Friday, April 27, 2012

New Orleans Jazz Fest Food: Kick Off

Henry and I arrived in New Orleans last night and kicked off Jazz Fest, which starts today and goes through Sunday, May 6th, at one of our favorite restaurants in the world, Gautreau's. Tables were booked weeks ago, but my husband, who is from New Orleans, has been taking friends and clients to Gautreau's for decades and knows Patrick Singley, the owner (thanks for squeezing us in, Patrick). 

Gautreau's Restaurant Chef Sue Zemanick and Owner Patrick Singley (photo: Gauteau's)

Gautreau's Restaurant Dining Room (photo: Gautreau's)
Chef Sue Zemanick is hot right now, and it's no surprise -- the food is inventive and flavorful and the presentation elegant -- a perfect complement to the old world surroundings of the dining room which is in a 19th century pharmacy. Zemanick is up for the James Beard Foundation "Rising Chef of the Year" award (yes, she's just 30 years old). She's got my vote -- we had an amazing meal served with a side of Southern hospitality. 

I loved the soup special, tomato and watermelon gazpacho with crabmeat, and can't wait to recreate the recipe this summer (I'm hoping Chef will give me some clues). Henry enjoyed the house favorite app, seared scallops with sage brown butter. For dinner, I had the "locavore" special, sautéed Gulf of Mexico grouper, which was cooked to flaky perfection and served with farmers market wild ramps and a mushroom medley. Henry savored every bite of the classic duck confit (minus one bite which I snagged). We ended the meal with blueberry buckle and huckleberry ice cream and the cheese plate. (Sorry there are no photos -- forgot the Nikon and the iPhone pics are awful). 

Anyhow, need to hop in the shower and get ready for Jazz Fest. Just three hours til I taste some Crawfish Monica and duck gumbo for lunch.   

Click here for my October 2008 post on N'awlins Restaurants, including Gautreau's -- I can taste the cold asparagus soup with crab, and risotto and crab dinner from three years ago.   

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