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Sep 26, 201308:48 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Making the Hike to Petite Amelie

Petite Amelie

I did not notice that I was geographically challenged until I lived in Memphis, Tenn., in my college days. Back then I would tell people I couldn't follow their instructions because I grew up in New Orleans, where cardinal directions were meaningless. “North? South?” I'd say. “I know nothing of these things. You are barbarians and your barbecue is lovely but where is the lake?” I was often very confused in college.

This ploy was a good cover for a few years, but the truth is that I can't tell my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to spatial relationships beyond my immediate vision. That's a fancy way of saying I get lost a lot. So when I tried to find Petite Amelie a couple of weeks ago, and failed, I wasn't surprised. I was hot, sweaty and tired, but I understood it. I ate elsewhere and resolved to try again.

Less understandable is that when I did try a second time to find it, I had to ask at Café Amelie and be directed back to the place by a hostess. I'd walked past it. For those of you capable of either following directions or in possession of GPS, Petite Amelie is located at 900 Royal St., at the corner of Dumaine. It is, if you're wondering, quite a hike from Poydras Street.

But the question you should be asking is whether it's worth the trip. Answer: maybe? Probably not? Are you walking? Is the weather nice? Are you real hungry? Where are you?

Because if you're close, then check it out. It's a nice place. The people are friendly, the food is pretty good, and if I lived nearby and didn't cook I'd be a regular, no doubt. But I don't live nearby, and there's no chance in hell I'll be walking to Petite Amelie from my office on Poydras again.

Having said that, I've never been to Café Amelie, and that's something I'm going to correct soon. It's a beautiful-looking place, and the menu looked interesting as well. If you've been, please let me know what you think and what you recommend I order.

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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 here 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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