For comparison sake...I've eaten at The French Laundry, White Barn in Maine, Cochon, le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, Dominique's in DC (back in the 80's), Scholteshof in Hasselt, Belgium, PostRio in SF, Brennans, and hundreds of other good restaurants. I think I know good food. I also like a good burger and am not above a chain. I was at CP maybe 10 years ago on a business dinner and it was out of this world.
So I took my fiancee there while on a conference april 2013. I'm glad to see it is #5 in NOLA on Trip Advisor.
And it is worth every penny, is surprisingly reasonable, and is a true standout.
So. From the minute you walk in you are treated specially. The host is welcoming. Our reservation was ready. They walk you through the kitchen, where there's a chef's table. It's bright and clean. Stunning decor (the owner, Ella Brennan, lives in the house next door). We sat outside, something I truly detest. But the courtyard was clean, bug free, and gorgeous. Comfortable tables. I can't remember - wait - our Waiter was Todd. Beaming, enthusiastic, attentive. Knew his food, wine, beer. It felt special from the first moment. You know, sometimes you walk into a place like this and feel intimidated. Not so. it is like they WANT you to enjoy it and be relaxed. Not stuffy or obnoxious at all.
Our meal: We had a sazerac, which I've had before, and I don't recommend because wow it is powerful. It was the first time in 58 years of drinking I felt hungover WHILE I was drinking it. but it was perfectly made. Barb had a glass of Sauv Blanc which was very good. Then we ordered the foie gras, which was molecular - only 2 bites - but among the best tasting things i've ever eaten. The garlic bread alone is perfect. I had a caesar salad, which was a little atypical but perfect - just delicious, and we each ordered a standard fish entree - i had pecan crusted fish; barb had grilled fish. I ordered a side of chevre grits, and we split cheesecake and coffee and a bottle of the house rose champagne, which was very very good.
The total bill with tip was about $300. I think! Memory might have been clouded by the combination of sazerac and champagne!
Anyway, everything was unobtrusively perfect. There wasn't a bite I didn't enjoy, anything I could criticize, even the waitress (they shared tables) who brought me the wrong soup order and dropped 2 utensils in my lap! Oh, by the way, rather than have the standard turtle soup we ordered something called 1-1-1- - which was three demitasse cups of the turtle soup, a curry soup, and a third soup - all terrific. And when we pointed out that they'd brought me the wrong thing initially - poof - that was it - removed, apologies, right dish brought....no issues.
A twice in a lifetime experience. Just go. Enjoy.
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