Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar in New Orleans, LA

oysters!

Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar
4338 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115

oysters!

I’d been dying to check out the new seafood place that opened up on St. Charles Ave. This intersection is super busy and finding parking wasn’t easy. But don’t give up, cuz I promise the food is worth it. When I arrived, the hostess was very gracious and let me hang out in the doorway for the rest of my party to arrive. I saw chargrilled oysters in garlic, herbs, and butter and could not resist. Luckily the rest of my group also love chargrilled oysters and so we ordered a dozen. They’re not huge nor are they tiny, I would say medium size and fresh!

side salad

My dinner entree came with this delightful side salad. The dressing wasn’t overwhelming.

ahi tuna salad

One dining companion had the ahi tuna salad.  The Ahi tuna blackened topped with a Superior ponzu sauce and set on field greens tossed with cilantro ginger vinaigrette dressing, mangos, avocados, tomatoes and crispy julienned wantons. Delicious and refreshing.

shrimp and grits

My other dining companion had the shrimp in tasso cream sauce and grits.  Tasso is a spicy smoked pork, a Cajun delicacy, added a smokey flavor to this dish. The shrimp was cooked to a nice crisp consistency.

Blackened Drum Napoleon

Drum is one of my favorite fishes cuz it doesn’t have a heavy ocean-y seafood-y flavor to it. The drum fish was served with topped with crawfish etoufée, served with whipped potatoes and corn maque choux. I had just had a bad experience with crawfish at another restaurant in New Orleans and so I was super reluctant to order it again (Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder!) but our server was so pleasant and she talked me into it. I’m glad she did, it was delicious.This is a wonderful place for a mid-priced seafood meal!
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Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Girard Sauvignon Blanc

I had the opportunity to meet a representative for this vineyard who was able to send me some samples!

the trio

The Girard vineyard is located in St. Helena (I was just there! not the vineyard, but Napa Valley).
From the winemakers: “After early morning harvests, the grapes are gently pressed into stainless-steel tanks. Our winemaker Marco DiGiulio inoculates the juice with a specially selected yeast culture, designed expressly for highlighting the unique characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc. After fermentation, the wine ages for five months in stainless steel without malolactic fermentation.”

Girard Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: “A very clean, fresh and crisp Sauvignon Blanc. It has lush aromas of pineapple, guava and banana, while the palate exhibits fresh-cut grapefruit and tangy lemon zest. A wonderful aperitif wine that pairs well with lighter white fish, green salads and goat cheese.”

Crossings Unoaked Chardonnay 2009

Crossings Unoaked Chardonnay

I had the opportunity to meet a representative for this vineyard and was able to sample some fine wine!

the trio of samples

The Crossings wine hails from Marlborough, New Zealand (it is my dream to go to New Zealand before I die. I’m not gonna lie, the Lord of the Rings being filmed there has something to do with that desire).

From the wine-makers : “Chardonnay. Marlborough boasts an enviable set of climactic conditions, this high sunshine and moderate temperature environment takes on a fantastic dimension in the best seasons such as 2009. The season began as the vines emerged from the winter hibernation they enjoy in the Medway’s almost continental setting. Evident in the quality of this year’s wine the long autumn allowed a very gradual flavor development of the bunches. Known to viticulturalists as ‘hang time’ this final period on the vine, in harvest lead up, makes all the difference. Ranging from 23-25 brix the fruit was fully mature but not over ripe. The weather was so dry and clear we had the luxury of gathering the fruit as each block reached optimum maturity. This also allowed very carefully handling of the bunches during their short journey to the winery a stone’s throw away. The aim of our winemaking approach to Chardonnay is to allow the parcels to express themselves beautifully while working to maintain a fine balance between midpalate texture and a refreshing crispness. After gentle pressing the juice was naturally settled for clarity before its transfer to tanks for fermentation with both selected and ‘wild’ yeasts. Cool fermentation captures and locks in the heart of this noble variety’s character. Regular lees-stirring enhanced mouthfeel before an early bottling to preserve the effusive beauty of this Chardonnay.”

 

Crossings Unoaked Chardonnay

tasting notes from the wine-makers:
Color: Soft pale yellow with attractive green hints
Bouquet: White peach and citrus against a background of subtle minerals.
Palate: Delicious with crisp, juicy acidity. A cool-climate Chardonnay infused with the fine Awatere Valley signature flinty notes.

I absolutely loved this wine! As you can see, I had sampled some before I took some photos.

Barone Fini Valda Dige Pinot Grigio 2010

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2010

I had the opportunity to meet a representative for this vineyard and got the chance to sample some wonderful wine!

the trio of samples

From the wine-makers: “The Pinot Grigio vineyards of BARONE FINI are 25 to 30 years old. Grape picking is manual; all blemished clusters are discarded. Selected grapes are taken to the excellent, state-of-the-art cooperative winery, where they are put through soft, cold crushing. Juice is then divided into several units, each undergoing a different temperature- controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The result, in effect, is several distinct wines in progress. After reaching equilibrium, juice sections are skillfully blended by our winemakers into the final BARONE FINI Pinot Grigio.”

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2010

Tasting Notes: “Soft, round fruit fills the mouth with ripe, juicy flavors. A long finish glides into flavors of ripe apples and lichee nuts. A wine to be enjoyed alone, as an apéritif, or with shellfish, fowl and light meals that include vegetarian dishes.”

Jean Philippe Patisserie in Las Vegas, NV

fruit tart

Jean Philippe Patisserie
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

This bakery was in the lobby of our hotel and so we had breakfast here almost every morning. Lots of delicious photos.I’m not gonna sugar-coat things (har-har) but this was pretty dam expensive for baked goods and gelato.

world's largest chocolate fountain

The world’s largest chocolate fountain is at the Bellagio. Standing at 27-feet tall, this masterpiece circulates more than 2,100 pounds of melted dark, milk and white chocolate at a rate of 120 quarts per minute. That’s a lot of chocolate! It was almost impossible to get a picture of this fountain without a dam tourist in front of it.

Chocolate dragon

So this chocolate sculpture is actually at the Aria hotel, this dragon was made in honor of the Chinese New Year’s. The year of the dragon! (not my year unfortunately).

baked goods

No matter what time I went in the morning, 7, 8 or 9 AM, there was always a line of customers. The thing that sucks about their arrangement is that the workers come out to the line to take your order before you get close enough to see what your choices are. Most mornings, I just guessed and got items that I hoped they had.

blueberry danish

The blueberry danish was delicious, so fluffy and light and the blueberries weren’t overly sweet.

chocolate croissant

Oh my gosh, I think out of everything I have sampled here, the chocolate croissant was hands down the best thing I got from here.

gelato

The gelato was pretty expensive and didn’t taste that great compared to some of their other offerings.

potato au gratin quiche

This was the best salty breakfast (I feel like breakfast foods fall into two categories, sweet and salty).  This potato au gratin quiche had bacon and onions. Delicious but such a small piece cost $8!

chocolate muffin

This muffin was definitely very moist but I didn’t think the chocolate flavor really came thru. There was definitely a moist chocolate center but the actual baked portions just tasted like muffin…..not chocolate.

bear claw

This was a unique bear claw, it had a very strong hazelnut flavor (which I loved!) the center had a mashed nuts paste, which was also deliciosu.

fruit tart

How sad is it that during my entire week in Vegas, the only fruit intake I got was from this dessert. Eek! But this was soo good.

chocolate dessert

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Honeydeux in New Orleans, LA

shaved ice

Honeydeux
1912 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

new frozen dessert place

Honeydeux has opened up nearby where the former Jackson restaurant was (some of you may remember some bad blood between me and the chef at Jackson and so I had avoided this area of Magazine st for some time). But when I saw shaved ice signs, I had to check it out. I got a chance to speak with the owner who actually brought the Asian shaved ice idea from Star Ice in Houston, TX to New Orleans. I’ve noticed there’s  been a sudden tide of frozen dessert places in New Orleans (Red Mango, Pinkberry, etc), but this is unique and there are tons of Asians in New Orleans looking for some Boba tea and shaved ice.

ambiance

The ambiance is set up like a modern diner, with stools set around a counter.

shaved ice

the asian version of shaved ice comes with yummy condensed milk which gives extra flavoring to the fresh fruits and shaved ice. Star Ice and Honeydeux both like to top their with an additional scoop of ice cream. Love the condensed milk! The mango and strawberries were super fresh. I hope to come back and try some other fruit combinations.

 

Honeydeux on Urbanspoon

Biscayne Steakhouse in Las Vegas

NY Steak

Biscayne Steakhouse
3801 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Tropicana Hotel

We had a groupon to this steakhouse and since it had decent reviews online. Kinda sucked walking all the way down to the Tropicana from where we were staying (and ya know if you’ve visited Las Vegas, that it is not easy to navigate Las Vegas if you’re a pedestrian).

pretzel bread

The pretzel bread wasn’t great. I knew it would be really dense but it was cold and really unappealing.

NY Steak

I had the NY steak which was pretty good. I had a trio of sauces come with the NY steak, my favorite of the 3 had to be the red-wine based sauce (a Bordeaux, I believe).

trio of sauces

I had originally ordered a side of creamed spinach but when it came out, it was super watery. I was sooo disappointed so I didn’t eat it and when our waiter came by to ask how we were liking the food, I told him the creamed spinach was disappointing and he asked if the chef could prepare another one for me and I said no, I didnt wan’t to risk it. And the waiter insisted and so I decided to go for the lobster pasta since it had rave reviews.

creamed spinach

 

 

lobster pasta

Joe had the seared ahi tuna steak served medium rare with a citrus butter sauce. He said the fish was delicious.

seared ahi tuna

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Boo Koo BBQ in New Orleans, LA

mac and cheese balls

Boo Koo BBQ
(currently hosted by Finn McCool’s Irish Pub)
3701 Banks St.
New Orleans, LA

window that you order at

I had heard about this place but didn’t have a chance to check it out until now. My friend had a groupon and I was dying to try their mac and cheese balls and so we made the trek out to Mid City to dine out. Unfortunately, we went on a Monday night when they have their quiz bowl. It was packed with people playing this trivia game. Kinda hard to enjoy your food when there are people standing around your table, staring at you and waiting to pounce on your table as soon as you get up……….

the specials

I was tempted to get the brisket sandwich but their usual Boo Koo burger which is 100% ground brisket, dressed, with boudin, melted pepper jack and Boo Bang sauce.

Boo Koo Burger

My Boo Koo burger was juicy and delicious! The bread was crisp and toasted, and the Boo Bang sauce was out of this world! It came with some fries on the side which did hold up on their own but the burger was out of this world! Can’t wait to go back and try another burger.

mac and cheese balls

the mac and cheese balls said they had truffle flavoring but that flavor was lost to me. The mac and cheese is rolled in panko bread crumbs and then deep fried and served with Boo Bang sauce. These were awesome! Too bad there’s only 2 in the order.

PB & J burger

My friend had asked the guy at the front window which burger he would eat and he said his current favorite was the PB and J burger. I’ve had the peanut butter and bacon burger at Yo Mama’s and was not impressed so I told her she was on her own. when it came out, she fell in love with it and insisted that I try a bite. I’m glad she did, it was delicious. I think the difference was the jelly, it added a sweetness that adds a “je ne sais quoi” to the burger.

Boo Koo BBQ (Finn McCool's) on Urbanspoon

Trattoria del Lupo in Las Vegas

osso bucco

Trattoria del Lupo
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South  Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino,
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Mandalay Bay Hotel

So apparently those Half Off Tickets Now places that we’ve been taught to not trust actually sells discounts to restaurants! Can you believe it?  So we bought one for $4 to get 20% off our meal. Sweet! I’ve never eaten at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant (those pizza express places at airports don’t count!)

breadsticks

So I wasn’t a huge fan of this olive mix, but I loved the garlic-y white bean dip. The bread sticks were a bit tough to chew. So after we had ordered, we got our appetizer and then I commented about how all the other tables around us had breadsticks and we were never brought any, and shortly after what do ya know? I guess one of the waiters has good hearing.

fried calamari

Props to the manager, we had forgotten to bring the 20% off certificate with us and he told us to go ahead and enjoy dinner and he would take the 20% off our bill. So since we were getting the discount, we splurged and got the fried calamari. It was prepared in some spices and flash fried.

 

house made pasta

The Scialatielli “Ai Quattro Passi” is the House Made Thick Noodle Pasta with Sausage Bolognese, Cream, Basil, Parmesan. The pasta had a texture like any good home made pasta. The sauce however was your generic tomato based meat sauce.

 

 

osso bucco

Osso bucco is one of my favorite Italian dishes, it is a Red Wine Braised Veal Osso Bucco, served with Saffron Risotto and Sautéed Spinach. I just can’t think about veal as I eat it. This dish is traditionally made in a white wine based sauce but modern take on it has modified it to red wine.

 

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