A transplant to New Orleans, I had to get used to the high humidity, heat and hurricanes after living in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost a decade. I'm a food lover and enjoy sharing my finds with my friends.
Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award winning screenwriter for Milk, came in to town for a staged production of "8" to benefit the Forum For Equality. I was able to attend brunch with him and some of the Forum Board members and supporters before the event at Arnaud's Restaurant in the French Quarter.
I arrived early to visit the Mardi Gras Museum. In a portion of the upstairs, there is a collection of some of the costumes and jewelry worn by the restaurant's founder and his daughter and grand daughter to many of the Krewe balls from the 1940's to the 1970's. One of my favorites was this dress is called "Vintage Champagne." It was worn when she was Queen of the Sparta Krewe in 1954. The entire court dressed as delicious wines and dishes.
The brunch was truly wonderful. We were put in one of the private rooms upstairs and our waiter was quick and responsive, especially considering how everything had to be carried up from the bar and the kitchen on the first floor.
The Sunday Jazz brunch is a prix fixe menu but the choices are pretty remarkable. There were four main choices for appetizer, plus soups, gumbos and oysters on the half shell. I started with the Shrimp Remoulade. A very spicy sauce that was missing the mayonaise of traditional remoulade's.
We all got the same salad and I was yawning too much to take a picture.
For the entree, I had their grillades and grits made with veal scallopini. The sauce was rich with vegetables and the cheese grits were perfect accompaniment.
I was sitting next to Dustin Lance Black and he was kind enough to trade bites. He had gotten the crabmeat cheesecake. OMG! Talk about luscious.
My friend, Mickie, got the Shrimp Clemenceau. I usually don't order that because I'm not a fan of peas but the mushrooms, crispy outside and tender inside Brabant potatoes and butter poached shrimp were delicious.
Dessert was just as good as the rest of the meal. I ordered the Chocolate Devastation, which is a dense, flourless cake. All it needed was a glass of milk and I would have been in heaven.
Several people had the Louisiana Strawberries marinated in port, red wine and spices.
What was fun is that we also had people order the Bananas Foster and Crepe Suzette. Eric did a really nice job for the occasion. As my buddies Beavis and Butthead say, "Fire is cool!"
Bananas Foster Flaming
Crepe Suzette Flambe
All and all it was a wonderful meal but the price puts it in the special event category for me.
At the end, I was able to get a picture taken with Dustin:
I think he enjoyed the meal as much as I did!