Tuesday, November 15

New Orleans food and jazz in North Beach

Jazz is to music as truffles are to food. There's something so sexy about jazz. But it's not like silk and lace sexy. It's more like velvet, rich and... well, jazzy. Velvet in my ears.

Courtney had a friend who was playing at Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood & Jazz at the Condor, so we decided to go. (Harrison was supposed to come too, but he ended up being tired and needing to do work tonight instead. I guess we wore him out yesterday after all! He's supposed to join us for our Lost party tomorrow, though.)

I was excited to try the New Orleans food, since the chef came from the French Quarter and had a popular first restaurant there. I was a little surprised that I wasn't able to find many non-media reviews from other foodies out there. There wasn't a thing on Citysearch; Yelp had only one. This place is three months old, which is usually long enough to gain some attention, but it's probably remained under the radar because Andrew Jaeger was working on reopening his first restaurant, which had been affected by Katrina. That one has reopened, and Jaeger is now back. We had a good meal.

We ordered a bunch of stuff and shared. We had the black mussels with tomato and herbs, jambalaya, seafood mufaletta and a side of crawfish grits. Every dish was solid, though there wasn't one dish that particularly stood out. I would want to come back to try more of the items on the menu (etouffee, turtle soup), but I'm not necessarily dying to reorder anything we already had. While it was good, it was not spectacular. But I will come back. They're supposed to revamp their menu very soon.

One thing I really enjoyed - and this might sound odd - was the bread! It was warm and served with a garlicy herb butter. I wanted to spread that butter on everything. I wanted to get a big spoonful of that butter and eat it like ice cream. Rather than worrying about filling up on bread, I'm going to save room for the bread and butter next time.

Tempranillos are a new find for me, and I'm liking them. The 2003 Preludio Tempranillo was good; and at $24 for the bottle, it was also a great value.

I've decided I don't do dinner and live music enough. I'll have to negotiate some kind of arrangement with my next dinner companion(s). Maybe we can take turns singing to each other between bites. Yeah, that'll make lots of people want to eat with me.

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