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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dinner at Randy's Fish Market Restaurant (Closed)

is an eponymously- named restaurant in North Naples, FL as it is both a fishmarket

and a restaurant. As you walk through the entrance

there is a market area

which leads into the dining area/fish market.

There is even an adjacent bar area

should you want or need to wait on a table.

My dining companion (DC) and I ordered a number of items from the Menu. Really good 7 grain bread was brought to the table to start.

DC and I split the calamari starter.

It was some of the best calamari I have had, made better with the lemon and Marinara Sauce.

DC ordered the fish tacos.

They were very good, almost as good as the fish tacos from Captain Kirk's. These were filled with Blackened Grouper, avocado, Chipotle mayo and fries. The Pico De Gallo and slaw finished the dish as 2 good toppings.

I ordered the Bikini Bottom Salad with blackened Mahi-mahi.

Romaine Lettuce, Blue Cheese, candied Pecans, Craisins and avocado were served with a Raspberry Vinaigrette. The fish portion was 5 ounces, perfect atop this salad. I did not care for the dressing and ordered another choice, problem solved.

The food here was really good. I had heard the food suffered since a recent change in management. This was not the case at least for what was ordered here. Using a Naples Original Gift Certificate the price of this meal was very reasonable when all was said and done. Since I have one gift certificate left I will certainly be back for another meal.

That's that for another post on Forks.

Randy's Fish Market Restaurant
10395 Tamiami Tr. N.
Naples, FL 34108

Randy's Fishmarket Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lunch at Cochon

is a restaurant on Tchoupitoulas St. (chop-it-2-las) in New Orleans, LA.

They have a very inviting dining area,

and I noticed an accolade on the wall.

An award from The James Beard Foundation is sort of like an Academy Award in the food world, and if you see one of these in a restaurant, it is generally a very good sign.

Cochon is a French word for Pig although we ordered from a very eclectic menu.

Dining companion (DC) and I wanted to try a variety of things so we started out with the fried alligator.

This was really good, and probably the best of everything we tried. It was topped with chili garlic mayo, onions and parsley and was over the top delicious. You know what they say about "tasting like chicken". If blindfolded I would tend to agree.

The alligator was followed by the grilled oysters in a chili garlic anchovy sauce.

It was a small but very good dish.

We also ordered smothered greens, Collard Greens seasoned with pork and Cider Vinegar,

and perfectly cooked Grits.

We finished up with the Boucherie plate, a showcase of some of the restaurant's pork offerings.

Pork Rilettes, Pork Cheek Bacon, Hog Head Cheese and Cured Pork Shoulder among other pork treats are served with pickled beets, Bread and Butter Pickles and in-house prepared Stone Ground Mustard.

All of this was really good. When bringing the check the server reminded us to come back again as we had barely navigated what was on the menu. I can't wait to take her up on that.

930 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lunch at Bayona

is located on Dauphine St. in New Orleans, LA. Dauphine St. was at one time called Calle de Bayona. This was when New Orleans was colonized by Spain primarily in the 18th century, hence the name of the restaurant.

They have a very pleasant courtyard area where you can dine,

or an indoor area which is where dining companion (DC) and I decided to eat lunch.

What is really great about this restaurant is the $25.00 3-course Prix Fixe Saturday only lunch menu.

You are not restricted to the starter, entree and dessert thing, you can mix it up if you want. This is great for dessert-averse people like myself.

After some breads were brought to the table,

DC ordered the Indonesian peanut celery soup.

The dish reminded me of the Peanut Sauce used in Indonesian cuisine, which is not surprising. Not bad.

Being a lover of beets, I tried the roasted beets with beet top fritters and yoghurt dressing.

Really really good. The beet green Fritters were a tasty and new dining experience for me.

DC moved on to the the Pork Schnitzel with Spaetzle and mushrooms.

It was good but I was not into German food that day. I ordered the pate.

This was served with Crostini and Mostarda, a sort of mustard-flavored fruit jam. I love pate but unfortunately you never seem to get enough of it when ordering out.

DC having a sweet tooth, finished up with an orange tart with cherry Coulis (a thick strained cherry sauce) and Earl Grey Tea Gelato.

It was good and very imaginative as the food can be here. I particularly liked the gelato. I don't think they serve this flavor in very many places.

I finished with the grilled Teriyaki Hanger Steak with fried eggplant, Mizuna (a bitter Japanese green) and green onions.

It was great, and gave me a much needed Asian fix that day.

I have been here twice for this lunch, and it is a must do when in New Orleans. The food for this lunch is innovative and one of the best values in town.

That's that for another post on Forks.

430 Dauphine St.
New Orleans, LA 70122

Bayona on Urbanspoon

Dinner at Herbsaint

is a restaurant  located on the corner of St. Charles Ave. and Girod St. in New Orleans, LA. It is named after the Absinthe substitute, Herbsaint, an Anise-flavored Liqueur.

As you enter the restaurant,

you come into a very warm and inviting dining and bar area.

After ordering from their Menu,

a nice bit of Ciabatta bread was brought to the table.

While the servers waited for their orders,

we were brought some soups.

Dining companion (DC) ordered the chicken and Andouille sausage Gumbo.

Rich and intensely flavored, this was some of the best gumbo I have ever had, certainly the best from a restaurant.

I ordered the soup of the day, which was Pancetta, Black-Eyed peas and greens.

This was also very good, but the gumbo "won" hands down.

Rabbit Fricassee was next.

It was great as well but DC had an aversion to eating rabbit. DC's loss. I thought the Braising pot (Dutch Oven) was a nice touch.

Braised Pork Belly was ordered next and served atop mushrooms and whipped potatoes. Heaven!

DC and I also ordered a side of the vegetable of the day, which were roasted Brussels Sprouts

These were as almost everything is here very good and a great accompaniment to the pork belly dish.

DC finished with something from the Dessert menu.

was served with Salted Caramel Gelato and topped with caramel sauce. I do not have much of a sweet tooth but this was unbelievably delicious.

Herbsaint is a wonderful restaurant and I would go back without any reservations (get there early) when in New Orleans again.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks.

Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant
701 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130

Herbsaint Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon