30 April 2013

Another Feast!

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien

While still adding extra exercise time to my routine to make up for the decadent diversion I last shared with you, I was recently invited to participate in another extraordinary culinary experience - a Dinner Lab.

Before the dining extravaganza, Husband and I went to The Kerry in the French Quarter, one of our favorite Irish pubs, to hear some dirty, rockin' bazouki music from our friend, Beth Patterson

Show me on the Doll

Then it was on to the Dinner Lab!!! 

Dinner Lab is an underground supper club that combines all the most unique and wonderful things about New Orleans: diverse architecture, a spontaneous spirit, and adventurous cuisine!

Waiting for the festivities to begin at Studio 3

The venue of this particular Dinner Lab (and the reason Husband and I were generously invited as guests), was Studio 3, a good friend's art studio and warehouse. It's an amazing location and space, filled with wonderful art and other oddities. I was completely impressed with how efficiently the Dinner Lab team set up a temporary kitchen, bar, and dining room! Speaking of the bar...

Sojou Mojito, anyone?

The chef du jour was Jae Jung, who is a chef at Domenica. She told us of her South Korean childhood, her culinary inspirations, and she presented 5 courses of exquisite North Korean cuisine:

Chef Jae Jung

First Course: Goolin Mandoo (Pork Dumpling, beef broth, caramelized spring onions)

I could eat this every day forever.

Second Course: Gosoo moochim (Cilantro/Watercress salad, sesame vinaigrette)

So light and delicious!

Third Course: Dweji jokbal (Braised pig's feet, radish kimchi, Korean salted shrimp)

No punches pulled on this dish. So amazing!

Fourth Course: Hamhung naengmyun (Spicy potato starch cold noodle, fermented chili paste sauce, pickled cucumber, Asian pear, brisket, hard boiled egg)

Final Course: Hwajeon (Spring flower-pressed rice pancake, yuzu syrup, green tea caramel, Louisiana strawberry compote, black pepper creme fraiche)

This was a very "Asian" dessert, which made the crowd response a little mixed, but I loved it!

We were so impressed with the service, food, and atmosphere! And besides all that, we enjoyed meeting an amazing and diverse group of people as well as having some quality time with good friends. We will definitely be investigating becoming members of Dinner Lab; such an interesting concept! What an excellent evening! I really sometimes can't imagine how my life could get any better!

19 April 2013

A Decadent Diversion

"Conduct yourself in life as at a feast"
- Epictetus

Warning: Don't read this post if you are hungry or prone to outbursts of prandial jealousy.

Yesterday, I was gifted the most excellent of opportunities - the chance to indulge in the blissful company of my best friend and a lot of gourmet food and drink!

Since my partner-in-crime "Banacek" started a job serving downtown at the lovely Grand Isle restaurant, our schedules have been tragically diverse. Neither of us have felt very crafty or adventure-y so far this year, and now we know why - we NEVER SEE EACH OTHER!

Well, we remedied that in an epic way at our star dinner at Grand Isle! The pictures tell the story:

I-10: A Hemingway-style daiquiri with a New Orleans twist

Starter 1: Boiled Shrimps! 

Starter 2: Charcuterie Plate! (2 types of Italian salami, duck pate,
pepper jelly, pickles, and the most delicious head cheese)

I don't remember what this cocktail was called, but it was delicious!

Crabmeat Salad with Green Goddess dressing


Can I possibly eat anything else?
This brisket requires a pony tail, apparently

Fresh Gulf Tuna with Horseradish Cream,
Sauteed Spinach and Sweet Potatoes: Ordered Super Rare, of course!
We hadn't even finished our champagne when our Port arrived.
Smoked and Braised Beef Brisket with Lyonnaise Potatoes and Smothered Green Beans

Rum Cheesecake makes for a happy girl!

Here comes Max to save the day!....
or offer us yet another gourmet cocktail sampler - Fresh Lemon Drops

Hmmm, we aren't driving home, are we...

Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake?

Well, if you insist...

Everything was delicious. The service was superb (Thanks, Max!). It was one of the most excellent days ever. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go run about 5,000 miles to justify my own gluttony...

Even my cutlery is happily food-coma-ed.

15 April 2013

Festival Season Begins

Do not dream your life, but instead live your dream.
           - Mark Twain

So, I guess this return to blogging hasn't started out too hot, but that's mainly because April is high festival season in New Orleans!

Over the last 3 weeks, the weather has gotten all spring-y, so there's lots of outdoor parties and events to attend!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013 - Bookworm Happy Hour at Aline Street Beer Garden
Friday, 12 April 2013 - First daiquiri of the season!

At the Best Chefs of Louisiana fundraiser, we gorged ourselves on gourmet food and cocktails!
Monday, 8 April 2013 - Generations Hall

At the Freret Street Festival, there was perfect weather, delicious, unhealthy food, strawberry basil margaritas, music, and hoops for everyone to enjoy! I bought my first hoop and am practicing every day, so expect hula updates in the future!
Saturday, 6 April 2013 - Freret Street Festival, Jenette Hoops

French Quarter Festival is, like, the biggest free music festival ever! After showing a group of students around, my co-worker and I cut loose for some fun!
Friday, 12 April 2013 - Woldenberg Park
Last weekend, Bryan and I also attended the penultimate New Orleans Hornets game against the LA Clippers. We lost the game, but it was really fun! Next season, the Hornets will be the Pelicans, and I look forward to attending more NBA games!
Friday, 12 April 2013 - New Orleans Arena

In between all these exciting spring events, we've been up to being our usual, hyper-social selves. Every week we have regular gatherings with friends to watch nerdy television, play music, play board games, and talk about books! Yay, spring! Can't wait to see what happens next!