Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for New Orleans.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near New Orleans you can see these species: Brown Pelican, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Bronzed Cow Birds, Eurasian Collared Doves, Black-crowned night Herons, Lesser Scamp and Anhinga.
At (neworleanscitypark.com/in-the-park/birding) we learn about birding in City Park.
Peter Yaukey (tulane.edu/~bfleury/neworleans/BirdingNO.html) tells us about birding at Tulane and other sites.
Bird Louisiana (birdlouisiana.com) provides a schedule of events, bird clubs, maps and locations.
The focal point of New Orleans is Jackson Square. It is here that you can start out in walking tours and horse-drawn carriage tours. Around lunchtime you can listen to the New Orleans sound of live music, while watching the mimes and jugglers ply their talents in hope of a generous donation.
You can also purchase a painting from one of the many street artists, or have your picture painted. There are several benches, and any spot is a good vantage point.
Shopping: Boutiques and shops can be found on Royal and Canal. Galleries are there as well and also in the Central Business District.
Transportation: To navigate the Big Easy check out (norta.com)
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Lunch is at Coquette – L: Tu-Sa, Br: Su, D: Nightly, 2800 Magazine St., 504-265-0421
Dee and I suggest the 3 Course Special. Begin with the local greens – goat cheese, pecans and Dijon vinaigrette. Then the fried oyster lettuce wraps – remoulade, pickles, grilled skirt steak salad .
The Hog’s Headcheese – crispy pig ear, pickles, creole mustard and then the Shrimp and Grits – grilled kale, cherry tomato, kumquat and tasso is another good choice.
Dessert is the Chocolate Munchkins – hot fudge, mint ice cream. For wine go with the ’09 Au Bon Climat.
After lunch visit the Ogden Museum of Southern Art - Southern, W-Su: 10-5 Th: 6-8 PM with Live Music, 925 Camp St, 504-539-9600
Roger H. Ogden’s collection, which he started putting together in the 1960s, was one of the first that focused solely on Southern art, helping to identify and define the genre.
By the 1990s, the Ogden collection was recognized by art historians and collectors as one of the most significant of its kind. We love everything about this museum and if we lived in N.O. we would surely be members.
After this visual overload and the travel to N.O. it was time for what “The Big Easy” does best. Make fast tracks to Patrick’s Bar Vin – Su-Th: 4-11, F: 2-1, Sa: 4-1, 730 Bienville St., 504-200-3180
It is home base for the Krewe of Cork marching group (Dick & Dee are members), but all oenophiles should feel at home at Patrick van Hoorebeek’s wine bar that features a deep wine list and offers affordable options: there is a rotating “best kept secret” option for $5 a glass or $25 a bottle.
When Patrick saw us he got out his sword and opened a bottle of Veuve Clicquot which he helped us drink.
Dinner was a march back in time for us at Commander’s Palace – L: M-F, D: Daily, 403 Washington Ave, 504-899-8221
Start with the Spicy Shrimp Rémoulade or their famous turtle soup.
A glass of Duval-Leroy Cuvée Paris Brut, Champagne is in order.
For your entrée it’s the pecan crusted gulf fish. Sides include grilled eggplant and Creole tomatoes.
With your entrees we suggest the ’06 Dme. Thierry et Pascal Matrot “les Chevalières” Meursault. And for dessert share the Soufflé -Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé with warm whiskey cream.
After dinner catch a set at Preservation Hall – Nightly: 8-11, 726 St. Peter St, 504-523-8939
Day 2: Breakfast was at the Café du Monde – 800 Decatur St, 504-524-4544
The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Its menu consists of dark roasted coffee with chicory and beignets. (Beignets are square French -style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar.)
After a leisurely breakfast you’re off to Longue Vue House and Gardens - M-Sa: 10-4:30, Su: 12-4:30, 7 Bamboo Road, Metairie, 504-488-5488
The home and gardens were born of the dreams of Edgar and Edith Stern. This Classical Revival style house consists of three stories and a basement, an unusual feature of New Orleans where most of the city is below sea level.
The main living spaces of the house has 20 rooms.
The house contains its original furnishings of English and American antiques.
Ellen Biddle Shipman’s gardens began with the design of the Goldfish Pond and the Pan Garden in 1935. The kitchen garden supplied the house with fresh vegetables and herbs. It has grown food continuously since then.
Although it is a bit out of the way the Longue Vue House and Gardens helps us understand New Orleans a little better.
When you enter Galatoire’s – L & D: Tu-Su, 209 Bourbon St, 504-525-2021 the maitre ‘d asks if you have a favorite waiter.
Galatoire’s is more like a club than a restaurant. You don’t go to your club to dine.
You go because you belong or because you want to belong or because you think you belong. A good start is the Crabmeat Maison or the Oysters Rockefeller.
Share a half bottle of ’04 Chablis “Montmains,” Domaine Jean Dauvissat with this course.
Your entrée is the Chicken Clemenceau or the Grilled Poisson Provençal.
The ’06 Nuits‐Saint‐Georges “Les Charmois,” Domaine Jean Grivot is a wonderful compliment to your entrées.
After lunch walk along Royal Street to see the many boutiques and shops. Then board the St. Charles Streetcar — the world’s oldest continuously running streetcar and get off in the Garden District to see some of the mansions.
The second weekend of December the Garden District has a Christmas themed house tour to benefit a local charity. After this sojourn take the trolley back to the Central Business District that has become home to many galleries.
After all of this walking it’s time for a visit to the Acme Oyster House - L & D: M-Sa., 724 Iberville St, 504-522-5973
We were lucky and got 2 seats at the bar near door where Magic was shucking oysters. We had about a dozen and a couple of cold Abitas.
Time for a nap and a change of attire.
Dinner is at Restaurant August - L: M-F, D: Nightly, 301 Tchoupitoulas St, 504-299-9777
Share the candied acorn squash and jumbo lump crab salad with Benton’s Bacon, spiced pecans with brown butter vinaigrette. Your main is the Gulf grouper braised with Cedar Key clams, marble potatoes, Creole shallot and harissa.
Enjoy a glass of ’10 Domaine François Cotat Les Monts Damnés .
Another good choice is the roast breast of Chappapeela Farms duckling, confit leg, foie gras and sweet potato baekeoffe.
With your entrees we suggest the ’09 Domaine Billard-Gonnet Rugiens Bas Premier Cru. For dessert share the Goats Milk Cheesecake, algiers honey ice cream, almonds, and balsamic caramel.
Your last stop of the day is Fritzel’s European Jazz Club – Daily: 12 AM – 2 AM, 733 Bourbon St, 504-586-4800
We have been going to Fritzel’s for so long that I forgot who told us about it. They claim to be “The Home of Traditional New Orleans Jazz”. No cover, no minimum, just fun and good jazz.
Day 3: Breakfast today is at Cafe Conti - B & L: Daily, 827 Toulouse St, 504-636-1060
Your choices include: house-made muesli, omelette with a grilled baguette, greens and Lyonnaise potatoes, eggs in cocotte with ham, crepes, crab and brie and much more
An important stop is the New Orleans Museum of Art - W: 12-8, Th-Su: 10-5, One Collin C Diball Circle, City Park, 504-658-4100
NOMA is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution with an impressive permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects. The collection, noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, continues to expand and grow.
The five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA is one of the most important sculpture installations in the United States, with over 60 sculptures situated on a beautifully landscaped site amongst meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, mature pines, magnolias, camellias, and pedestrian bridges.
For your final taste of New Orleans opt for Coop’s Place - L & D: Daily, 1109 Decatur St, 504-525-9053
Coop’s Place was a recommendation by our friend and chef “Big Daddy John Mims”, himself, who was a Chef in NO at Brigtsen’s. If you should go here you might see Coop. He’s the man in the funny hat and the Salvation Army sport coat.
Dee is partial to the Blackened Redfish – a local favorite cooked quickly in a red hot cast iron skillet until the Bayou Blend seasoning darkens to a delicate crust. It’s served with a house salad.
If I ever move to N.O. it will be Coop’s Cajun Fried Chicken served with Rabbit & Sausage Jambalaya and coleslaw that brought me.
The Ravenswood Zinfandel or Tercos Malbec would be a good wine choice.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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