Friday, May 31, 2013

NOLA - Part 4

Nick and I ended our Sunday night with an unbelievable meal at Commander's Palace in the Garden District.  From the moment we arrived until our departure hours later, we were treated like royalty the entire time.  I had noted on the reservation that we would be celebrating Nick's birthday and I'm fairly certain everyone in the place wished him a "happy birthday" as he walked by.  

Greeted with balloons!

The birthday boy looking handsome in his suit

Commander's is routinely on the lists of best restaurants in America (as recently as 2000, it was listed as THE #1 restaurant in the country), so making our dinner selections was ridiculously difficult.  Usually, Nick and I are fairly decisive when ordering, but we had to debate for quite awhile before we made our final decisions.  The head chef, Tory McPhail, just won the James Beard Best Chef for the south, the previous week, so we were tempted by the chef's menu.  But, we weren't sure if we had the room to consume all those courses with all the food we had already eaten that weekend!  Instead, we decided on a few different appetizers - I went with the blueberry salad and shrimp remoulade (I could drink remoulade sauce for dinner any night!!) and Nick went with the pork belly and soup trio...

Turtle soup (AHHHHmazing), seafood gumbo and oyster/kale soup

Our waiter was great and was more than happy to take a few shots of us throughout the evening...

As we were escorted to our table, the host told us that we had one of the best tables in the restaurant.  He wasn't joking - we had a view of the courtyard below and the entire dining room in front of us!

Any excuse to get to wear my rehearsal dinner dress one more time!!

It's rare that I order fish for dinner in a restaurant, but I couldn't resist one of Commander's famous dishes, the Pecan crusted gulf fish.  I could have licked the plate!  But, I had to resist because we had pre-ordered our desserts and I needed to save some room - I went with the famous bread pudding souffle and Nick went with the strawberry shortcake.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I always order chocolate desserts.  But, when in NOLA...  The bread pudding was F-A-B!  Again, I almost licked the plate, but I decided not to embarrass Nick.

However, Nick was embarrassed in his own way when his dessert arrived with a hat...

Nick's dessert

What a night!  I had dined at Commander's previously and it certainly didn't disappoint on this night.  I was so excited to share that experience with Nick, especially as we celebrated his big 3-5 birthday weekend.  We even got a visit from the owner of the restaurant when she stopped by the table to tell us that we won the prize for "longest commute for dinner."  She was lovely and chatted with us for quite awhile.  It was those small touches that made the dinner even more memorable.  

And, of course, after a quick visit back to the hotel to change clothes, we hit up Bourbon Street for a final stroll, a nightcap, and some live music!

Stay tuned for our final day recap as we hit the swamps...

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