Posted by: Kristen Hicks | August 1, 2010

A Weekend in New Orleans, pt 2

Day 1, pt. 2:

Our  first day in New Orleans was by far our most eventful and that first night will probably remain in my memory as the platonic New Orleans evening.

Before we continue with the events of my first day in New Orleans, we need to give a nod to the special meaning of this day to New Orleans and the Gulf in general.  Though it’s always healthy to keep some skepticism at hand, who can help but rejoice upon seeing this:

They left off the "FINALLY"

They left off the "FINALLY"

Of course, it’s only one in the many large steps that need to be taken to help the problem–but it’s a big one.

Back to our consummate New Orleans evening, our full day has earned us a nice dinner and our friends provide a wonderful recommendation in the Green Goddess.  Apparently first discovered via Neal Gaiman’s twitter feed, Green Goddess is an incredibly underhyped, affordable and spectacular spot for dinner.

Somehow, there was no wait when we got to the tiny restaurant and started looking over the overwhelming menu.  The chefs at Green Goddess seem to approach cooking as part art form and part experiment, the menu is full of a great variety of international ingredients and interesting flavor combinations, all of which demonstrate the great skill of the chefs.  To make things even better–the creativity doesn’t stop with the food they make, they have a wide variety of cocktails and wines as well.

My dinner was the gazpacho, described thusly on their menu:

“Didn’t He Ramble” Gazpacho Trio

Roasted yellow tomato gazpacho paired with white gazpacho made with bread, almonds, garlic and aged sherry vinegar, with slivers of sun-dried tomato, smoky almonds & Frescobaldi “Laudemia” Olive Oil.  Add a Creole tomato aspic, lurking below the surface.

The flavoring of this dish was superb and what was already a pretty perfect dish was given an extra nudge by the added texture of the almonds and the flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes.

In addition to the impressive food, we received multiple visits to our table from the chef himself who asked for opinions on what we’d been served, offered recommendations for drink pairings and cheese options and was just generally a pleasure to speak with for a little while.

I think I can speak for our entire party that evening when I proclaim that the dinner far exceeded expectations and was a success both as a dinner and a general dining experience.

The title of the gazpacho dish was taken from a popular, traditional song recently covered by one of the primary centerpieces of the rest of our evening, Kermit Ruffins (the song was notably also performed by Louis Armstrong and a host of other memorable and influential musicians).

From Green Goddess, we made our way to the Kermit Ruffins show occurring at  the Blue Nile that evening.  On our way, we did make a stop at a charming Soviet themed bar named Pravda for a drink.

our iPhone doesn't have a flash

a blurry version of Kermit Ruffins

At Blue Nile, we met up with some good friends of mine from college and had a wonderful time dancing and drinking to the music of Kermit Ruffins and the many talented musicians backing him.

We were lucky enough to get Ruffins’ signature on the copy of “Livin’ a Treme Life” we purchased that evening which has been the most listened to album in our home since we’ve been back.

After leaving this show, we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon another fantastic example of New Orleans live music in the form of the We Are One Brass Band.  Between our increased level of drunkenness and the momentum of the evening, combined with the ideal soundtrack for it, we danced harder at that show than I have in some time.

By this point, we had thoroughly worn ourselves out and determined it was time to end our superb evening and indulge in a good night’s sleep.

To be continued…

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