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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Drinks

Happy Halloween!

I'm enjoying a Bee's Knees on my front porch while I wait for the Trick or Treaters to arrive.

Halloween candy is good and all but the holiday isn't complete without an adult beverage!

Candy Corn Martinis

For the infused vodka:
1/2 cup candy corn
1 1/2 cups vodka

Drink recipe
2 ounces orange liqueur like Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Candy corn, for garnish

Infuse the vodka: Combine the candy corn and vodka in an airtight container; set aside for at least 3 hours, then strain. Store in the refrigerator.

Make the Candy Corn Martinis: Add 4 ounces of the candy corn vodka, the orange liqueur and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn.

Bee's Knees

2 oz gin
1 oz honey syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice

Make honey syrup by putting 1 cup of honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly stir in 1 cup of water. Let come to a boil, stirring regularly. Store in the refrigerator.

Make the Bee's Knees: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

If you're making a pitcher of drinks or filling a punch bowl, consider tossing in a few dismembered hands:

Ghostly Floating Hands

To make ghostly hands that float, fill surgical gloves (or rubber gloves) with plain or colored water and tie at the opening. Freeze. Cut off gloves from ghost hands and place in filled punch bowl.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feelings Cafe

I went out for brunch today in honor of Terry O'Neill's (current president of the National Organization for Women) visit to New Orleans to speak on "Women Need Jobs, Not Cuts." We went out to Feelings Cafe, a lovely restaurant in the Bywater area.


Feelings Cafe does a lot of Clemenceau dishes--a Creole style of cooking that generally includes peas and potatoes. While I love brabant potatoes (typically boiled then fried in butter and garlic), I really can't stand peas. Therefore, I had the grillades and grits. The veal was tender but there was hardly any grits with the dish and hardly any cheese on what was supposed to be cheese grits.

I ended the meal with the French Silk pie. Rich but it had the mouth feel that the sugar hadn't been completed combined before setting. I also had a bite of the combo peanut butter/chocolate pie that was quite delicious.

The service was very good and I definitely can see why the courtyard dining area gets consistently listed as one of the most romantic places to eat in the city.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

cafe b

A friend of mine had her birthday dinner at cafe b, one of Ralph Brennan's restaurants.

I arrived a few minutes before the rest of the group and sat at the bar. Eric made me a very tasty margarita and we were able to chat at little about football and Halloween before I was joined by some other guests.

Once everyone arrived, we moved to our table and ordered a selection of starters. There were fried oysters, calamari (the sweet and spicy dipping sauce was very good) and crab dip (good enough but the toasted brioche was killer). Good flavor combinations but nothing really extraordinary.

I ordered the hanger steak with garlic fries. It came with a bearnaise sauce but the meat was so tender and delicious on its own that I only used a small amount. Not a fan of the brussel sprouts that it came with, I also ordered some roasted wild mushrooms. This was the only item on the menu that needed a pinch of extra seasoning.

I was able to taste the shrimp and lobster ravioli that several folks ordered and was completely blown away at how incredibly good it was. Smooth with a champagne beurre blanc that made every bite a taste of creamy heaven.

I ended the meal with some chocolate bliss--a brownie in a cup of ice cream and whipped cream. It had sufficient chocolately goodness to satisfy my cravings. The lemon ice box pie was passed near enough to me that I was able to grab a bite as it went by. It could have used a little meringue but had a nice lemon bite to it.

The service was excellent. Our server, Malyssa, was very attentive and quick to top off glasses and to make sure that we had everything we needed. As you can see from my wall of drinks (water, iced tea, two different glasses of Evening Land pinot noirs - one from California and the other from Oregon), I was keeping hydrated.

I have to confess that I was quite surprised to find such a great meal there on Metairie Road. I can definitely see a return trip to try the burger but only if I convince someone else to come with and share their ravioli with me!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mr. Ed's

There is a family restaurant hidden in the residential Metairie neighborhood of Bucktown and they boast that they have the best fried chicken in the city. Not one to ignore such a claim or let it sit without challenge, I made special plans to go visit Mr. Ed's Restaurant.

I had spent the early morning protesting with Occupy NOLA and even made WDSU's slideshow (picture 1)! After walking from Tulane/Broad to Lafayette Square, we were ready for some good fried chicken.

Once we arrived, I was quickly served a very delicious Bloody Mary and a pretty tasteless salad composed of iceberg lettuce, a single cherry tomato and a single cucumber round. Good thing my drink contained two large olives, four pickled green beans and two cocktail onions or I wouldn't have gotten any veggies at all!

The fried chicken was three pieces that were cooked to order for us. It was piping hot and served on a bed of french fries. The coating was good and stayed with the chicken for every bite. It was not at all greasy. However, the chicken itself had very little flavor. I'd have to say that it was good but certainly not the best fried chicken I've had.

We shared a chocolate mousse cake that was a pretty good way to end the meal. Again, it was good but not spectacular.

Perhaps I'll head back and see if they do a better job on their Italian entrees.