On Day 2 we started out early with breakfast in The Sazerac Restaurant at our hotel, The Roosevelt. We had drinks in the Sazerac Bar on our last visit to New Orleans, and decided we had to stay in this historic hotel which first opened in 1893. The lobby of the hotel is impressive. Our room was small but well-appointed. We didn't love the location - a little too far up Canal Street for our preference. We probably won't be staying here next time. It was expensive and definitely a splurge for us.
We did some window shopping on Royal Street and stopped to watch many of the street performers that New Orleans is famous for. We saw a jazz band playing from the heart and soul and a quartet singing The Temptations.
We strolled past the huge line for muffulettas at Central Grocery, hit up Greg's Antiques on Decatur Street, then decided we would have lunch at Bayona. On our way to Bayona, we laughed and gawked at the decorated porches, all celebrating Mardi Gras and the Saints. ANNOUNCING: HELL FROZEN OVER + PIGS FLYING... I love it!!!
Saturday lunch at Bayona was a fantastic choice -- one we will be making again. The food was exciting and the meal itself was leisurely-paced. Perfect for a sunny Saturday. We were seated in the courtyard, and (surprise, surprise!) I had a sparkling rose. The Saturday lunch menu features three courses for $25. I started with a simple bibb lettuce salad with a delicious, mustardy balsamic dressing and fine Parmesan cheese. My second course was Indian-spiced fish and chips with lentils and yogurt sauce. I was so happy that I ordered this. The portions were just right. The fish came out hot and was such a great compliment to the cool yogurt sauce and lentils. For dessert, I tried the smoked duck and cashew butter in puff pastry drizzled with pepper jelly. I loved the dish - not too sweet, but just sweet enough to finish a lovely meal.
After a little shopping in the afternoon, we headed back to the hotel to rest. I took my book (but, unfortunately, not my camera) to the cute roof top pool and patio at our hotel. Had it been warmer, it would have been packed, I'm sure.
Dinner Saturday night was at Restaurant August. I've been writing a lot about John Besh on my blog lately. We truly love his restaurants, and our meals at August are always wonderful, but the highlight of Saturday night's meal was the half bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rose. Yes, more sparkling rose. We are obviously addicted! And I really wish I could afford to be addicted to champagne! Just read this description from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Brut Rose is beautifully balanced in its layers of perfumed red fruit, berries and flowers. Clean mineral notes frame a silky, sensual finish. Billecart-Salmon’s NV Brut Rose is one of the most consistently delicious roses readers are likely to find."
As with every trip to New Orleans, I came home from this trip loving life. People there know how to live! Heh - or maybe it is all the lively places that people have to get buzzed... I don't know. But I do know that I am happy to live so close, and I can't wait to get back to try a few new places. Katie recommended Coop's Place and Pravda, and Ginger is trying Green Goddess (it looks delicious).
We don't have any trips planned for the near future. Memorial Day weekend we are visiting with Casey and Leah at Casey and Michael's home in Savannah. Then, in June we are headed back to the Smokies for kayaking classes at the NOC and some backcountry hiking on Gregory Bald. Something tells me that our Big Easy trip will tie me over.