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May 22: The Night Of 38 Simultaneous Wine Dinners
New Orleans Wine And Food
Experience Vintner Dinners, 2013
The most formal program during the upcoming New Orleans Wine And Food Experience is what happens the evening of Wednesday, May 22. Thirty-eight dinners take place around town. Each is attended by the wines and a representative of a major winery Sometimes (not often enough, frankly), it's the winemaker or even the owner. All the dinners go off at the same time; all are cooked by local chefs exclusively. That alone speaks volumes about the strength of the fine-dining community in New Orleans.
They're exciting evenings of food and wine--so much so that a few of the dinners sold out weeks ago. In most cases, that happens because many attendees go to the same restaurant for their vintner dinner, year after year. But the fabulosity of the wines can explain the sellouts, too.
The prices for these dinners ranges from $75 to $150, inclusive of tax and tip. Reservations are made directly with the restaurants. A list of all the restaurants with these wine dinners can be had at the NOW&FE website.
I've looked over all the dinners for which menus are available (the restaurants, the NOW&FE people, or both are laggard about disseminating this information, as usual) and selected the twelve dinners that I think most likely to be the best. Left out: dinners that are already booked up (!), and those that didn't publish their menus. Click on a dinner from the list below to get a complete menu. And come back for new additions.
33 Best Fish And Shellfish
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In New Orleans Restaurants And Homes--With Recipes
The 33 Best Fish And Shellfish
Every year on the thirty-three weekdays of Lent, we present a ranking of the best seafood around town. Some years we rank seafood restaurants. On others, we rank specific dishes. Three years ago, it was the thirty-three best local seafood species for the table.
This year, the subject is all the seafood that we find in our restaurants, seafood markets, and our dinner tables at home. The list is dominated by local seafood--we live in one of the great fisheries of the world, after all. But it also includes favorites from other places. Salmon and scallops. Lobster. Mussels. Halibut. Our chefs prepare spectacular dishes with those fine guests from other waters.
The list is a countdown, beginning with the thirty-third best and working up to Number One. It's a measure of how superb our seafood selection is that even #33 is involved in many excellent local dishes. Please tell this to anyone you speak with who doesn't live here. Two-thirds of America still believes that all our seafood is still coated with BP oil. (Which, of course, it never was to begin with.)
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33 Best Seafood Restaurants
( 34 Articles )
Every year during Lent, we take a long, loving look at the most distinctive part of the New Orleans menu: our matchless seafood. The theme is different each year. Last year, for example, we took a roll call of the most delicious species of seafood that grace our tables. The year before that, it was the best seafood dishes served hereabouts. It's nine years since the last time we surveyed the restaurants specializing in seafood. Time to revisit that list. Here is a countdown of the thirty-three (the number of weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday) best restaurants for lovers of oysters, pompano, crawfish, speckled trout, and all the other delicacies that make Lent anything but a penance.
A few notes for the nit-pickers (of which I am one):
1. The primary qualification for restaurants on this list is that seafood is enough of a specialty that they could make it on their seafood alone. And that a typical customer is more likely to order seafood than anything else.
2. The entire world of sushi and sashimi was disregarded. Not because they don't matter, but because it deserves a list all its own.
3. The New Orleans area is enriched by far more than thirty-three good seafood kitchens. The thirty-third best seafood restaurant here is better than the best seafood restaurant in most other cities, and very good by any standard. The fact that the three-star Acme at the low end of the countdown proves just how pleasurable our seafood spectrum is.