Saturday, January 4, 2014
Dining bucket list for 2014
Believe it or not, although I have been living, and eating, in this wondrous town for over ten years now, there are still quite a few restaurants I have not experienced. Some are brand new, so I kind of have an excuse, but some have been around for ages and I have yet to poke my head in the door. So, here is my "bucket list," for lack of a better descriptor, of ten restaurants (off the top of my head) that I would love to visit (and why) before 2015 rears it's mewling, newborn head.
#1. Galatoire's - I know, I know. Don't start throwing rotten garbage at me, but it's true, I've yet to dine at one of the city's oldest and most venerated restaurants. Yes, I have sampled some of the cuisine Galatoire's offers at festivals and foodie events, but I have never experienced a meal inside the restaurant itself. Unfortunately, I have grand expectations of this place and I am afraid to dine there for three main reasons; I have nothing suitable to wear, I might not like the food and I can't afford a true "Galatoire's experience." I'll just have to get over myself, bite the bullet, hock some jewelry and go.
#2. Gautreau's - To be honest, I have been literally dying to dine at Gautreau's. Sue Zemanick is easily one of the top chefs in the city and to miss out on experiencing her cuisine is simply bonkers, especially for a food hound like myself. But, there are two drawbacks to dining at Gautreau's. Like other eateries on this list, money is a huge issue and this place is definitely expensive. I usually solve that problem (and the issue of natural light for proper food porn) by going for lunch. Unfortunately, Gautreau's only offers dinner. I'll find a way to make it work...
#3. Mariza - Why? I love great Italian cuisine and this brand new Bywater restaurant has been rumored to fit the bill. Plus, I was fortunate enough to interview the chef, Ian Schnoebelen, and he is one cool guy who loves his work. Plus, have you seen the menu? If Fried Polenta or Quail & Pancetta don't excite you, I'm not sure what will.
#4. Dooky Chase's Restaurant - My two reasons for wanting to try Dooky Chase's place may be silly, but at least I'm being honest. A - I need to try her Gumbo Z'herbes and B. - well, everyone else has been there...why can't I?
#5. Willie Mae's Scotch House - Two words: Fried Chicken.
#6. La Boca - Reputedly among one of the best steakhouses in the city, La Boca is one of Chef Adolfo Garcia's first restaurants and it has been recommended to me time and time again. One fellow foodie, let's call her JAG, has suggested I visit La Boca so many times, that I am beginning to think it might be her favorite restaurant. Regardless, I really should go, even if for no other reason than to get over my fear of menus that don't list prices.
#7. Mizado Cocina - Growing up in the Bay Area taught me to appreciate all different types of cuisine, especially Latin American. That's why when Mizado opened just recently in Metairie, going out to try this restaurant has continually been on my mind. What with three types of guacamole, seven different salsas and five ceviches, I'm surprised it's taken me this long. Lunch date anyone? Tomorrow? Day after? C'mon!
#8. Restaurant August - I know, just slap me. There is no excuse for why I have not yet been to August and numerous reasons for why I should. I liked Luke and and love Domenica, it's way past time for me to visit the Beshist Besh restaurant in the city. It'll happen.
#9. Kermit's Treme Speakeasy Restaurant & Bar - All I can say is Kermit is a very cool cat and he loves to BBQ almost as much as he loves playing his trumpet. Although I am unsure about the hours at his restaurant, the Facebook page is always reporting dishes like Southern Fried Catfish, Mustard Greens and Butter Beans & Rice, and it all sounds fantastic. Plus, I've heard that on occasion he'll serve stranger fare like squirrel and nutria. I'm willing to take that risk!
#10. Grill Room at the Windsor Court - Easily one of the highest of the high end restaurants in the city, it's obvious as to why I haven't yet graced the Grill Room with my presence, but I have had opportunities to sample the cuisine and I would still love to try. Not to mention the fact that the restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous and I worry that my shabby self would definitely stand out.
Granted, money might be the biggest reason I will miss out on these restaurants again in 2014, but I will do my best not to let those nasty dollars stand in my way of experiencing another stellar, New Orleans meal.
Written by Kim Ranjbar