New Orleans is a bit of a 7-Sin sort of place, with one sin glorified perhaps more than any other: gluttony (of which sloth is merely a byproduct). There are very few ‘big’ cities in the world that offer more culinary pleasure than NOLA. And unlike the compartmentalized and varied cuisine found in places like SF, NY or LA, New Orleans is all about Cajun and Creole cookin’, which tend to blend together seamlessly in most of the restaurants here.
Cajun cooking is more of the ‘everyman’s’ cuisine of the two. Whereas Creole cooking is heavily influenced by traditional French food that had been adapted to the local ingredients of Southern Louisiana, Cajun cooking is more of a “if it growls, flies, swims or grows, it goes in the pot” kind of food.
Most New Orleans restaurants offer dishes that fuse the two, resulting in cuisine that’s both rustic and refined, rich and fresh, savory, sweet and—did I mentio--rich? Cayenne, black pepper, bay leaf, parsley are the dominant spices, with very finely diced onion, celery and carrot forming the base of the sauces (along with roux (flour browned in fat). Seafood is the dominant meat (it is on the Coast), but pig and beef make strong appearances. Unless you make it at home, you’re not going to get the tastes of Southern Louisiana unless you come here.
Enough of the intro….on with the tasting menu.
Cafe Amelie's Shrimp and Grits:
Turtle Soup and BBQ'd Prawns (which aren't BBQ'd at all--if you've never had this dish you will not die happy):
The second best fried chicken I've had, along with Redfish Meuniere and Jambalaya Richard Sullivan (slomo510) and I had at Coop's Place:
Fried Pork Skin at SoBou:
Crispy chicken confit, glazed with a crystal hot sauce and sweet soy glaze:
Errr, forgot what this is:
BBQ Prawns (again) at Emeril's NOLA: