Café Adelaide at the Loews New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, was named for Adelaide Brennan, a vivacious redhead known to her family as Queenie, and to her nieces and nephews as ‘Auntie Mame and then some." The attractive contemporary ambience restaurant features the talented Chef Chris Lusk in the kitchen whose culinary focus is described as "Boosted New Orleans Bistro."
According to their menu, "Some people merely exist - Adelaide Brennan lived! Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar is a nod to their beloved aunt Adelaide Brennan - a dazzling woman who managed to squeeze as much living out of life as possible. She was as much sophisticated and elegant as she was carefree and mischievous. After all, one of her favorite sayings was, Eating, drinking and carrying on. Very simply, that's what we hope you do while you're here. Ti, Lally, and Alex."
With an intro like that, how could we not indulge in living life to its fullest? During our stay at the Loews New Orleans Hotel, we frequented the art deco Swizzle Stick Bar where we stopped to chat with über-Bar Chef, the award-winning head bartender Lu Brow, and indulged in the official cocktail of New Orleans, the Sazerac. The bar is intimate, and chic, with an interesting collection of vintage cocktail shakers and cocktail paraphernalia lining the shelves behind the bar, and attractive contemporary paintings gracing the walls.
We had an excellent lunch, as well as a dinner at Café Adelaide to get to know and appreciate Executive Chef Chris Lusk's culinary style. Lunch at Café Adelaide was a definitely a decadent experience with "The Power Lunch gets Playful!" where you can enjoy .25 martinis, a limit of 3 with purchase of entrée, "cause that's enough!" according to the menu. As they say, "when in Rome" or in this case, New Orleans, Edward indulged in sampling the Classic Martini, while I had the Commander's Martini, a blue beauty made with Blue Curacao, although we only had one martini each with our lunch, "cause that's enough" according to Edward and me.
Chef Chris Lusk
Executive Chef Chris Lusk began our lunch by sending us a amuse bouche, a delightful chilled melon gazpacho garnished with a basil leaf and served in a demitasse to enjoy with our martinis, that promised good things to come.
Under the category, "Taste & Share" on the menu, we selected Shrimp & Tasso "Corndogs" with 5 pepper jelly, pickled okra, chicory greens, and Crystal Hot Sauce butter. The grown-up version of "corndogs" were two jumbo shrimp coated with a batter made with pulverized biscuits and tasso, a specialty of Cajun cuisine, which is a spicy, peppery version of smoked pork, that were deep-fried and served on skewers. We also shared Horseradish-Biscuit Crusted Oysters with roasted tomato and lemon coulis, which were melt-in-your-mouth delectable.
Horseradish-Biscuit Crusted Oysters
Edward continued with the soup of the day, the Coconut Shrimp Bisque, beautifully presented with wonderful aromas and flavors. I had the New Orleans Shrimp Rémoulade Salad with shrimp boil vegetables, mixed greens, and preserved lemon. What I especially enjoyed about the salad, was that the shrimp, cubed potatoes, and vegetables were just barely coated with the rémoulade sauce providing a hint of spiciness on the palate while allowing the flavors of the shrimp and vegetables to shine.
For dessert, we split an order of "Milk and Cookies," which was Brandy Milk Punch Ice Cream served with an assortment of three cookies, and would be incentive to make milk drinkers out of those that usually shy away.
We returned to the restaurant on another evening of our stay and had an excellent dinner at Café Adelaide. Chef Chris Lusk began our dining experience with an amuse bouche of a chilled berry soup made with dark berries and a hint of citrus served in a demitasse cup. Lu Brow complemented the amuse bouche with a small "taste" cocktail, The Adelaide Swizzle, one of their signature cocktails, made with Olde New Orleans Amber Rum, Peychaud's bitters, lime juice, soda, and a secret ingredient, that was the perfect accompaniment.
Under the "Tastes" category on the menu, Edward had the Foie Gras Poutine, which was potato crusted onion rings delicately golden and crispy, with salted ricotta and foie gras black pepper gravy.
Foie Gras Poutine
I had the Blue Crab Pound Cake, which was a large two-layer square of pound cake smothered in Port-Salut "icing" and truffled crab claws. Having enjoyed the oysters so much at lunch, we also shared an order of the Horseradish-Biscuit Crusted Oysters with roasted tomato and lemon coulis.
Blue Crab Pound Cake
For his main course, Edward had the Caramel Onion Redfish with pearl barley-arugula risotto, grape tomato raisins and crawfish red gravy, that was well presented with a flavorful profile.
Caramel Onion Redfish
I had the Gulf Fish Under a Brick, which was drum fish served with Creole tomato-okra ragout, crispy shallots, and sweet corn beurre blanc that celebrated local seasonal ingredients. We also shared one of Chef Chris' Five Dollar Side Dishes, an ample portion of Hand Cut Parmesan Fries presented in a paper cone on a standing rack. We paired our main courses with a bottle of Jean-Philippe Fichet, 2008, Bourgogne, Aligote, France, which had floral and fruity notes and paired well with our fish.
Gulf Fish Under a Brick
Dinner in New Orleans would not be complete without enjoying a few desserts, and we sampled the White Chocolate BISCUIT Pudding, awarded the 2010 NOWFE Gold Medal Dessert, the Bananas Foster Sundae, and the Creole Cream Cheesecake topped with dried wild raspberries and blueberries. Our server Keisha brought us two "taste" cocktails, to pair with the desserts, one of which was the delectable Wild Magnolia that is on their cocktail menu and is made with Plymouth Gin, St. Germaine, lemon, and housemade magnolia bitters.
Creole Cream Cheese Bananas Foster Sundae
White Chocolate Biscuit Pudding
It was an evening of "Eating, drinking and carrying on;" Adelaide would have been proud!
Café Adelaide is open daily and serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 10:00 am, Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am until 12:30 pm, lunch Monday through Thursday from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm, and on Friday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm. The restaurant is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, and Friday-Saturday from 6:00 pm until 9:30 pm, and "Off-hours" dining is available at the Swizzle Stick Bar until 11:00 pm.
Read Chefs' Recipes where Executive Chef Chris Lusk shares his enticing recipes for Blue Crab Pound Cake, Crawfish Maque Choux with Sweet Corn Crust, and White Chocolate Biscuit Pudding.
Read about Loews New Orleans Hotel in the Hotels and Resorts section.
Read about "In the Land of Cocktails by the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Martin and Lally Brennan", Adelaide Brennan's nieces, and co-proprietors of Café Adelaide in the Luxury Products, Gifts section.
Loews New Orleans Hotel
300 Poydras Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Toll Free Reservations: 1-866-211-6411
Read other articles on the Tales of the Cocktail and New Orleans in the Destinations, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Liquor Cabinet, and Music Scene sections.
For information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit: www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.
For information on New Orleans, please visit: www.NewOrleansCVB.com.
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