A voyeur, I like to people watch. One of my top spots for doing so is the deep, gracious balcony off of the second floor of the triangular-shaped building that houses Gris Gris (1800 Magazine St., 272-024, grisgrisnola.com). Over the course of the year and half the restaurant has been open I have worked my way through most of the menu, enjoying every bite. As he regularly does, this week Chef Eric Cook reset the button for me with the introduction of a slew of new items to the lunch and dinner menus. I am eager to try the Oyster Pie with sautéed leeks, oyster cream, whipped potatoes, charred artichokes, and my favorite herb, tarragon. The Deviled Egg Cobb Salad with romaine lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, bacon, cherry tomatoes, deviled eggs, and caviar ranch dressing is also high on my list as is the Herb Roasted Half Chicken, a slow-cooked version with smoked boudin dirty rice, baby carrots, and fresh herbs with black pepper chicken jus. Gris Gris also features a generous daily Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. with $3 domestics, $5 wines on tap, $6 daiquiris, amazing Crystal-honey butter wings, for $1; $3 Candied peanuts, $5 cheese & cracklins, and $5 deviled eggs. Meet me on the balcony this weekend.
On both Feb. 1 and 8, each day from 1-3 p.m., pastry chef Aurélie Saulnier, aka: “French Gal,” will conduct a class in the making of a French Galette du Roi (King Cake). French-raised in Paris, she grew up between the capital and the country side; she also lived in Aix-en-Provence for a couple of years and traveled throughout Europe. Cooking and eating with family and friends has always been an important and essential ingredient of her life. The class will be held both Saturdays from 1-3 p. m,. at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd., 569.0405 1504, southernfood.org).The cost of the class is $80 per person, and each participant will leave with a galette and a decorated paper crown. Tickets can be purchased here.
New and very much seasonal, at Josephine Estelle (600 Carondelet St., 930-3070, josephineestelle.com) are the newly introduced Carnival Cocktail featuring brandy, rum, amaretto, cinnamon and a touch of butter extract for some extra volume. The cocktail is garnished with a rim of purple, green and yellow sugar sprinkles.; and King Cake Scones with cream cheese, cinnamon and vanilla decorated with traditional Mardi Gras colored sprinkles.
Chef Marcus Jacobs of Marjie’s Grill (320 S Broad Ave, 603-2234, marjiesgrill.com) has secured some of the first live, pond-raised Louisiana crawfish of the season. He is boiling them up in a flavorful brother them tossing them with lemongrass sambal butter, lime, and fresh herbs for an Asian flair. Get them while you can.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.