Saturday, October 19, 2013

Its time for a R'evolution in New Orleans (10-13-13)

Our final dinner in New Orleans was at the recently opened R'evolution in the Royal Sonesta Hotel ( in the heart of the French Quarter. This is a joint venture from a truly odd couple of chefs with local chef John Folse joining Chicago-based Rick Tramanto (Tru) in a gorgeous Creole mansion-style setting that is truly elegant.  The room we were in had Louisiana plantations painted on the walls with deep cushy red booths and much larger tables than anyone could want with good spaces for privacy. This was very welcome after the tight arrangement at August the night before. In the next room was an open kitchen and lots of white tiles, so you can eat here several times in many different settings. When you sit down, you know who is in charge as the Ginori-copy plates have the two chefs name's emblazoned on them. Our servers were Maegan and Ronan and they were very helpful as the menu is large and varied.
The Amuse arrived in the form of a White Bean and Mussel Salad, which Sam would have none of, but we gobbled up. The sparkling water here is Hildon from the UK. Unsalted and salted butters aarived with Lavosh, Buttermilk biscuits, Seeded rolls and Crystalettes (a small individual baguette) which were all tasty.
We started with a bottle of Bodegas Lopez de Heredia "Vina Gravonia" Crianza from Rioja which is Vivra(a grape I never heard of) and Granatxa Blanca.It was perfect with the two starters we shared:
BLACK TRUFFLE BEEF TARTARE with Pickled Vegetables(turnip, jalapeno, carrot, red pepper) and Grilled Bread and while Samuel tasted it, he was not thrilled; we adored it. Going more local the other dish was Crabmeat-Stuffed Louisiana Frogs Legs Nicoise with Fennel & Saffron which is a dish that will win anyone over to this superb chicken-like protein. The legs have only one small bone in them and were stuffed with crab and a bit of mascarpone cheese as binder (it was not sweet) and then battered and deep fried like giant lollipops. They were sublime.
Sam ordered the Braised Boneless SHORT RIBS with Rutabaga Citrus Puree in Red Wine Sauce and indeed his plated was empty after dinner save fore the puree (he never likes purees--even mashed potatoes). His side of fries came with Chipotle Ketchup & Lemon Aioli dips. he plates were monstrous servings and I struggled through my 1/2 North Carolina MUSCOVY Rotisserie DUCK with Field Pea Foie Gras Rice (that was the reason I ordered this) served inside a Crispy Onion Ring, Pea Tendrils and Chanterelles (yes again!). This was a superb lacquered duck with crunchy skin and moist insides; it had everything going for it. Will ordered the
Pan Seared PORK CHOP with House-made Italian Sausage, Cannelini Beans, Escarole Salad & Horseradish; yes, for the English guy who dislikes horseradish. It was a BIG (underscore) hit as again the dish was monstrous.
Our wine was a 2008 Condoda de Haza from Ribera del Duero that was opened and decanted for about 45 minutes at the beginning so it had really opened up and had huge legs and everything else a red wine could wish for; and a brilliant pairing for both big meat dishes.
I forgot to mention that while the menus are printed, the wine list comes on an I-pad, and I can be technically challenged with these things; Sam helped me. The electrical dessert menus arrived and there were may items but we settled on the White Chocolate BREAD PUDDING CREME BRULEE for the table to share which came with Lemon scented Apricots and Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce. The apricots and the sauce were divine, but this dessert was nowhere near a bread pudding or a brulee. I explained this to our servers (we didn't eat most of it) and we were not charged, but as this occurred I noticed a cheese trolley. Why was this option not on the electrical menu. It was completely left off and they said that the electric menus don't get updated. How stupid is that!
A manager came over to apologize and I really didn't want cheese by then, but it's a shame this was not well done.
Just as we thought we were done Maegan brought the FUN BOX, a huge chest which had multiple compartments and platters which she opened and distributed. These had Salted Caramel taffy, Pecan Brownies, Pecan Chili Brittle, Blackberry AlmondTea Cake (like a Linzertorte), Limoncello Cookie, Milk Chocolate Truffles (Sam dived for that and the brownie), and a Toasted Coconut Macaroon with Dark Chocolate (for me!), They were all indeed lots of fun and a great way to end the meal, although there might be a fight over some of the items as there are not two or three of each at every table!
Save for the dessert, we were happy to join the R'evolution.