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Commanders Palace

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I got back Sunday evening from 4 days in New Orleans. What a town Myself and my 5 friends (chefs) had our dinner at Commanders Palace. It's a classic Victorian, pretty but not to over the top (compared with other aspects of N.O). We we're greeted with sincere southern hospitality, thanks to Ella Brennan who was on site and dining that evening. To reach our table we we're escorted through the kitchen, which we all enjoyed as the line was pumping and you could sense the electricity that only cooks can understand. Then we went through a courtyard to reach our table in a elegant dining room.

We all decided on the tasting menu which they call "The Chef's Playground" 8 courses for $85 and with the wine pairing for an additional $35. We opted for the food and wine menu.We started with an amuse of Menage A Foie.

"Pan roasted "A" Foie Gras- "Gingersnap" bread pudding and sherry marinated foie gras ice cream with preserved Louisiana figs and spiced pecans.

I found the Foie tepid which made it dull with the foie ice cream which was overly sweet and did not have a noticeable flavor of the liver and it was served in a tuile that also was to sweet and to thick in texture. The pecans were just strewn on the plate with no purpose. the best part of the amuse was the fig.

Our first course was scallops and caviar.
Hackleback, Choupique and steelhead trout caviars with cucumber ribbons, bronzed fennel and charred key lime vinaigrette.

"wine, Commanders Palace cuvee, brut 1999" (Iron horse) The scallops were decent, but nothing to speak of, to cold so they lacked any sweetness inherent to a good scallop. They we're however cooked very well. The caviars I think made more of a color statement than a flavor statement. The cucumbers and fennel was nice.

Second course
Lobster Thermidor Ravioli.
Lobster-Fleur de teche cheese ravioli with fire roasted lobster bisque.
Wine,Kim Crawford, Sauvignon blanc, New Zealand 2004

The ravioli was sweet and plump with a very well made thin pasta shell. The accompanying bisque was deep in lobster flavor with a fine velvety nape.

The wine sucked with this dish. To minerally and light on body to make any dent or marriage with the rich rav and bisque. It just dried everything out.

Third course
Black Angus beef and Oysters
Prime beef carpaccio, corn fried oysters and smoked tomato-horseradish vinaigrette.
Berger, Gruner Veltlner, Austria, 2003
Ok, The beef was charred, excellent flavor but not a carpaccio, the oyster we're gulf raised and very creamy and a perfect cornmeal crust. all was stacked on micro greens with the vinaigrette drizzled around, but little salpicons of fresh horseradish killed any chance of the Gruner to say hello.

"Coup de Milieu"
Blood orange tequila sunrise.

Nice presentation, but made no sense in it's conception, sweet and no acid.

Next came the Citrus glazed yellow fin tuna
Citron Fleur de sel, baby bok choy and black trumpet mushrooms (did not see any) with a meyer lemon glaze.
Wine Stephan Vincent Pinot Noir, Monteray County 2003
I have no clue why this wine was chosen for this course, all I can say is it was like drinking orange juice right after you brushed your teeth, scary combo. The wine was weak with little body and the Meyer lemon glazed (which was good) sucked all the life out of the Pinot. The tuna was sweet and meaty and properly cooked but thats all I can say about that dish. I'm happy I don't play baseball for a living because I would struck out and be benched by now.

Next was the Cypress smoked Muscovy duck breast breast
Folie a Deux. Zinfandel blend 2003.
Five bean cassoulet croquette, Winter celery confit, sunny side up Quail egg and duck liver financiere.

This was the best plate and wine pairing of the evening, yet cassoulet croquette and celery confit left a little to be desired as far as concept goes (just keep things real)the duck was well cooked medium rare and sliced thin. The liver financiere was warm and creamy and the wine s soft jam and black pepper spice worked well (or better than all the rest) with the dish.

Brescianella cheese
Wine, Marco Negri, Moscato d' asti

Toasted almond fig croustade, wild cipollini onions, ruby port glaze and pepperdoux spiced pecans.

Palette fatigue because nothing had assemblage in this menu and dish. (I wanted to go out and just eat oysters somewhere )

Vanilla bean custard and Atchafalaya basin honey
Warre's Warrior Port.
What can I say, Port with custard and honey?

Chef Tory Mcphail tries hard, but comes up short in to many components and the new "Wine guy" as they call "Her" is from Seattle and has a long way to go to understand this type of cuisine.

So, I had a good time eating and drinking with my friends, but I cannot recommend with good conscience Commanders Palace. To Many laurels resting about.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #2 of 7
A lot of funny commentary there, cc, and I had a similar experience at Commander's.

My two favorite quotes from your review:

"The wine sucked with this dish"


"I wanted to...eat oysters somewhere"

I'm curious how the service was. The night we ate there, one waitress was talking about her personal life incessantly, and doing a tableside flambe that was embarrassing to watch!

...Makes you wonder how this place gets it's name...

Glad to have you back, and thanks for the review.
post #3 of 7
Mich, funny you should say this! That is exactly what I thought when I read it as well. Not a line you would expect to hear from Brad :D .

That was a great review. To be honest when I first started reading it I was wishing I was eating there as it does have quite the rep. When you said you had "The Chef's Playground", I thought that odd that a restaurant that I thought anyway was a bastion of classic Cajun cooking would have something like that. After reading your review my suspicions were confirmed. The dishes, again, to me, seemed out of place and like many seemed to be trying too hard.
It was an entertaining read still so thanks! :)
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
You know sometimes a food and wine pairing is so off there's no other way to say it. We had the ear of the sommelier all night and I found her very sweet, but a bit out of her area of expertise. The service was actually very good. We had a young female server who was on top of her game and well versed in the menu composition.Momoreg, did you party on Bourbon street when you we're down their? All I can say is "OH MY GOD" :cool: ;) :beer:
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #5 of 7
I was pregnant at the time, unfortunately, so there wasn't very much partying going on, but I did enjoy Bourbon St very much.
post #6 of 7
I was down there a year ago. I didn't do much partying either (not my scene), but I did walked on Burbon St during the nights. Its something that definatly leaves you speachless much like how you worded your experiance at the Commander's Palace. I found myself suprised, that establishment has a world wide reputation for being reputable, unless the critics were either paid to say it or didn't know the difference between chicken and beef.

Interesting to hear a chef's POV. Great reading, thx Cape.
post #7 of 7
I missed this thread.....Commanders was great in the late 70's early 80's.....
Paul Prodhomme and early Emeril I believe....after that it just never thrilled me....the white choc bread pudding souffle was tooth achingly rich, and it was downhill from there.

There are so many places that have weathered time better, Bayona's has been around for over 15 years probably closer to 20 and it's still deadon. The flavors sing, the presentation is there, the desserts are some of the best most creative anywhere. Service is even very good....

Mother's.....if it survived was always a stalwart, you could count on the timeless food....black ham and biscuit with creole mustard,what a breakfast!
ferdi's for lunch....it's really cool that they have "debris" added to sliced meat sandwich. debris are the bits/shreds that are left after slicing the roastbeef, they put it in gravy and spoon it on your sandwich or over your grits. It's a beautiful thing, for the life of me I can't figure out why it's not caught on all over the country.

Ugelisch's again family owned and still after decades wonderful. This is a cooks cook.....when you ask chefs/caterers in STL where to go in NO they may reel off a few of the hot places but they ALWAYS say, "you can't miss Ugelischs".

Camellia Grill, Cafe du Monde....there are so many.....and after the last trip where I hung out and ate for 5 days there were so many newer places I didn't get to....Stellas for one.

Most of the time I would say follow the chefs not the establishments....but in the above cases they are institutions albeit with owners still around but they were going strong after decades. Hope they are alive and well.
Mardi Gras is in Feb. this year 2006.....
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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