Monday, February 15, 2010
Purple, Green, and Gold Valentine
Amidst the madness that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, we decided to take a night off from parades and beer to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early. So on the eve of the 14th, we swapped our muddy tennis shoes and brightly colored beads for some nice dress clothes and a reservation at One Restaurant on Hampson Street. Having only eaten there once before, we were excited to go back and try some new things.
This time I decided to step out of my comfort zone of crabcakes and oysters and go with the herb gnocchi and escargots with wild mushrooms as an appetizer. Escargots lack any real flavor, so they really just soak up the flavor of whatever sauce is paired with them. Luckily these escargots were drenched in a wonderful bordelaise sauce. Rich and buttery, this sauce is what made this dish and thank goodness we had plenty of bread to sop it all up. We also ordered the tomatoes 3 ways: marinated, roasted and raw. The heirloom tomatoes used were wonderfully fresh and Chef Scott Snodgrass did just enough to bring out their natural juices and tart flavors. For our entrees my valentine ordered the beef tenderloin with beef shoulder rillete, which was covered with stilton cheese and served with dauphinoise potatoes and sauteed green beans. Since I was in the mood for fish, I ordered the pan roasted flounder on a mirliton and sweet corn gratin, topped with grilled tomatoes and basil crème fraiche. I had the fish the first time we went and it was just as fabulous the second time. For dessert we went with the strawberry shortcake, served with a caramel sauce and topped with bavarian creme. How sweet it was...
The dining room at One is small but they make excellent use of their space, even opening up the kitchen so that patrons can sit at the food bar and watch the chefs in action. But the fast-paced and modern feel to One Restaurant is very charming, as is co-owner Lee McCullough, who makes every person feel important and welcome (he knows my name and I've only eaten there twice). Both times we've dined there it has been the utmost pleasant experience and we are very excited to attend the restaurant's 5th anniversary customer appreciation party on February 23rd. Chef Scott will be cooking up a plethera of delicious New Orleans fare, including boiled seafood. Expect many pictures to be posted!