Oasis in French Quarter
Last September Don and I had a totally different dining adventure in New Orleans.
We ended up having the most heavenly evening, at the award winning, Jewel of the South.
We had planned to steer clear of the busy French Quarter, while visiting my brother and sis-in-law. Then my bro, Dave lucked into some reservations!
We also lucked into good parking, in the Quarter. We arrived with time to wander before dinner. We enjoyed a little people watching on the crowded streets... and took in some good views, in some quieter areas,
We eventually meandered into a peaceful area of the lower quarter. The tidy Creole cottage looked so inviting, with its blue sign and shutters.
We followed a walkway that took us around to the courtyard.
We entered from the back and stepped inside to see the cozy interior, with exposed brick and beams.
The Jewel calls itself a "classic New Orleans tavern, reimagined". You could tell there was an exciting vibe near the bar, but I was glad our table was being prepared in the courtyard.
It was a busy evening in Nola. LSU and FSU were going head-to-head in the Superdome. The Quarter was extra colorful and packed, with the annual Southern Decadence celebration.
Nola was bustling, but we were suddenly seated at a lovely garden table, with no other guests in sight. Perfect!
Award Winning Cocktails
I ordered a Sazerac, because that's what you do in New Orleans. But I guess that was a lame choice.
I didn't realize the "Cocktail Program" was under the direction of Chris Hannah, a James Beard Award winner. I probably insulted the staff by not ordering a more complicated drink. But I read later that Chris Hannah creates his own version of the classic Nola cocktail. It's a nearly controversial creation... But Esquire Magazine raves about it!
Relaxed and Happy
No worries about looking like tourists as we snapped photos. There was no one to see us.
The tables around us stayed unoccupied at least for a while.
The paper menu looked casual, but the options looked a bit intimidating. The server talked us through and encouraged us to share the small plates. Kind of like tapas.
We didn't go all out with the Siberian Beluga Caviar, for $205, but it seemed like we sampled almost everything on the menu.
Caviar and Potato Scallops!
We started with one of the (other) caviars. I was pretty delighted with the serving dish to begin with!
I lifted the rotating lid to reveal the iced caviar.
Inside the tavern I would have played it a little cooler, and pretended I was one of the regulars who come for Caviar Happy Hour! No need to hide my enthusiasm here. The caviar and the potatoes were divine!
I didn't get photos of all the plates that we sampled, but every bite was an adventure, from the Eggs Royale, Smoked Trout Roe, Truffle...
...to the Malted Chocolate Custard, Macerated Blackberries, Crystalized Almonds... Honestly, I can't remember all we ate. It's been over 3 months and I wasn't really going to write this up. But I have such fond memories of enjoying the entire experience with Dave and Amy, on a perfect September evening. There was a lot of raving and pondering and savoring and wondering, over all these dishes!
And then to complete the evening, I had an entertaining trip to the rest room. I wasn't surprised to find a non-gender restroom. But I was nicely surprised to see the decorated walls! Such a collection of old concert posters.
I did feel a little uneasy about the non-gender restroom, when I realized there was no lock on the door. Unlocked restrooms. Is that the latest hip thing? Ugh. I rushed. And then I noticed the lock, (way up high) on my way out. I'm 5'2''. I need to look up more.
I had to step out of the restroom, to wash my hands at a sink near a window. As I washed my hands, I looked out on the walkway and felt a little odd with people walking by.
It felt too public to powder my nose, but I could have. There was a mirror on the wall outside the window, after all. So I washed my hands and snapped a photo. Funny. The photo reveals some kitchen activity behind me. I love an added restroom adventure when I'm dining out!
We left the glowing tavern, feeling happy and satisfied! I took a photo of the pretty brick building and wondered who had lived there 100 years ago.
I also wondered about the Pluto Water sign. I looked it up, later. Evidently, Pluto water was a natural water product, in the early 1900's. It was high in sodium and magnesium sulfate and claimed to be a very helpful laxative. That gave me a good chuckle!
I really do love the old classic New Orleans restaurants, but what a fun change! So glad we got to enjoy a totally different New Orleans Dining Adventure, in the French Quarter! So glad we found this Jewel!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.