ChefsGirl is now located at http://www.chefsgirl.com
I love to share my food ventures with you and my blog would be nonexistent without my followers! Thank y’all for following me these past couple years and I hope to bring you even more great eats through my website. Enjoy!
A Local’s Take…
When I think of Cafe Du Monde, I think of my childhood and how my family would take out of town relatives down to the Quarter, do a little siteseeing, and finally rest in the heart of it all at Cafe Du Monde and absorb the city sights, sounds and yes, smells =P. While living in NOLA, I took for granted the wonderful food, people, and ambiance of the city. When I relocated to a different state, I would visit often and do all the things tourists would do…visit the St. Louis Cathedral, walk down Bourbon St. with some sort of alcoholic beverage in hand, and then eventually end up at Cafe Du Monde…
…These delicious pillows of donuts are not only a tasty treat but also a memory. Lightly crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside…and dusted with powdered sugar. So whether you’re a local or tourist, these beignets (pronounced ‘Ben-yay’) are worth trying. How can a French donut not be delicious? My favorite drink has to be the Frozen Cafe Au Lait. Definitely wakes you up and cools you down after a long walk around the French Quarter!
**TIP** If it happens to be too crowded, you can jump into a to-go line towards the back and find a place to eat, but I usually wait. The wait line moves quickly…depending on whether it’s a holiday season or not!
The “chef” and I had some friends come into town and Emeril’s was the perfect place to take them. We had a rather large group and figured it would be great if we ordered several different entrees and appetizers to create our own “little” feast.
Amuse Bouche. Vietnamese BBQ
"Emeril’s" New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Petite Rosemary Biscuit and Fresh Chives.
Charbroiled Oysters and Escargot in Butter.
Steamy Buffalo Chappapeela Farms Duck Wings. Shaved Celery. REd grapes. Whippe Blue Cheese Creme Fraiche.
Crisp -Point Judith Calamari. Olive Salad. Parmesan. Smoked Tomato Sauce
Crisp - Point Judith Calamari. House Made Pepper Jelly. Crisp Okra. Black Pepper-Buttermilk Ranch
Seared Scallops and Softshell Crab.
Maple-Soy Lacquered Chapapella Farms Duck. Dirty Fried Rice. Pickled Local Vegetables.
Shrimp and Linguini.
Truffled Shrimp “Louis” Salad. Iceberg Wedge. Applewood Smoked Bacon. Chopped Eg. Asparagus. Tobiko.
BAM! Bombarded with the whole dessert menu! Man, is it good to have friends in the industry. Being the foodies that we are, the chef and I have made friends in the industry and we were treated like kings and queens. To top it all off, they served us with a buffet of desserts:
Key Lime Ice Box Pie. Torched Cinnamon Meringue. Honey Graham Crust.
Emeril’s Banana Creme Pie. Graham Cracker Crust. Caramel Sauce. Chocolate Shavings
Chocolate-Sambuca Mousse Cake. Au Lait Semifreddo. Espresso Bean Bark
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Oreo Crust. Caramel Sauce.
Walnut Foster Bread Pudding. Cinnamon Candied Walnut. Bruleed Banana.
What a memorable meal! Tons of food and all with that Emeril’s flair! Great execution of every dish. Rich with flavor and leaving my mouth watering..even now.
La Petite Grocery has to be one of my TOP 5 restaurants in New Orleans….so why I haven’t I tried brunch until now?
Delicious sourdough bread…Good bread is always a sign of great food!
Paneed Rabbit. Buttermilk Biscuit. Sunny-side up eggs. Braised Greens. Bearnaise.
Pork Cheeks Benedict Jalapeno cornbread. Poached eggs. Collard greens. Smoke Hollandaise.
Carmelized Brussel Sprouts.
Hot Iron Buttermilk Waffle. Salted Peanuts. Caramel. (Chef’s selection of the day)
As expected, La Petite Grocery’s brunch was refreshing and delicious. Delicate and yet so rich! If you’re debating on what to eat for brunch or dinner, La Petite is the place. I’ve loved their dinner menu for years and finally had the chance to try brunch and I love it all. Great rendition of brunch with a French twist.
Just what the Carrollton area needed! In the past year, various restaurants have opened down Oak St. and its newest addition is Pho Bistreaux. They have just recently opened but already have crowds of hungry patrons entering the restaurant and leaving satiated…
Chicken and Pork Sliders.
Pho with Brisket.
The restaurant has opened its doors for only a little over a week, but the food is delicious and authentic. Great service overall, especially in comparison to its competitors throughout the city! The restaurant is quite small, but the environment is modern and family-friendly.
New Orleans is known for it’s boiling pot of great restaurants all around the city, but when it comes to fast food, where do you go? With the superbowl right around the corner, wings are a hot commodity and Bayou Hot Wings has to be one of the best wings around! It’s so good that the Travel Channel selected BHW to be one of three other restaurants in the city to be on Adam Richman’s special “Super Bowl Tailgate Takeover” airing January 30 9ET/8CT. The owners are local New Orleans chefs that take pride in local flavors and homemade dishes. All the wings are 24+hr marinated and the sauces are made in house. They even offer local dishes: jambalaya, fried frog legs, and gator bites. ￼
Sausage and Seafood Jambalaya. Tasso. Sausage. Shrimp. ￼
Deep Fried Frog Legs. Excellent when paired with Remoulade sauce. ￼
Thick Seasoned Onion Rings. ￼
Caesar Wrap with a touch of Hotboy Sauce. ￼
1/2 lb Burger with Hotboy Sauce. Steak fries. ￼
Last but not least…WINGS: (left to right) Hotboy, Chipotle BBQ, Sweet, Lemon Pepper
I’ve basically tried the whole menu and I have to say it deserves more than the “best fast food” title…Every menu item comes out fully garnished, steaming hot, and packed with authentic chef-made flavors. I LOVE that their specialty is wings, but even the burgers are delicious…probably one of the best burgers I’ve had!
My favorites: Chipotle BBQ wings, Hotboy wings, onion rings, coleslaw, and ALL of the burgers
Local favorites: Jambalaya, Fried Gator Bites, and Fried Frog Legs w/ Remoulade sauce
If you haven’t tried them yet, I HIGHLY recommend this local wing joint. Not into wings? No worries, because I enjoy their non-wing items just as much..if not more! Tell them chefsgirl sent you ^_^ ￼
Chef John Besh does it again! I’ve heard about Borgne by word of mouth, but what really inspired me to go try it out for myself was when I tried the Oyster Amandine at New Orleans Oyster Festival at Woldenburg Park 2012 (click for pictures). I swear, festival food is always the best..Have you ever heard of the law of Diminishing returns? Basically, when applied to food, it means serving food in small bites that leave your palate longing for more…so when I tried multiple miniscule oyster dishes at the festival, you can only imagine how I felt when I only got to enjoy a BITE of Oysters Amandine…After that experience, I’ve had high expectations for Borgne…
Panoramic restaurant view.
Early for lunch…
Duck Poppers. Jalapeno. Bacon.
Slow Smoked Pork Empanadas. White BBQ Sauce.
Sopa Ajo (Garlic Soup). Garlic Soup. Idiazabal Cheese. Cured Egg Yolk.
Honeysuckle Hotty. Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. Hot Chamomile Tea. (Missing: Sugar Candy pop)
Marinated Crab Fingers. Bread Salad. Torn Herbs.
Ragout of Louisiana Rabbit (Lunch Special). Orecchiette Pasta. Garlic. Tomatoes. Rapini. Reminds me a lot of the Spicy Lamb Meatball dish at Domenica’s except with rabbit!
Fried P&J Oysters Amandine. Grilled Mushrooms. Wilted Spinach. Oh..the delicious Oysters Amandine…Delicious and LOADED with cornmeal crusted oysters!
Seared Jumbo Shrimp. Brandade Ravioli. Shrimp Chorizo Consomme. Brussel Sprouts. Pumpkin. Chick Peas.
Pecan Praline Beignets.
My favorite dishes had to be anything with oysters: Charbroiled oysters and Oysters Amandine. I also LOVED the Pork Empanadas...Honestly, I hadn’t known much about Spanish or Mexican food until I relocated to Texas and since then, I just LOVE it. It’s just so rich, but can be so refreshing at the same time.
What didn’t I like? We had a grapefruit sorbet (not pictured) that was definitely homemade, but the fruit itself was not ripe and left a not-so-enjoyable bitter aftertaste. Another item I could’ve done without was the Honeysuckle Hotty. My girlfriend said the same about her cocktail so if anything, I would suggest grabbing a local beer like NOLA Brewing. I really like the blonde ale..it’s lighter and goes great with the food at Borgne.
Overall, good meal! I feel like Borgne’s menu is a boiling pot of Domenica and Luke…The rusticness of Luke together the Italian refinement of Domenica. If you’re in the CBD and looking for a fine lunch, Borgne is a great place to try!
Tartine is a cute and quaint little cafe that serves French breakfast and pastries. Before I even show you pictures, I must say that the food here is delicious! All the breads are made in house…nice and crunchy on the outside, but dense and soft on the inside. Breakfast is delicious and lunch is basically a breakfasty version of lunch…(my best explanation). They put a little touch of “Tartine” on every menu item…
Baked Egg in Brioche.
My favorite part about breakfast foods…the cutting of the poached egg. Who knew egg yolk could be such a delicious sauce!
Cafe Au Lait.
Ham Sandwich. Triple Cream Brie. Fig Mustard. Butter Lettuce on a Baguette.
So I’m showing you pictures from two different occasions…one to go order and one sit down in their tiny patio. It’s THAT good..I’ve been here multiple times and just can’t get tired of the food. It’s refreshing and not overly heavy considering you’re eating quite a bit of carbs. All spreads are flavorful and leave you wanting more…
I don’t know what else to say. I love it so much that writing this post is making me want to visit tomorrow morning. I’ll see y’all there!
So as promised, I paid another visit to Tartine and they did it again! I know this is a long post, but I’m sure a little eye candy won’t bother your taste buds…
Soup of the Day: Cauliflower Soup.
House Pate. Dijon. Onion Confit. Baguette.
House Smoked Turkey. Gruyere. Avocado. Roasted Gartlic Aioli. Butter Lettuce. Honey Wheat Bread.
Everything was delicious, as expected. The thing I’ve noticed with Tartine is the simplicity of all their menu items. All tartines consist of a skinny baguette baked to a perfect crunch on the outside and dense yet fluffy inside. Each baguette is topped with a fully flavored, well-seasoned spread of choice (salmon, pork, pate..etc). Sandwiches are simple and plain in appearance, but don’t let that fool you…like the House Smoked Turkey Sandwich did to me. The bread was a light and fluffy texture stuffed with deliciously smoked turkey. What really blew me away was how the garlic aioli could add so much flavor. I just wanna add garlic aioli to everything now! I can go on and on…but you’ll just have to try it for yourself!
My favorite items:
If you’re familiar with Chef Donald Link's restaurant, Cochon, well you're in luck because Cochon Butcher is right around the corner! It's a casual deli as opposed to the finer Cochon. They offer a variety of meats, sausages, and best of all sandwiches! Cochon is known for their charcuterie so it’s only natural that the sandwiches are fresh and equally as delicious as the fine meals at its finer counterpart.
Pastrami w/ Sauerkraut on Rye.
BBQ Pork. "Carolina Style"
Hot Boudin. To Go! I’ve been on a boudin craze lately so anywhere there’s boudin, you know I’ll be getting it! This particular boudin was SO good. Who would’ve thought that creole mustard could go so well with it?
Each dish was served with homemade sweet pickles. Great for balancing out their savory dishes. After dining at Cochon Butcher, I ordered a few other sandwiches for “the chef” so he could enjoy at work…and he agrees! Not a single sandwich disappointed us. Every bite infused with flavor…
Cochon Butcher has been open for quite some time now, but lately has been “Talk Of The Town” (on Urbanspoon). Why now? Who knows, but it deserves the recognition!
I discovered this restaurant years ago at a Festival downtown, where they had their food truck, "The Que Crawl"…They served these delicious roast beef poboys. Then I found out that “The Que Crawl” is a branch off of Boucherie so I just had to check it out. Went there for lunch one day and have loved it ever since!
12 Hour Roast Beef Po’boy w/ Pickled Red Onions & Horseradish Cream. Moist and savory with a wonderful balance of pickled onions and horseradish cream. What’s different about this poboy is that it’s stuffed into French bread from a local Vietnamese bakery, Dong Phuong. It’s a must try if you eat here!
Boudin Balls w/ Garlic Aioli. I’ve been on a major boudin kick lately and this has to be the best boudin ball I’ve ever had…I don’t know what they put in here, but it was DELISH! Boucherie does a great job at balancing flavors with a little bit of tartness.
Smoked Wagyu Beef Brisket w/ Garlicky Parmesan Fries.
Every dish was a 10/10 and to top it all off, you get so much bang for your buck! Boucherie offers the best prices for upscale dishes. One suggestion…Make sure you make reservations on weekends. It’s a tiny little restaurant so they get packed really easily and with no reservations…it’s a looooonggg wait AND all you can do is be tortured by other guests devouring Boucherie’s finest dishes.
Try it out, you’ll LOVE it!
I’ve been holding back on y’all…There’s a new restaurant in town and it has to be one of THE best restaurants in the city. Award-winning chefs Rick Tramonto and John Folse got together and created a revolution…
Bread and butter!
Torchon of Foie Gras.
"What the heck is torchon???" is the first thing I said when “the chef” wanted to order this…For those of you who are wondering the same thing, it describes the method of cooking the foie gras…”au torchon" which translates to "in a towel”. The duck liver loses a lot of fat in the process, but is cooked to perfection!
If you love foie gras, this dish was perfect…peach infused foie gras with an assortment of dried fruits and nuts.
Toasty sliced bread for foie gras.
Crab and Corn Cappaccino (above and below)
This delicious “cappaccino” came out on a fancy VERSACE tableset…So sad I didn’t get a picture of the whole set, but what a great reason to go back =)
The crab came out separately on a spoon for your own mixing pleasure…Just like sugar in your cappaccino!
Crisp Sweetbreads. Herbsaint Meuniere. Forest Mushrooms.
BEST SWEETBREADS I’ve ever had…Note the microcarrot. Very nice touch!
Foie Gras w/ Peach Brulee (seasonal)
Triptych of Quail: Southern-fried, Boudin-stuffed, Absinthe glazed.
Sheep Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Lobster. Vanilla. Tarragon. Lobster Roe.
White Chocolate Bread Pudding Creme Brulee. Lemon-scented Apricots. Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
What an experience! I have yet to try a Michelin star rated restaurant, but if I were to guess, this comes uber close. The many levels of flavors…One dish that stood out to me was the Crab and Corn Cappaccino. Not quite a cappaccino, but a soup rendition. I was amazed at how intricate the flavors were..with each bite, I could taste each ingredient stand on its own as it passed my taste buds…You have to try it to know what I mean!
My FAVORITE DISH had to be the sweetbreads. I’ve never gotten sweetbreads so honkin’ large before! They were juicy and delicious..UNFORGETTABLE! Another notable dish was the Triptych of Quail…3 quails, 3 different ways. My favorite quail was…can you guess? The Boudin-stuffed one!
Don’t be shy to sit at the bar..great table service, even if you’re sitting at the bar. You’ll be served by their excellent bartenders who are super friendly and accommodating!
Great service, elegant decor, and phenomenal food…You won’t regret it!
It’s easy to forget about such a great establishment when so many newer and hip places are opening up in the city. “The Chef” and I decided to visit Dante’s Kitchen, a restaurant we last went to years ago, but LOVED the food. Why haven’t I returned sooner? I don’t know, but here we are…
Spoonbread. I know it’s only bread, but for some reason, this is the most memorable dish. When I think Dante’s Kitchen, the first thing that comes to mind is spoon bread… Moist and buttery. Warm and syrupy.
Duck Fat Roasted Smashed New Potatoes.
Mashed potatoes infused with Duck Fat??? How can you say “No” to that?!
Seared Scallops. Smoked Peach Puree. Basil Oil.
Slow Cooked Duck Neck Stuffed Buckwheat Crepe. Vineyard Currants. Farro. Chicken Cracklin’.
I’ve never had farro until now, but the way they prepared it was delicious! It was well-seasoned and went really well with the duck neck filled crepe…
Bubble and “Squeak Breads”. Pan-fried Sweetbreads. Housemade Sauerkraut. Dark Beer and Corned Beef Broth.
Escargot. Bordelaise Sauce. Roasted Marrow Bone.
It’s been years since I’ve last been to Dante’s Kitchen and I’m almost sad I hadn’t returned sooner. This was such a good meal…Not a single dish failed to please. Every dish was thoroughly prepared and well thought out. Sauces and broths were simple yet jampacked with flavor.
Dante’s Kitchen has a pretty romantic setting, but would still be great for a night out with friends! Honestly, any restaurant is great for any setting. You can’t go wrong with delicious food and good company =)
ChefsGirl Restaurant Listing
So..I’ve never been to Japan and I’ve never had “authentic” Japanese cuisine, but if I had to guess, Yuki Izakaya is the closest you’ll get around here. Everything from the decor and jazzy Japanese band shouts “I’m in Japan!”. Izakaya means “tavern” in Japanese…so Yuki is more of a bar setting than a restaurant. They don’t offer any sushi or rolls, instead they have a great menu filled with small dishes (Japanese tapas pretty much)…great for late night drinking and Japanese bar food.
Walking in, you already feel this extra cool vibe…Live jazz music playing. There’s no cover, but they do charge 0.50 per dish once the DJ starts playing. Chump change for awesome vibes and great food!
Cool Japanese movie posters.
House Plum Wine.
Spicy Tuna Tataki.
Takoyaki. Octopus Dumplings.
"The Chef" was raving about octopus dumplings he had in NYC and was dying to try Yuki’s…They were different from the ones he tried, but he LOVED them too! Loved the plating!
Snowcrab Pintxo. Basque influenced tapas.
Fried Squid Legs.
Japanese Ramen. Braised Pork Belly and Egg.
Yuki was a great experience! Great selection of beers and have a large selection of shoju. The food was consistent across the board…consistently DELICIOUS! Best bar experience I’ve EVER had…Live music, great food…Can’t get enough of it in this city!
I’ve been craving sandwiches lately and who knew we had so many great spots right here in New Orleans! Milk Bar is in the uptown area. Recently renovated to be smoking-free. If you go to use the bathroom, you’ll actually notice that Milk Bar is connected to a bar (which explains why they needed to renovate to be smoke-free). Nevertheless, inside is quite clean with brightly painted walls, and cutesy cow-themed decor.
Condiments Bar and Special Menus.
Strawberry Milkshake.I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a milkshake…and this definitely made me feel like a kid for the day! lol
Clooney’s Choice. Marinated Chicken. Avocado. Tomato. Roasted Red Pepper. Red Onion. Mozzarella. Cilantro. Lemon Mayo.
*Special* Shrimply the Best w/ Zapps Chips (New Orleans Voo Doo Flava). Sauteed Shrimp. Pesto. Roma Tomato. Red Onion. Mozzarella. Lemon Mayo.
**Just a suggestion, these sandwiches are HUGE. Unless you have a HUGE appetite, split the sandwich! We were able to finish both sandwiches, but we were stuffed…)
My favorite part of this meal had to be the Ciabatta bread. Light and crispy on the outside, puffy and light on the inside. I’m no bread connoisseur, but as someone who loves bread, this was delicious…As for the sandwiches overall, I loved both! If you had to choose between the two, choose the Shrimp if you want something warm and savory OR choose the Clooney if you want something fresh and delicious. Oddly, “the Chef’s” fav was the Shrimp and mine was the Clooney (not because of the name ^_~), but I had ordered shrimp and he ordered the Clooney!
I can’t wait to try Milk Bar’s other items! If you’re looking around for a great sandwich spot, this is IT. Compared to Stein’s Market and Deli?? You can’t! They both offer different types of sandwiches, but Milk Bar definitely has made my Top 5 Sandwich joints as well.
NYC deli in NOLA? It exists…with a touch of local flare, of course! Walking in, you can already feel the New York City vibe…NY paraphernalia, assortment of Italian items, and we can’t forget the deli…
Roast Beef Special. Cold Roast Beef. Swiss. Cole Slaw. Rye Bread w/ Russian Dressing.
The Coleslaw was SO goood…..glad it came on both sandwiches!
Pastrami on Rye Bread. The pastrami was thin and crispy on the outside and deliciously savory on the inside. Loved it! I haven’t tried the corned beef yet, but I’ll save that for next time.
Local Zapps Sweet Potato Chips and Zero Calorie Root Beer. Didn’t care too much for these two. The chips were a little stale, but I believe that’s just how sweet potato chips usually are. They don’t hold much of a crisp. As for the root beer, you could tell it had zero calories…and by that, I mean not good. Although these side items were a little so-so, the overall meal was great!
Truly authentic NY deli…Eating here reminded me of my trip to NYC and eating at Carnegie Deli minus the 40 minute wait. The space is a bit tight, but there’s enough tables for people to dine in.
Will I return again? I already have. After this visit, I even returned yesterday to try the Turkey Panini and it was delicious. Not your ordinary Turkey panini…great depth of flavors in such an ordinary menu item. It’s obvious that every element here is made in house…sauces, pickles, and especially the deli meat.
If you’re looking for a place with delicious sandwiches, this is the place…Stein’s Market & Deli, you have my vote for Top 5 Sandwich Spots in the city!