Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Now this is Dining! Square Root, NOLA

The first thing that caught my eye was the name, Square Root; once I started reading about the restaurant, I was so intrigued. 

On Saturday we had the most unique dining experience we've ever had.  Square Root only has 16 seats, each giving the diner an up-front look at the food preparation and creation.  The seats are in a U-shape around the chefs.  Besides us, there was only one other couple there on Saturday night, so we had two chefs cooking exclusively for the four of us.

This restaurant is reservation only, and not for the inexperienced or unadventurous diner.  Also, it's pricey.  There are 12-15 courses, and they are perfectly spaced.  The service at this restaurant is impeccable, and different (in a refreshing way) than anywhere we've ever dined.

First up was a Louisiana blue crab soup with dashi, dulse, and lemon:

The second course was probably one of the best things I've ever eaten, a cauliflower-centered dish with white sturgeon roe and brown butter.  The cauliflower ice cream knocked my socks off.

Third was a muffaletta sandwich with a meringue bun:

After three home-run dishes, we were pretty stoked for the fourth course, especially when we saw the chef start up the cotton candy machine:

We then proceeded to eat the most creative dish we've ever had, fried chicken cotton candy, with a fried chicken crisp and a mousse-like concoction, with fermented mustard seeds, and other amazing things I cannot remember.

It was like eating a mini fried chicken taco, full of the most concentrated fried chicken flavour (all the good stuff you get in the crispy skin).  I would have happily eaten 10 of these.  Savoury cotton candy is boss.

Course five was Chinook salmon with smoked roe, cream cheese, etc.:

The fish was like butter - mmmmm!

Number six was blonde morel mushrooms with sweetbreads, rabbit sausage and green garlic:

Course seven was torchon of foie gras, with rhubarb, kumquat, and freeze-dried yogurt:

The eighth course seemed to be a palate cleanser; it was a frozen chai tea dish:

Ninth up was wahoo fish with heirloom peppers, garden tomatoes, eggplant and pepitas:

The tenth course was rohan duck with turnip, black garlic, and gravy:

Just when we thought the duck flavour couldn't be better, they brought out the 11th course, a duck-confit sticky bun, with crispy duck skin on top:

The 12th course was the first dessert course.  It was a dish that featured strawberries, pistachios, and yuzu:

The next dessert, lucky number 13, was a milk chocolate and hazelnut supreme with apricot, caramelized onion, and hickory vinegar:

And finally, as if we needed another course, we were served an assortment of baked desserts:

They don't like the diners to leave hungry, so on our way out we were given fresh baked mini coffee cake muffins to-go. 

If you're ever looking for a unique, fine-dining, non-stuffy, progressive, creative dining experience when you're in New Orleans, you've got to try Square Root.

Have you ever had a savoury version of a food that's traditionally sweet, or vise versa?

I have to say, the cauliflower ice cream and fried chicken cotton candy are my favourite two tastes from this meal.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Helllloooo Vacation!

On Thursday evening we went to bed at 7:00 p.m., so that we could get a full eight hours in before getting up at 3:00 a.m. to get ready for our flight. 

After three flights, and a stressful travel experience that had us running at full speed through the airport, we made it to New Orleans in the late afternoon, five minutes ahead of schedule.

We checked in to the gorgeous Bourbon Orleans hotel, and then headed to Boucherie for dinner.  Boucherie is a very popular, trendy restaurant, known as the best-bang-for-your-buck in NOLA.  The food is very reasonably priced for the quality and creativity.  The server brought an amuse bouche right away:

We ordered small plates to share, including boudin balls with garlic aioli:

Goat ribs with hummus and strawberry harissa:

Crispy skin duck confit with cabbage dumpling, burnt rye & beet chips:

And finally, collared greens with grit fries:

This dish was perfect in every way.

On Saturday morning we were up pretty early.  We had breakfast at Pierre Maspero's:

After breakfast we went on a jazz cruise along the Mississippi River on one of the only steamboats still operating in the US:

The jazz cruise was so wonderful - we loved every minute of it.

After the cruise we went to Brennan's for the original bananas foster

I am not a big dessert person, but I absolutely loved this; it was definitely one of the best desserts we've ever had.

We each cleaned our plates in about 45 seconds.

On Saturday evening, to end off our first full day in New Orleans, we went out for the most insane, interesting, unique dining experience we've ever had ... but that's for the next post.

Happy Easter!
How was your weekend?  What did you do?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Well, I thought it was Spring ...

Just when I thought winter skipped us over this year ...

Yesterday morning there wasn't a flake of snow on the ground, and this morning we have more snow than we had all winter.  I opened the back door to this:

And then it continued to snow for at least a few more hours.

It's okay though.  There are plus-temperatures in the forecast, and in three sleeps we're headed south to Louisiana.  We are SO excited!

We didn't want to buy groceries this week, and instead wanted one meal that we could eat all week, so we roasted a turkey on Sunday.


We figured we'd have enough food from the turkey and stuffing to last us until we leave for our trip.  Hot turkey sandwiches were on the menu for dinner on Sunday evening:

Turkey sandwiches with stuffing and Swiss Chalet sauce tonight:

We had some potatoes, onion, and an opened pack of bacon that needed to be used up.  I cooked up the onions in a touch of butter, then added chopped bacon and cooked that a while on the stove.  Then I added diced raw potatoes and cooked that for about 10-15 minutes before transferring everything to the oven for an hour.

This will make a nice side dish for our turkey, or it can be warmed up and topped with an egg for a quick little breakfast.

I used more stuff up from the fridge by making grapefruit, carrot, cucumber, celery juice.  I love the bright colour, and the taste is even better.  Hellllllo nutrients!

And just because we didn't buy groceries, doesn't mean my sweetheart doesn't get dessert.  I made him some puffed wheat squares, because we had all the ingredients on hand.

How is your week going so far?  
Does it feel like Spring where you are?