Gulf Coast Seafood Tour – New Orleans, LA to Biloxi, MS
New Orleans is one of those cities that arouses food cravings. My trip began with Shrimp and Deviled Egg Gumbo, with one of the darkest and earthiest rouxs I’ve have ever seen, at Cochon, followed by a quick visit to Café du Monde for beignets and ended with an early morning run for yet another stop at Café du Monde in the French Market. No trip to New Orleans would be complete without these puffy little fried squares of dough served warm and generously topped with a mound of powdered sugar. Eerily quiet that last morning, beignets taste best when seated at this normally boisterous and hectic café while people watching and sipping a Café au lait made with their famous chicory coffee. This is one city where food and flavors are enhanced by a sense of place.
Some of the other highlights of the trip were our dinner at Lüke, the first evening in New Orleans, where native Louisianan, Chef Drake Leonards, pulled out all the stops for our Gulf seafood inspired dinner. Starting with a gorgeous fresh seafood platter featuring Gulf shrimp and oysters, the incredible Cajun inspired feast kept on coming, ending with a barrage of delicious desserts, which included a traditional bread pudding.
The following day we traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi and the surrounding area, where we enjoyed a seafood inspired Southern brunch at the very popular Half Shell Oyster House. This was followed by a boat tour with a local shrimper and then a beautiful seasonally inspired lunch at Vestige, in Ocean Springs.
We had dinner that evening at Cora’s in the historic and elegant White House Hotel in Biloxi. After watching the sun set over the Gulf from the roof deck bar area, this was the perfect way to end the day. This was another impressive dinner, created by Chef Anthony Rametta, once again featuring local Gulf seafood and each was course paired with a lovely wine. The highlight of this meal was something I don’t often find on menus, a beautiful blackened redfish, a specialty of this region.