An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

”Facebook ”Twitter ”LinkedIn ”RSS” ”Pinterest” ”Google+”

Dining Together at 2 Favorite New Orleans Restaurants

By on Nov 24, 2018, 11:41 am in Personal Reflection, Restaurants | 2 comments

Whole Grilled Fish at Pêche

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written about restaurants around New Orleans I love and frequent.

But I often get requests from friends coming to visit the city, asking for recommended restaurants. And while I usually will refer them to posts here where I’ve written about local eateries, I find myself, of late, always recommending Pêche, a mostly seafood restaurant from the Link Restaurant Group, (of Cochon fame) and Bacchanal, a busy Bywater neighborhood wine shop turned small plate restaurant, two newer favorite spots.

And I’ve been thinking in the last year or so, more intentionally, about how bridges can be built over the dining table.

While sharing dinner at Pêche this summer with out of town friends, it occurred to us that our dinner, a whole locally caught grilled fish for the table covered in a luscious salse verde, with several sides, appetizers and a shared entree salad – a communal meal completely meant to be shared – fostered a very different dynamic than each of us simply ordering an individual entree. Yes, the menu does offer them, and it’s true we can always share a taste of our dish with others at the table, but this was a meal we had all come to agreement on when ordering – and we all heartily dug into the dishes equally with our serving utensils, like a family at dinner, sharing our varying impressions of the wonderfully flavorful food. BTW, Peche does have a bar/oyster bar (which offers the full menu) where single diners can be seated, so don’t stay away just because you’re alone.

A couple of months later I was dining with another set of out of town guests at Bacchanal, a spot where I drop in alone from time to time for a lunch of very tasty food accompanied by a great glass of wine and live music. But the menu offers the perfect opportunity for sharing around the table. The plates are designed so that diners can order several different small tastes (or a larger cheese or charcuterie platter), perfect for sharing. And there’s a huge wine selection of offerings by the glass or the bottle.

Sharing meals around the table- it’s a trend in restaurants I encourage.

 

Brussels Sprouts in Chili Oil at Pêche

 

Chicken Confit at Bacchanal

 

Steamed Mussels at Bacchanal

 

Papas Bravas and Grilled Vegetables at Bacchanal

    2 Comments

  1. Hi, Gisele.
    I remember Bacchanal well, and it may be that the Chicken Confit picture you used to illustrate this post was taken when Mike, you and I were there.
    You are so right that restaurants that encourage sharing a meal rather that eating individually a la carte are so much more supporting a family-friendship atmosphere. Experience thought me that sharing plates is well established in Europe. While out with friends from Europe for a meal, I grew shy when they planned to share a plate, and I told them that my perception is that restaurants expect each dinner to order a separate meal. I then experienced many times what is normal in Europe-sharing plates or ordering 5-6 small plates for 4-5 friends.

    Adrian

    December 3, 2018

    • Thanks, Adrian. Yes, the picture was taken the day I shared a late lunch with you and Michael.

      Gisele

      December 3, 2018

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *