Rivista is doing Brunch this weekend...here's the info from their FB page:
Starting this weekend,
RIVISTA will begin offering BRUNCH on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am
- 2pm. BYOB with NO CORKAGE FEE!!
fennel, yellow Squash, and fresh herbs baked in a cream cheese crust and
topped with pea tendrils and spring vegetables $8
Beef Daube - with braised creole tomatoes, poached farm eggs and Hollandaise $12
Crab Frittata - Louisiana blue crab and asparagus topped with arugula and Alabama peaches $9
Grilled Chicken and Mascarpone Polenta -
served with poached farm eggs and crispy Tasso Hollandaise $10
Bagels and Lox - fresh homemade bagels and house-cured salmon, served with traditional accoutrements $8
(note: I couldn't resurrect the original version of this post after the crash, so re-writing)
Rivista on Facebook...
I've been to Rivista on Magazine Street twice in the last two months, once just to go for coffee, the other to meet @NewInNOLA for breakfast. Both times, I've had an enjoyable latte and this wonderful creation they call a "breakfast sandwich." I was a bit startled at first, because the egg was cooked over-easy, so it was yolky. With a croissant, that's just how I like it! It totally exceeded expectations because of that. I enjoyed that treat so much, I got it again on the second visit.
The coffee at Rivista is good. Italian espresso, makes for a great latte. It's amusing to watch impatient people bail on the place because there's only one barista who does it right, rather than rushing through the espresso drinks while making half a dozen blender-ized drinks at a chain place.
My usually complaining about how horrid Magazine Street is, I'm going to add Rivista into my coffee shop rotation. Early in the morning, the parking situation up there isn't so bad.
We had a server problem last night, and I'm in transit to Oslo, Norway, today. I'll sort out the missing two weeks when I get settled into the hotel in Oslo tomorrow.
Just before the Super Bowl, an article was published listing the "25 Douchiest Bars in New Orleans." Some of those on the list were more than well-deserved (hello, Fump and Manny's!). I scratched my head at the entry for The Three Muses. OK, yes, it's on Frenchmen Street, which is hipsta central, but still, I knew too many people who actually go there and aren't douches, so it didn't make sense. I messaged a friend who speaks highly of Three Muses, and off we went for happy hour and an early dinner.
Cocktails: I started with an Orange Blossom Sazerac: house-infused vanilla-sazerac rye whiskey, a bit of Cointreau, and housemade orange-fennel seed bitters. Interesting taste, but not something I wanted to drink all night. The lovely and talented @LunaNola had a Persephone's Downfall (left): Pomegranate Molasses, OJ, sparkling white Pama, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, and Absolut. After the whiskey, I tried The Muse: Cucumbers and strawberries with St. Germain and Plymouth Gin. Yes, this is me. As my friend Heather said when I posted a photo of the drink to social media, "you had me at gin."
We ordered a bunch of small plates for an early dinner.
Kurobuta Pork Belly, braised in Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider, with Apple Chutney and Scallion Pancakes. The toughest thing about anything pork belly is resisting the temptation to chomp it down like bacon. The subtle flavors here make each of these pieces a three-bite taste.
Seared Scallops and Housemade Saffron Linguini. These scallops were just perfect. Seared tops were crunchy, then full-bodied and tasty. The linguini was a great complement to the shellfish.
Bacon-wrapped dates. These were on the special board. We got two orders. Because it's bacon.
Steak and Cake: Grilled Harris Ranch Hanger Steak with a Crabcake, covered in Bernaise sauce. The steak is served medium-rare to rare, almost a steak tartare. Surf and turf with a butter sauce. Oh, yes.
Smoked Duck Pizza: Duck, Chorizo, Brussels Sprouts leaves, Tikka-Masala sauce Fontina and Goat Cheese. I missed the part about adding a fried duck egg on top for $2 more. I would've done it in a heartbeat!
Grilled Shrimp Polenta: rather than doing a shrimp-and-grits like so many places, the polenta was a very nice change. Very tasty!
Service at @ThreeMusesNOLA is tag-team and informal. You order at the bar, and food is brought to you by whichever of the staff is back by the kitchen when it's ready. Cocktails are also ordered at the bar, with a server bringing it over to the table so you don't have to wait.
As we were eating (we started this outing around 4:30pm or so), a Dixieland combo set up, warmed up, and started their set, around 6pm. The crowd picked up with the live music, but the acoustic nature of the jazz combo fit the size (maybe 900 sq ft) of the place. An amplified band would be a bit extreme for the space, but the jazz worked well.
So, is The Three Muses a douchey place? Maybe the crowd gets that way at some points, but the food is top-quality and easily outweighs any people issues. The writer of said article gave proprieter Christopher Starnes a hard time for his Twitter handle, @xtofer. Really? You're going to list a decent restaurant on your douchey list because of a Twitter name? Puh-leez. Not to mention that Christopher gets major props and total appreciation for chasing us down Frenchmen to bring me back my Nook Tablet, which I left on the table. He could've easily hung on to it and messaged me, but this is how New Orleanians roll, particularly the smart ones in the restaurant business.
Fried Oysters Remoulade from Liuzza's on Bienville
Everybody's offering their dining suggestions to visitors coming to New Orleans for Super Bowl 47, but let's face it, the "whales" aren't getting much past Chef Besh's restaurants, classic places in the Quarter, and maybe some other places in the Warehouse District. This weekend is a golden opportunity for the rest of us to avoid these people by going to Mid City.
If the "whales" wanted some awesome New Orleans food, all they'd have to do is hop on the Canal Street line (the red streetcars going to the Cemeteries or City Park, and get off at Carrollton Avenue. You'll be in the "Italian Triangle" of Mandina's on Canal Street, Venezia on Carrollton, and Liuzza's on Bienville.
At the apex (more or less) of the Triangle is Katie's. Chef Scot makes the Best. Pizza. In. New. Orleans.
That's four awesome places with fantastic local food. Click the links, they're YatCuisine articles. Now go eat!
join us at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Street (corner of Laurel), on
Thursday, January 31st at 6PM, for the first book
Ed will do a short talk on some
of the Legendary Locals in the book, we'll have some discussion, and
books will be signed. All in the intimate (and independent) setting of
Links to event
Nirvana is a nice Indian place within walking distance of my hotel and the office where I work when I go to Manhattan. The atmosphere is laid-back, service responsive, and food is worth your time.
Papad and a nice Sauvignon Blanc.
For a starter, I had the Achari Mushroom. Pickled mushroom which is grilled with other veggies. The flavors coming together on this plate were just wonderful. I could have easily had a second order and called it a night.
Madras Chicken, Garlic Naan, and rice. Good version of a classic curry dish. The sauce was just the right amount of tomato. Spice content was good--the waiter warned me ahead of time, leading me to believe they've had their share of people who didn't like spicy food. Between growing up in New Orleans and the tastes of some of my Norweigan colleagues, a little spice didn't bother me. Still, I kept it low-key. The naan was excellent, fresh and a good level of garlic spead across.
Gulab Jumun for dessert.
This was my first to Nirvana. I'll be back on my next trip to Manhattan.
A couple of days ago, I crowdsourced a question: What were your cooking "success stories" of 2012? I'll be posting the answers over the next few days. Here's the first, courtesy of Lisa.
French Onion-Cabbage Soup
2 lbs vidalia onions, sliced
1 head cabbage, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans beef broth
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 slices toasted French bread
4 slices swiss cheese
1 Melt butter in a large dutch oven and saute onions, garlic and cabbage for 15 minutes.
2 Stir in flour and salt; add broth, water and Worcestershire.
3 Cook to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4 Spoon broth mixture into soup crocks, filling crocks about 3/4 full; top with the french bread and swiss cheese.
5 Place crocks under a broiler on Low and melt cheese until it bubbles and becomes browned.
Ham, bacon, and manchego cheese omelette, for Mrs. YatPundit
I was more in the mood for eggs over easy, so I made a bowl of grits with mushrooms, some of the ham, cheddar and manchego cheeses.
and two eggs for yolk-y goodness!
There are a lot of good appetizers in the NOLA.com recipe database, but many of them are true starter dishes. For Christmas dinner, I needed some true hors d'oeuvres-"finger food"-for folks to pick on as we all arrived for dinner. i came across what looked like a tasty shrimp recipe from the Pelican Club. The recipe calls for jumbo shrimp (don't you just love that oxymoron?), but the more I read it the more I thought it would convert to an hors d'oeuvre.
Here's the original recipe for The Pelican Club's spicy rum shrimp with cranberries, citrus, and chiles. The ingredients list:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup diced sweet peppers
6 hot chiles, minced
1/4 cup diced sweet onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces cranberries
1 cup diced pineapple
1 pound jumbo deveined shrimp
3 bay leaves
I made four deviations from this list. First, I used 50-count shrimp instead of jumbo (which are usually 5-10 count). Second, since this is supposed to be finger-food, I used mini phyllo shells, instead of pouring the sauce over the jumbo shrimp. Three, I used Old New Orleans "Cajun Spice" Rum.
The fourth deviation was the chiles. I don't know much at all about chiles and which kind to use when the recipe is vague. I do know that this stuff is awesome, so it was just a matter of hitting the right spice level. For a test batch, which was half a pound of shrimp and the rest of the ingredients halved, I used three teaspoons of this chili sauce. That gave it an awesome kick. Kevin and I loved it, but Mrs. Yatpundit thought it might be a bit much for the family. On the full batch, I went with four teaspoons rather than doubling the test quantity to six.
In a large skillet, melt butter and saute the sweet peppers, chiles,
onion, garlic, cranberries and pineapple until softened.
The pineapple is Dole, canned. It worked out OK.
I used frozen shrimp, mainly because I was lazy and had other cooking to do. I bought a pound of 50-count shrimp, thawed them, and cut them into thirds, which made good-sized pieces for the phyllo cups.
Add shrimp, bay
leaves, rum, orange juice and zest and salt. Cook until shrimp are
done. Remove the shrimp and keep warm. Reduce the sauce and serve with
Once the sauce was reduced, rather than serve it over the jumbos, I spooned the mixture into the phyllo shells. When we got to my sister-in-law's house, I re-heated the shells for about 5 minutes in a 350F oven.
Voila! Apologies for the poor-quality photo of the finished product, but they started in on the shells so fast when we got there, I didn't get to take a proper photo! This shot is of the test batch. The spicy shrimp are on the right; on the left are some shells with shrimp remoulade in them. I did them both, so family could help me decide which to make for Christmas. They both overwhelmingly chose the Pelican Club's shrimp!