The Theatres at Canal Place/Gusto - I don't often see movies, but when I do I prefer it to be enjoyed with wine. Last Thursday we went to see "Midnight in Paris" which as far as time travel movies go, was pretty awful. But the scenery, some of the comedic bits, and the theme was interesting. The food and wine however was much better. An artichoke salad with tender, slightly marinated hearts of youthful artichokes sat on top of field greens with a light vinaigrette and was devoured immediately. Then a sampler snack platter arrived. Tzatziki, humus, marinated feta, smoky, sweet, and sour vegetables, olives, and an assortment of crispy breads provided an assortment of flavor options all with a slight backbone of salt. Which of course made drinking two bottles of Cotes du Rhone all but inevitable. Two complaints: one this menu needs a rose; secondly, it has been almost a week, and the $99 pending charge still has not gone away from running a tab. This wouldn't be a big deal if the signed for charge had not already gone through. Theatres/Gusto- Eagle for watching movies, Bogie for extortion.
Taj Mahal - It is official. Ethnic food, specifically from the area of the world known generally as "Asiatic" is what the Boss and I crave when hungover hunger strikes. Such was the case the day after the trip to the movies. First up, a round of samosas and aloo tikka. The former being the Indian take on the Cajun meat pie (or vice versa) and stuffed with potatoes and peas. Crisp, hot, and flaky, these are perfect with a cold Kingfisher beer. Sindhi aloo tikka was a new dish for us, soft patties of potato topped with chickpeas in a fragrant and subtly spicy sauce and drizzle of yogurt. We fought over the last bit on the plate. Chicken vindaloo and an order of Saag Paneer and we were stuffed, spiced, and out the door. Taj Mahal - Par/Birdie.
J'anita's. Last time we reviewed J'Anitas, it was located in The Avenue Pub and we nearly incited a riot. (If riots can be measured by a few emails and facebook insults.) On this second round, the reality of the goodness of the food coming from Craig And Kimmie Giesecke's kitchen far exceeded the hype. First, came a dish of lamb and grits. Tender, marinated lamb chops sat atop a rich, creamy layer of cheesy grits. Comfort and elegance personified, but can't help but think that stewed lamb would be a better fit. But that is a minor complaint, for what is a majorly good dish. Then the Swamp Reuben with pulled pork, brisket, cole slaw and barbecue sauce arrived and quickly put all other barbecue sandwiches to bed. Delicious, smoky, and rare for a sandwich, just as good the next day. We also had the Not Quite Cuban, which subs chimichurri for mustard and puts a garlic and herbal note on the classic sandwich. With the Cuban, there were no leftovers. Add on a comfortable bar with a good selection of beers, and I'm very glad they moved into my neighborhood. J'Anita's/Rendon Inn - Birdie.