Friday, July 17, 2009

Classic Combinations

Friday Lunch & Galatoire's

It is no secret that we love Galatoire's (a/k/a The Old Green Lady). But for many people the Old Green Lady is just a boring anachronism of another era. Sure, sometimes the food is less than stellar, but as far as ambiance and cocktails it can not be beat. So if you have never darkened the door or its been a while, here is our guide to eating at and appreciating the Old Green Lady.
  1. On your first time, avoid Friday lunch. Until you get your souffle potatoes merit badge, I would stay away on Friday. Go on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday or go for dinner. The pace will be slower, and you will have a chance to actually talk to your waiter. Friday is for regulars and ladies with funny hats. It is no place for a beginner.
  2. Get a waiter and stick with him. It does not matter who it is. Getting a lunch gig at Galatoire's does not happen by chance. These guys and gals are pros. Just ask the maitre'd to give you someone who is not too busy. If you like the guy, remember his name and get him every time. Each time you return the food and service will continue to improve.
  3. Go at 2 pm. Here is why: You get to watch the turn to the evening. As early bird lunchers leave their stoops to return to offices, carpool, or Old Absinthe House, choice tables become available. The kitchen is not as backed up, and your waiter has more time. Plus, as the afternoon light grows and fades, the tiled mirrored room takes on the vibe of a well-attended cocktail party complete with table hopping and story swapping. This is the magic hour.
  4. Order a cocktail as soon as you sit down. Bloody Mary, a Sazerac, the Brandy Milk Punch, or a martini will do. Devour the hot loaves of french bread. Settle down.
  5. Here come the cocktails. Do not order yet and do not take the menu. Sit, tell your waiter to give you a little bit of time, enjoy your drink.
  6. Always order a second drink before you order any food. And when you order food, only order one course at a time. Tell your guy what you like to eat and ask this simple question, "What's good today?"
  7. First round: souffle potatoes and fried eggplant. The eggplant sticks will come with powdered sugar. Add some Tabasco to the sugar and make a paste. Dip eggplant in there and be amazed at the transformation of simple ingredients into a delicious snack. Souffle potatoes - add salt, dip into bearnaise. If you know anyone named Bernie, thank him later for his contribution to cuisine.
  8. At this point in your meal, when seafood is really great (as it is now), get a Grand Goute for the table. Crabmeat maison, shrimp remoulade, and oysters en brochette. Another drink.
  9. Turtle soup, gumbo, maybe Oysters Rock, salade verte? Your call.
  10. While the din of conversation around you rises and falls as orders to sing birthday tunes are delivered, remember that in the rest of the world people are working right now.
  11. Peruse the wine list. It is one of the most extensive in the city. There is a good bottle for your budget and meal on there, I guarantee it.
  12. Entrees. Here is a secret: The filet at Old Green Lady is one of the best in town. Amazing char on it and a silken interior. Plus ole bearnaise and his buddy marchand du vin are options if you go this route. Other gems include fresh fish, lightly cooked with maybe a little brown butter or a little crabmeat on top. At this point, just let the Old Lady's stewards to have their way with you. Give in. Other sleepers are the eggs benedict and eggs sardou.
  13. Dessert is for people celebrating birthdays. Get a nice port, sit back, and take the scene in.

Now, if you try that, and still hate the place, ain't nuthin I can do to help you.

Going to the LRA Food Expo this weekend? Want to hear my take on Social Media and Food? No? Didn't think so. Well, if you do, join Marie Breaux, Leon Bechet and I at 3 pm on Sunday as we talk about Country of Origin Labeling and Social Media.


Frolic said...

Truly an excellent post. Every visitor who dines at Galatoire's should read this.

Amy Beth said...!

Thanks. :)

keith v. said...

thanks ernie. i found it.
the old professor.

ThomBomb said...

Blackened Out,

Great Galatoires post on the blogo. It made me want to go there very badly.

Then I thought, "It would be really fun to spend the afternoon with the crew at Galatoires after being sworn in to the bar."

And then I thought, "but Matt, you don't get sworn in if you don't pass the bar."

And then I thought, "Matt, you need to study more. Quit reading blogs."

So thanks for the unintentional motivation.

Your friend,


Nola said...

Superb. Now must wipe slobber off my keyboard. Clerk lunch soon, ya think?

laura t said...

wow my friend just went to galatoire's recently i wonder if she had a good experience if not she should read this. good to know they have great steak.sugar and eggplant sounds weird.i now know the perfect time to go thanks.

DAM said...

Incredible run down. Well Done.