24 May 2012 New Orleans

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, plus I woke around 6:00 am, so I felt pretty tired in the morning. I got Teagan up around 9:00. We arrived at the New Orleans Museum of Art a little before they opened at 10:00, so we took a few pictures outside.

Once inside, we began on the first floor with the Medieval art room, then the European Renaissance room, the European Baroque room, and finally the Dutch and Flemish room.  The rooms were very clearly organized so we could see the evolution of European painting through the different periods.

We ate very nice salads in the Cafe NOMA for lunch and proceeded to the third floor where we saw collections of African, Oceanic, precolumbian, native American, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese art.  Teagan was way more interested in these areas than I was.  I guess I prefer paintings over the vases and more functional art.

On the second floor, we saw collections of contemporary and modern art, impressionist art, and French art from the 17th to 19th centuries.

We left the museum at 3:30 and headed to the Martin’s Wine Cellar in Metarie. Based on the Yelp reviews, that one has the best selection of non-wine items. We found a couple do cheeses there to bring back to Franklin. I realized that years ago, when I used to visit Martin’s when I lived in Mobile, it seemed like heaven. But now that I live in Franklin, Martin’s seems pretty ho-hum. We found very little there that we can’t get in the Nashville. And when compared to the Liquor Barns in Lexington, Martin’s pales.

We headed back to the hotel for a brief rest, then we walked to the Southern Candymakers shop on Decatur Street. The store smelled amazing when we walked in. We bought lots of pralines for gifts, as well as a few for ourselves.

After that, we headed to the Shops at Canal Place. The anchor store there is Saks. We walked through the mall but didn’t find much of interest. Then we headed up Canal St. And went in a few shops. We stumbled onto a street festival on Royal St. There were tents along the street that were serving food and wine to ticket holders and many of the shops and galleries were open late. We were able to visit many of the galleries that are usually closed by the time we make it to the French Quarter.

We headed to Mr. B’s Bistro for our 8:30 reservation. We were seated right away. Two glasses of ice water were immediately delivered. Within a minute, our waiter was there with the menus and some brief explanations about the soup and catch I’d the day. We ordered the duck and goat cheese spring roll appetizer first. Then Teagan ordered the braised rabbit entree, while I ordered a bowl of gumbo ya-ya and a half dozen fried oysters served on the half shell with Hollandaise sauce.

The spring rolls were very tasty, but nothing spectacular. My gumbo was excellent, although a little light on the chicken and andouille (but since it was from the soup part of the menu, that is probably ok). The fried oyster were very good and went well with the sauce. Teagan’s rabbit dish was very good, although filling. The braising liquid packed a lot of flavor. She especially enjoyed the garlic mashed potatoes served with the dish.

The food at Mr. B’s Bistro was good, but the thing I will remember the most is the outstanding service.  The waiters were very non-intrusive.  They provided service without interrupting us.  Our waters were always filled, the proper utensils were always provided just before the dish arrived, and we never had to ask for anything — it was just there.  Bravo to the wait staff.

After supper, we took a last walk along Bourbon Street. Things were getting pretty lively by that time of night. We bought some decorative beads at one of the shops, then we headed back to the hotel, satisfied that the week had provided us with a good New Orleans experience.

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