Friday, February 29, 2008

Wednesday in The Square, I think it was from April to June

Attention all those working downtown or preparing to clerk in downtown New Orleans this summer, the Wednesdays in the Square series should not be missed. Every Wednesday from April through June a stage and mini, mini-Jazz Fest type venue is set up in Lafayette Square. Lafayette Square is conveniently located across from Gallier Hall in the heart of the CBD. Local restaurants and bars man tents with food and libations. While the weather is nice, its a great way to spend an afternoon. After the show stick around downtown and eat out. Consult the Coon Hunter's Map or shoot us an email. Here is a link with the dates and bands scheduled to appear.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ruth's Chris Returns Home (Kind of...Maybe)

It all started here. In 1965 Ruth Fertel bought the Chris Steakhouse at the corner of Orleans and Broad. Although she adopted the sizzling in butter presentation from the Crescent City Steakhouse down the street, Ruth undoubtedly was the restaurateur solely responsible for spreading that signature New Orleans style steak around the world.

But eventhough Hurricane Betsy (which hit less than 4 months after she bought the place) could not shut down Ruth's, it looks like Katrina has forever shuttered the location that started it all. Moreover, Ruth's corporate office has moved out of the Big Easy to just outside the restaurant chain mecca of Orlando. Talk about forgetting where you came from.

Although we stalwarts of tradition still long for the reopening of the flagship location on Broad Street, recent information has come to light that Ruth's will be opening again in the city. For those of us in the know (which I am sometimes one of them), this return has been a long time coming considering that the CEO of Ruth's actually flew down to NOLA two years ago to give final approval of opening the new restaurant in the bottom of The Lafayette Hotel (former location of Mike Ditka's and the recently defunct Anatole) only to put the kibosh on the deal because of the unorthodox dining room setup. However, the word is that the new Ruth's will (temporarily) be in the location of Riche in the bottom of the Harrah's Hotel and then eventually move down the block near the new Fulton Street Experience. The new location makes sense considering that the original Ruth's was situated in close proximity to the Fairgrounds in order to "cash-in" on those superfecta winners on their way home, whereas today Morton's and Besh Steakhouse look to snag the big money coming off the craps tables. However, I am hesitant to accept the veracity of this rumor due to conflicting information from separate sources.

Resident NOLA food critic Tom Fitzmorris reports on his New Orleans Menu Daily that he has spoken to various people connected with the construction, and that these people along with John Besh have confirmed that it is a done deal. However, Palm Room Hostess (an acquaintance of your bloggers) received word from upper level legal counsel at Harrah's that eventhough "the rumors are rampant," Harrah's has "not finalized the deal yet." Regardless, Ruth's has not issued any statement confirming or denying the rumors.

Has Father Tom been scooped by Palm Room Hostess? Only time will tell. But I think it is safe to say that we all look forward to the return of Ruth's to the city that started it all (whenever and wherever that may be). And although some of you might be a little worried that another steakhouse in the CBD/WHD may result in the eventual closing of La Boca or Besh or Morton's, remember that most of the time increased competition forces restaurants to differentiate themselves and create a better product. Nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Great Press for Two Great Spots

I am happy to report that 2 New Orleans Restaurants made Frank Bruni's list of the top 15 new restaurants in America (excluding New York). Luke, John Besh's wonderful old world brasserie, just missed the cut of the top 10 and will not be getting profiled (maybe if they tightened up some of the service problems). However, look for Cochon, Donald Link's Porkographic Restaurant, to be profiled in the coming weeks. Mr. Bruni is counting down the top 10 new restaurants in America. From the introduction to the countdown today it seems he was very impressed by Cochon. You can find the first part here.

Unfortunately, I regret that P.F Izzo's Sushi Bar and Brazilian Steakhouse of Baton Rouge did not make the cut.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top Chef Preview and other miscelanny

Check out these brief bios on this season's Top Chef contestants. Episodes begin on March 12th. Obviously, Peter will be taking bets on who will win. And at Calcutta on Wednesday March 19th, we will auction off each of the remaining chefs. Gambling on a Reality TV Food Focused Show, perfect.

Review of the Golden Clogs. Also, a review of the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. Next year your bloggers will gladly go to the event in order to provide you with the first-hand reporting you have come to expect from this top notch shit show. Also, Miami is close to the home base location of The Legend; which means chaos, confusion, and probably an arrest warrant.

Video footage of Chef Brian Landry of Galatoire's on the Today Show on Mardi Gras
. Good to see a Blue Jay dominating.

A wonderful map of some of the fine dining establishments scattered near the CBD, French Quarter, and Uptown. With permission from The Coon Hunter, thanks. A great reference for lunches and/or dinners.

Monday, February 25, 2008

La Provence

It took two days of reflection to be able to say this, but here it goes: La Provence is the best restaurant in New Orleans. First off, New Orleans has received the blessings of the gods when it comes to dining establishments so choosing a best restaurant will necessarily implicate debate and scorn from others. But backing up La Provence as the best restaurant in New Orleans must be done and can be accomplished quite easily.

The "past is prologue" aspect of La Provence lends it some serious credibility. A restaurant out in the middle of nowhere (but fast becoming somewhere) begun by a Greek, French-trained immigrant. As a final dying act the proprietor turns the place over to his one time protege, John Besh. For the first few months, things are rocky at the fabled place in the woods. Then a French chef, who has lost his restaurant in the CBD, is brought in as executive chef (and becomes a partner). This French chef, Rene Bajeux, begins a self-professed Renaissance of why he became a chef. Fresh, premises raised ingredients, a reinvigorated chef, and a destination dining spot create ideal conditions for a diner. Great story; but it only gets us to the present.

La Provence requires planning. Located on Highway 190 near Lacombe, Louisiana, most diners from the Greater New Orleans Area regrettably will not be able to head over to La Provence at the drop of a hat. But this is a very good thing because the planning gives the diner(s) at a minimum a day (and more is recommended) to stew and simmer one's thoughts and prepare one's imaginative palate for the gustatory excursion ahead. Such dining anticipation puts pressure on the kitchen to perform, and they do.

Sidestepping the ubiquitous white stretch limo always parked out front, one walks into the hearth of an idealized French home. Walking to the bar area requires one to gaze and lope just past the front dining room. The resulting feeling is not unlike walking through a grocery store when one is starving. Everything looks good and you are ready to eat.

The menu runs the gamut of French classics and new looks at the same. Always a meal starts with homemade pate, usually an earthy chicken liver pate with buttery croutons. Recently, when we asked the waiter for a second helping of the pate, he instead brought out a dish of organic butter and rainbow sheened olive oil puree with red onion. Disappointment flew across our faces, until we dipped the homemade olive bread into the olive oil. Summer, that was the taste.

On the first visit, back in September the appetizer which blew everyone at the table away was the tomato and goat cheese gratin. Quite simply imagine the greatest topping on a pizza and that was the flavor. Fresh tomatoes, superb goat cheese, simply passed under the broiler with some fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

On our recent visit, the best appetizers ordered were the Foie Gras with a fig compote and the escargot. The foie gras arrived with that wonderful tripartite relationship of the crispy exterior, the tender interior, and the molten center. The escargot epitomized garlic, just on this side of overpowering. This dish was nothing more than the classic escargot dish, but prepared and plated more professionally. Quite frankly, this is why man eats snails.

The classic New Orleans oyster patty receives a stay of execution with a delicate and flaky puff pastry snaking across a rectangular plate. Underneath the top layer of pastry, oysters delicately poached in cream and herbsaint create a brilliant textural balance between the flaky pastry and the succulent oysters. The soups are excellent especially the crawfish bisque in a dark brown stock.

Duck, lamb, chicken and beef entrees are a good place to focus one's attention. Their was some apprehension by the orderer of the filet. Typical counterarguments were lobbied against her order such as "It's a filet, it will taste just like a filet from anywhere." I am sure there is a better filet out there, but I have never had it. An enormous filet basted with a truffle oil set atop a puree of red cabbage and served with Potatoes Dauphin. The flavors and textures flowed from the aroma of the truffle, to the tender beef, to the crisp and pillowy potatoes. Finally, a dish to take the filet from boring to enthralling.

Duck simply roasted with lavender is a holdover from the original prorietor's repertoire. Beyond crisp skin gives way to the tender, perfume fragrant meat of a duck. Simple, good, and hearty. Rabbit ordered in September arrived tough and hurried, the flavors not quite together. This most likely occurred because the wrong dish was brought out first, requiring the rabbit to be "911'ed".

The braised lamb perfected the essence of La Provence which I believe is contrast. The lamb begins with the deep hearty flavors of a traditional braise. Red wine, aromatics, and hearty stock soon give way to the grassy, fresh taste of lamb. The dish idealized the changing of the seasons occurring right now: winter giving way to spring. Coquelet au vin arrived with a brilliant presentation and taste to match; tender chicken in a sauce fortified by the bones of the bird set atop a perfectly executed gratin of potatoes.

Desserts move away, but not far, from the classics. Bread pudding, crepes suzette, lavender creme brulee, and a cheese plate (cheeses selected by St. James) gave opportunity for sharing, comparing, debating, and enjoying. Here was the only glitch. The dessert course took just a little to long to arrive. Especially considering the French Pressed coffee had been finished prior to dessert arriving. Although the delay was noted and taken care of by the wait staff before we raised our complaints.

Wine list is very affordable and hits all the major highlights. We drank a 2006 Saintsbury, Pinot Noir from Carneros. The temperature on the wine was perfect and went well with everyone's entrees.

Joyce, a longtime employee of La Provence, checked on us and upon learning of our hounds, brought us a few extra lamb bones for them. Perfect ending for us and a great reward for the hounds.

There is an overarching theme out there. And it is the delightful interplay of raising and exceeding expectations. You are in the middle of nowhere, yet right in the middle of France. You are comfortable, cozy, and content, yet trying new things, exploring new flavors, and revisiting old ones. Textures contrast but almost always in harmony. This is supposed to be simple, unpretentious French home-cooking food; yet the presentation, service, and execution transforms simple ingredients into a legendary eating establishment. You have traveled to get here, yet you feel like you are at home, but not your home as it feels more welcome than that. This restaurant returns to the roots of French country cooking, yet it shows off Louisiana flavors and products. La Provence is the best restaurant in New Orleans; yet, it is not in New Orleans. Content confusion, a mini-vacation to the South of France by going North of the lake, where am I, can I try your entree, do we have to go back...

I have a feeling in the next few months, La Provence will become hugely popular locally, regionally, nationally, and hopefully internationally. This will be a very difficult reservation to get.

As we wrapped up our most recent meal at around 9:30, groups were still arriving and walking through the warm rooms with the excited look of children on their face. They looked at our table and the enjoyment passed from one group to another, as we slipped into the night and they walked into the hearth.

Website with hours, directions, and such...Just go.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rio Mar mentioned in NYT

A recent article in the New York Times profiles New Orleans raised food writer, Kim Sunee. Part of the interview takes place at Rio Mar. Man, I sure could go for some tapas right now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

Wish I was going to Miami...

Check out this mischief between Bourdain and Ruhlman. Where was their booth at career day?

Lamar Burton's Reading Rainbow Time

St. Louis makes me read, a lot. A quick review of culinary literature consumed in the past few months.

Heat, Bill Buford. Mid-life Crisis hits the former editor of The New Yorker and he ends up working in the kitchen of Mario Batali's Babbo restaurant, originally to write a profile on the man in the orange clogs. This launches him into a new career as a cook and food writer. He travels to Italy to learn about pasta and butchery and explores the inside of a celebrity chef's working kitchen. Heat is more than a hagiographer's obsession with a subject. In fact, I believe this book soured the relationship between Batali and Bufurd. Highly recommended if you liked Kitchen Confidential.

Roasting in Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay. A depressing chronicle of the escape from an abusive father which ultimately led Mr. Ramsay into the kitchen. That being said, an amazing book and a glimpse into what drives individuals to succeed. Perhaps at times the book is a little self-gloating and would love to read Marco Pierre-White's version of the same events; but Mr. Ramsay captures why running a fleet of world-class restaurants is so stressful and rewarding to him.

The ____ of a Chef, Michael Ruhlman. Making of a Chef chronicles Ruhlman's time at the CIA. Soul of a Chef explores what drives chefs towards perfection. Great look behind at both Michael Symon of Lola and Thomas Keller of French Laundry. The section on the Master Chef Exam is interesting, but like the test itself, pointless. The Reach of a Chef explores the age of the celebrity chef. The Soul of a Chef is my favorite of the three. Mr. Ruhlman's writing style is clear and concise while always hinting that there is more, much more below the surface. In a way, his writings make you want to explore the CIA and world class kitchens yourself. Although one can't help but envy his unadulterated access to some of the world's best chefs and kitchens. Of course once this blog gets Peter and I a TV show, that access should fall right in our lap.

Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl. I must admit I thought I would not like this book. Luckily, lowering expectations provided the ability for me to enjoy the book as much as I did. Not sure if that is a backhanded, backhanded compliment, which would just be a compliment. Mrs. Reichl's writing explores food as a pathway through her own development. Mrs. Reichl's wit and humor carry what at times is a very sad story, all the while using food memories as trailmarkers. The book includes recipes which serve as the Proustian trigger for Mrs. Reichl to connect her to her past.

How I Learned to Cook, Edited by Kimberly Witherspoon and Peter Meehan. Easy read. This book puts the story writing in the hands of over 30 chefs to tell their story of why they cook. Some chapters are only a few pages long, but all have a common theme: mistakes. Almost every story chronicles the time in a chef's training when they made an absolutely monumental mistake, got in way over there heads, or fell ass backwards into a job they were unqualified for. It is these mistakes which taught them a lesson and contributed to their success. Which should give hope to all amateur cooks about making mistakes in their own kitchen. Probably the most interesting part of the book is reading about the perfect TV host, Sara Moulton's, entry into professional cooking. Mrs. Moulton it appears once had a penchant for the marijuana and hard partying, not surprising as a chef, just surprising to read about concerning her. Then again almost every chef in this book was a stoner at one time. Good news for stoners, like the Kid Who Didn't Go to France.

A Year in Provence and French Lessons, Peter Mayle. I want to read the rest of Mr. Mayle's books. In a Year in Provence, he chronicles the move of he and his wife to a small town in Provence (althought you could have got most of that from the title). If you have been to France and enjoyed the eating, drinking, and lifestyle, then you will enjoy this book immensely. In French Lessons Mr. Mayle drinks and eats his way around the French Countryside exploring festivals of culinary delights, such as the Frog Legs Festival.

The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain. A collection of smaller essays on eating, drinking, traveling, fame, and Mr. Bourdain's own life. Here is the only problem with this book. Because of Mr. Bourdain's near omnipresence on the Travel Channel (not a bad thing), I can not read his books without hearing his voice in my head (perhaps not such a good thing). However, much like How I Learned to Cook, the essays do not require one to invest any more than a 20-30 minutes at a time. I would put the Nasty Bits right below a Cook's Tour and above Kitchen Confidential, which is to say a good read. The above was written with Mr. Bourdain's voice in my head.

The French Laundry Cookbook, Thomas Keller. I had been putting off buying this book for a while now. My rationale was, "what could I possibly replicate or learn from a cookbook so clearly out of my league." Buying that cookbook and merely trying a recipe would be the equivalent, for me at least, of making a dress for Heidi Klum. However, the book is surprisingly approachable. Take for instance, Mr. Keller's instructions for making his Chive Chips. He walks you through the process of peeling, shaping, slicing, baking and cooling the potato chips with clarity and precision. A beautiful book with lots of pictures, co-written by Michael Ruhlman, The French Laundry Cookbook has the added benefit of making one look cool and being useful. The complete opposite of Slap-Bracelets.

Thats it for now. Go back to Work.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

NBA All Star Weekend

No other city can throw a party like the Big Easy, and the NBA All Star festivities this past weekend proved just that. Thankfully, there have been no reported violent incidents stemming from the events, but that does not mean that the party went on without scandal. I decided to forego Friday's festivities because I was recovering from the Valentine's Day massacre that occurred in Baton Rouge the night before, but I arrived in town on Saturday well rested and ready to go.

The theme of Saturday night was: it's not what you know, but who you know. My little brother procured me 4 free tickets to the events at the arena on Saturday, and so I saved myself and my friends from spending $1000 to watch Bill Lambeer heave mid-court shots in the Shooting Stars competition. Myself, The Snowman, and The Chalmation drank $7 beers for 3 hours in the Arena while contemplating what would happen later that night at the "real" event: The Crown Royal & Playboy party at The Foundry. The Slam Dunk contest was the best that I had ever seen (Dwight Howard must have been thinking about his dunks for the past year), but the highlight of this pre-party in the Arena was watching Kevn Garnett explain what "andouille" was - "It 's like: me, my boy, 'and Dewey' went to the club last night." Priceless.

After leaving the Arena we joined The Pope at his restaurant. The Pope had used his papal connections with his liquor reps to score passes to the Playboy party, but the problem is that only he and The Chalmation were on the guest list. Problem? Nope. After those two made their entry, The Chalmation returned with a pass for The Snowman and I. We approached the check-in desk, presented our pass, but were then told that because our names were not on the official guest list that our pass wasn't "worth a shit" even after we dropped The Pope's name. Thankfully, the Pontif himself was standing by and talked the doorman into letting us in. Little did we know how lucky we were.

I have never seen a higher concentration of beautiful women in my entire life. There were Playboy bunnies, cocktail servers, and random girls whom The Pope had been told were most likely hired from modeling agencies just to fill the room. The four of us spent the next 4 hours drinking free Crown XR (which retails for around $180 per bottle) and gawking at all of the eye candy. Yeah, we were pretty much "those guys."

Now, I am not one to gossip, but this is just too good to keep to myself. At one point in the night we were talking to a few of the Crown higher-ups who told us that Michael Jordan lost $1.8 million at Harrah's the night before. They may have been full of shit, but they said that it was confirmed by a few of the girls at the party who were also at the casino the night before. Talk about a degenerate - some people just have no self control.

Later on, The Pope got a call from The Sandwich Man saying that he would like to join us. Now after having a hassle getting all of us in earlier, The Pope was a tad skeptical as to whether this would be possible, but after a few more XRs there was no hesitation and he claimed, "If that fucking guy does not let The Sandwich Man in, I am never buying a drop of booze from him ever again." Needless to say, The Pope's strong words were heeded, and The Sandwich Man had no problems.

The room was short of celebrities (or at least if there were a lot there then I did not know who they were, but then again my subscription to US Weekly expired a while back and I am not up to speed on the "who's who" of Hollywood). But one person who I did recognize immediately was none other than T.O. - "Get your popcorn ready!" T.O. walked in with his massive bodyguard and parked himself at a couch so that he could be waited on and entertained by a very striking blonde bunny. At one point, the couch next to T.O. opened up, so The Snowman and I took it upon ourselves to have a seat and relax. For 20 minutes we talked to ourselves and just acted like we belonged there (which, of course, we didn't), till finally our window of opportunity arrived. T.O.'s bunny went to the bar to get him a drink, so I (in all of my social awkwardness) took it upon myself to thank Mr. Owens for visiting my fine city. The "conversation" went like this:

Me (in a drunken ramble): Hey, T.O., I just wanted to thank you for coming down and supporting the city. We really appreciate you being here and hope you come back to visit.
T.O. (while staring at his i-Phone and not looking up): No problem, man. I love it down here.

So that was my one celebrity moment of the night - but hey, at least I had the balls to say something. Oh, I also managed to have my picture taken by The Snowman's fiance (who joined us right before we left) with a gorgeous brunette bunny so that I could commemorate this once in a lifetime experience.

After that exchange, it was time for us to move on. As we passed the 2 Indian guys who were standing outside waiting to get in (just like they had been when we arrived at the party 4 hours earlier), I realized how much it pays to know the right people. I would like to publicly thank The Pope for his large role in making that wonderful night possible. Hopefully, attending a Playboy party will not be a once in a lifetime experience for me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

About the Blackened Out Team

The year is 1995. Eight grade year is beginning at Jesuit High School. Peter Thriffiley, Jr. meets Rene A. Louapre IV. They share not only suffixes, but also every single class together. Rene proudly sports a butt cut, while Peter is mostly known as "Slappy." During the fall of 1995, they hatched a scheme to get rich quick. They would finish high school, go to different colleges, only meeting back up in the Fall of 2006 at LSU Law school, then once reunited, they would begin a fledgling website devoted to all things food. The plan was brilliant and implemented nearly flawlessly in February of 2008.

Their dedication displays not only a vast understanding until what was then only known as the Information Superhighway, but also a desire to write something everyday for the people who toil at that four letter word known as "work". This site will cover food, drink, events, celestial happenings, the stock market, tidal fluctuations, and other important issues. Mostly we will talk about New Orleans, but should Peter find himself in Napa Valley dining at one of the world's most celebrated restaurants, then I guess you will just have to suffer that day.

You can also find our writing monthly in offBEAT Magazine. Which is the perfect way to read us, if you don't have a computer outlet in your john.

We hope you enjoy this daily briefing of what the speck is going on. As always, feel free to reach us at our toll-free email address blackenedout at gmail dot com. Operators are standing by.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Obviously blogging is new to us, although not so new to people like El Duner. The dates of the NOWFE are May 21-25, 2008. Thats memorial day weekend in case you were wondering, I think.

Heads Up

Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest promote New Orleans amazingly. But much like the new King of Rex toasts previous kings, the new King of New Orleans events is the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience(NOWFE). It combines the festivity of both and the bacchanalian delights of neither. Let's face it the food at Jazz Fest is good, but the lines, heat, and contact high is probably the real reason it tastes so good.

Think of NOWFE as Jazz Fest for fat kids who like wine. This is not to be confused with the equally enjoyable, but altogether different Tales of the Cocktail. That event is Mardi Gras for fat kids who like hooch.

The weekend typically kicks off on Wednesday Night with a series of vintner dinners. A good sampling of New Orleans restaurants participate. Each restaurant pairs itself with a winery or wine importer to produce a thoughtful, wine focused menu. Check back for recommendations when the 2008 menus are released. But once they are released move fast, these dinner sell out early and often.

Get a group together and do a vintner dinner. The price may scare you off at first. But don't worry the copious amounts of food, wine, and discussion will make such an expense seem reasonable by the end of the night. Peter and I will be attending with some of the characters in tow. Not Legend, he would not survive in such an inhospitable environment. Once a decision has been made, an edict shall issue from The Pope.

The Royal Street Stroll is a classic example of a really good idea. Take an entire street; preferably one that is old, beautiful, and full of art galleries. Put a different winery in each art gallery and let the fun unfold.

The good thing about art and wine is appreciating them only requires one to be vague and mysterious. Phrases such as "Sheepish", "Wild with abandon, yet restrained by wisdom", "Incredibly ordinary", and "A little too influenced by the masters, don't you think" will draw much praise for your intellect from those surrounding you. Be you talking about wine or art.

Other good things to say while strolling through galleries (and falsely convincing yourself you will spit each wine out) can run the gamut from "That Cezanne reminds me of my summer rolling fresh Goat Cheese in the Pyrennes" to "This Prosecco calls to mind an affair I had with an Italian nun."

Of course you could just go and not act like an idiot, but where is the fun in that?

There are numerous seminars throughout the weekend. There are also two Grand Tastings. In which the Superdome is transformed into a garden of earthly delights. More information forthcoming.

Information is available at Make plans now to attend at least one of these events.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Legend

This post will begin to outline some of the characters. Hopefully, they will continue their antics under the cloak of anonymity this blog will afford them. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

The words of the older gentleman hung in the air. "Remember only one Ojen cocktail. Anymore is foolish."

The day had started innocently enough, I had lunched scheduled with Legend and Lady Luncheon at Cafe Adelaide. Originally enthralled by the promise of $.25 Martinis, our passions soon subsided when it took over 35 minutes for the college bar drink special to arrive. Regardless, the food tasted great and the carnival atmosphere made everyone excited (it being Carnival).

After lunch, Lady Luncheon returned to work. Legend and I contemplated what to do before I mentioned, "You know Luke is right around the corner we could pop in for a good, stiff drink, maybe some raw oysters."

"I don't know...French Quarter?" responded Legend.

"They have an amazing bar and some cute bartenders..." my words trailing off behind the now fleeing for Luke, Legend.

We sat down at the Zinc topped bar and ordered a round of drinks. Stella for Legend; a Sazerac for myself. Discussions revolved around the usual non-important stuff. For my next drink I went with the Ojen Cocktail. Legend upon tasting it decided he too would switch to the potent pink tonic.

As we sat there nursing our drinks, the father of a friend came over and remarked "Y'all drinking Ojens?"

"Yes sir," we replied.

"Good. Make sure you only have one of those, anymore is foolish."

Of course this advice, like all free advice, was not taken.

Next stop is the Old Absinthe House. Where we stumbled upon the following scene, women and men dressed to the nines (just escaping the Proteus lunch at Antoine's) and a movie being filmed. If there was any place in the world, we did not need to be right at that moment it was on that fateful corner.

After a few more rounds of drinks, I head back to Lady Luncheon who by this time is getting off of work. The following texts have been received from my phone from Lady: "Are y'all blackout? I don't want to deal with y'all if you are. Make sure you can make the Dr. John concert".
I ask Legend if he would like to go home and rest up for a little while. Legend assures me, while pointing to a matronly woman, "Dude, I'm fine...seriously if I was drunk she would be a lot
better looking and I would be hitting on her. Do you see me hitting on her?"

Fast forward 2 hours, Lady Luncheon and I arrive at Mr. B's to meet The Pope, Peter (a fellow contributor of this blog), Legend and some other minor characters. Suffice it to say, Legend has begun hitting on any women within a 15 yard radius. In the time I have left him, and the Pope and Peter took custody of him, approximately 6-9 vodka martinis have been downed by Legend.
Legend than committed that most egregious sin when dining in a group. No, not grabbing the waitress's ass or telling her, "You are going home with me." Rather, he boasted, "I had an incredible quarter. Dinner, wine, drinks... it is all on me."

Then turning to The Pope who was studying the wine list, "Order whatever, I got it."

We all struggled with the morality of taking advantage of Legend's obviously drunken offer of generosity, but then good sense overrode all of us. The collective, yet unspoken, decision of the group was to teach Legend a lesson.

We set about our task with the diligence of Germans, the enthusiasm of Frenchmen, and the
care free attitude of Italians. Fried oysters, Foie Gras, Gumbo Ya-Ya, Duck Spring Rolls, Filets with Truffle Butter, a blackened trout (Peter's), and other specialities arrived. The food service was outpaced only by the speed in which the $110 a bottle Oregon Pinots arrived.
Peter, struggling with his trout, attracted the attention of the waitress. "Was it not good?" she asked.

"Yeah, it was a bit overcooked, and well maybe I am a little over blackening things, a little blackened out if you will."

Almost as if on cue, Legend hearing the phrase "blackened out" stood up and began "I am not black out, I am fine. Don't judge me, lawyers, pleh..."

What followed amazed even The Pope. Legend proceeded to take two wobbly steps forward bow down once and say "In the name of the father", bow a second time saying "The son", and finally Legend hit the deck. But not before taking out an entire tray of waters that was being brought to a neighboring table.

Legend than proceeded to hide underneath a table, and say " wasn't me, I am just going to go to sleep...Wake me when it's over."

Before putting Legend in a cab (and securing his credit card for the bill), I told him "Go straight home, do not stop at Fat Harry's, do not collect $200."

"F*ck you, Dad.... I knew I should have had just one Ojen."


This blog will cover food, drink, and frivolity. Expect nothing less and nothing more.