätzle;” and La Boca’s Chef Adolfo Garcia (our Chef of the Year 2006) has an Argentine rendition of schnitzel that is the size of a roof shingle and gilded by being topped with an over-easy fried egg. Still hankering? It’s December and that means Reveillon. Possibly the most interesting of the Reveillon menus is at Broussard’s where Chef Gunter Preuss, right, does an entirely German menu that includes, you guessed it, Wiener Schnitzel Garniert Kartoffel Puffer – aka Veal Panée with Potato Pancakes.

BRINGING SEXY BACK – Justin Timberlake may think he’s the only one bringing sexy back, but … From Bourbon House: Chef Amy’s Orange Cosmo – an updated Cosmopolitan with Rain Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and handmade Satsuma extract; From Jackson – Chef Mike Brewer’s rave-drawing blackened oysters; and from Café Adelaide – the Breakfast B, L, Creole T: bacon, lettuce, tomato and fried egg, sandwiched on N.O. French Bread, with Tabasco aioli. Speaking of breakfast …
MORNING GLORY – Run, don’t walk to the Windsor Court for the most elegant and spectacular breakfast going. Aside from an amazing Protein Punch, and a house made muesli parfait with goat yogurt and dried fruit, there are re-invented old school egg dishes like the Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs and charred tomato salsa and Southern Corn Cake with smoked Virginia ham, sausage gravy and fried eggs.

For more breakfast feasting, try Café Adelaide’s “The Cure for What Ails You” – French Toast dusted with powdered sugar (cane syrup on the side), two eggs, apple-smoked bacon and tasso brabant potato hash. Glorious.

“C” IS FOR COOKIE – Restaurant public relations maven Liz Goliwas raved about a cookie she’s hooked on from Whole Foods Market. I checked it out and yes, the no sugar added, dried fruit and nut cookie is totally addictive, but don’t kid yourself, it’s not dietetic; ingredients include butter and cream cheese along with fruit and nuts. What’s not to love?

DO GOOD DINING – Table One Brasserie has launched a new monthly program called “Dine Out For Charity,” with 20 percent of the entire day’s proceeds donated to a designated local group or organization. This month the special day is December 20th and the beneficiary is Children’s Hospital. In addition, every guest who brings a wrapped children’s gift to the December 20th event will receive a free glass of wine.

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