The one about the expanding waistline

I think I had the best meal since I moved to Louisiana the other night. It was phenomenal. Like, bring-on-the-elastic-waisted-pants phenomenal.

A friend of mine from home was out here on business this week and we had a chance to grab dinner. Because neither of us knew where to go and we were both in the mood to explore, The Wendy asked the concierge at her hotel where he would go if he could only eat at one restaurant in the whole city and his answer was very definitive: Upperline.

So we plugged the address into Lola that’d be my GPS system that I purchased upon arrival– best.investment.ever. Shout out to my favorite Texan and JHart for that recommendation and off we went.

The restaurant was the most warm and inviting place and I live in Naw’lins where hospitality is serious stuff! There were three dining areas and each room was intimate and perfect for chatting. The staff was most welcoming and sent over some delicious specialties of the house, which I can’t remember what exactly it was called but it had shrimp and bacon and I think we all know how I feel about bacon, but I digress.

Upon being seated, we immediately ordered appetizers, which knocked my sock off! Well, heels off, to be more precise. We enjoyed Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Remoulade, which I could have eaten all night long. The Remoulade was outstanding. It had a Creole kick that complimented the tomatoes. We also enjoyed Crispy Louisiana Oysters with Celery Root Remoulade apparently I was in the mood to only dine on items served with remoulade which were also tasty. Yes, I like oysters. In fact, I love them. I love them charbroiled and now fried and with garlic.

And did I mention that we enjoyed wine with our meal? I’m pretty sure this was also one of the best Pinots I have ever tasted. Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir. I know it’s probably not the best wine description but…it was ridiculously good. Since I’m feeling technical: smooth and lots of good cherry flavors, which I like. It kinda reminded me of a cherry fruit leather snack, which I enjoy. I have determined that I appreciate a good bottle of Pinot (this conclusion was made prior to consuming the Domain Serene) but this bottle just made me realize how enjoyable a well-crafted Pinot Noir can be. I happen to know that it’s a very difficult grape to grow so seeing what can be made from such a finicky fruit is actually really amazing.

So right, the meal. Let me preface this by saying I don’t usually do lamb. I haven’t really ever enjoyed it the few times that I’ve had it and my cousin has cursed me because every time I see it on the menu somewhere, I hear her voice describing it as tasting like socks (she really hasn’t had good lamb experiences!)

But I opted for it, seeing as how the other foods I had tried hadn’t let me down. And tah-dah! This lamb did not taste like socks!

It was a Braised Lamb Shank in Burgundy with Saffron Risotto, which I bet you didn’t know, is New Orleanian for freakin’ delicious! The lamb fell off the bone and the risotto was perfect, and this is coming from someone who was a little nervous about the use of saffron! But it didn’t dominate, which I appreciated.

Of course, because I am apparently unhappy with my current wardrobe and want to buy more clothes in a bigger size, I opted for dessert as well. Now, really, if you think about it, I blame the chef at my previous place of employment for my ordering dessert. Because if he didn’t make such a bomb (that means good, for those of you playing at home) bread pudding, I wouldn’t have such a craving for it. And since I cannot enjoy his recipe, I am forced to try it everywhere I go to see if I can find a place in New Orleans that will satisfy my craving. You see how clearly it’s his fault.

And now my search has ended.

I ate the whole darn thing. I would have licked my plate but that may have drawn strange looks from the people around me and I did just move here and don’t want to be the crazy Californian.

So in conclusion, I ate a great meal, had a great visit with a friend from home and now need bigger pants.

Here we are post-meal, mid-food coma:

We are full

We are full

But I wouldn’t mind entertaining more visitors, so consider that an open invite to the Big Easy. My new BFFs at Upperline are expecting me back soon and I really don’t want to eat alone so come visit. Now is good. Does now work for you? Super.

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