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Jul 13, 201710:58 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Dinner Tales


Tales of the Cocktail is upon us again, running from July 18 to 23, and that means “spirited dinners.” As every year, there are a host of restaurants participating, so there’s almost certainly something to interest you unless you do not consume alcohol.

Here are a few of the dinners that stand out to me, in no particular order:

Boucherie is hosting a dinner sponsored by Death’s Door gin. The meal focuses on three botanicals that go into flavoring the gin; juniper, coriander and fennel. There are some people I’ve spoken to who don’t love Boucherie, but those people are both mistaken and in the minority. When Boucherie opened, it was a breath of fresh air Uptown.

I will admit to some bias, because over the years I’ve gotten to know Chef Nathanial Zimet and his business partner James Denio fairly well. They are good humans, and more importantly from the perspective of the diner, they are outstanding at what they do. I don’t get to Boucherie as often as I’d like, but every time I go I enjoy it.

I have not visited the space at 129 Camp St. since it became Pigeon & Prince, but I am tempted to make a reservation for the Spirited Dinner, because they’ll be pouring Campari, and I love that stuff. Pigeon & Prince is a Besh property; his group bought/leased it a few years ago after the ambitious restaurant Le Foret more or less imploded. It’s not open for daily operation, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better venue for a party, a reception, or an event like this.

Granted, I’d also be hard pressed to pay the $150/head they’re charging for the meal, but I’ve rationalized worse things.

The Grey Goose vodka dinner at Calcasieu looks interesting too. As I write, there’s no menu available, but Chef Alain Ducasse is involved, so that bodes well.

Compère Lapin is hosting a dinner, as well as a pairing with cognac. I’m not an aficionado of cognac; not because I don’t like it, but because good cognac is harder and more expensive to come by than good wine. It’s also very strong when sipped from a snifter, neat.

But mainly it’s the expense of buying excellent cognac. I’m no sure what I’d do with a good bottle of cognac.



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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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