Acadia LogoAfter the fiasco that constituted Meiji-En, I was more than a bit nervous to get Restaurant Roulette back on the right track. My only blessing from Meiji-En was the fact that the majority of people who had attended that protracted, impacted, and not at all compacted ordeal had been regulars, people who know that the dinners usually didn’t go THAT badly. Acadia was to be a new beast, however, nine newcomers were on the roster, and if nine new people were to be given a bad impression first go round, it would surely lead me back to the world of advertising for people to eat dinner with yet again. Over the two weeks after the RSVP went out, the list of RSVPees dwindled from the original 18 to the 13 that eventually showed up at Acadia, seven of these being new faces. So thanks to newcomers Julia, Erica, Larry, David, Bev., Pat and Regis for joining us in this evening of New Orleans style eating and conversational adventure.

I made the reservations at Acadia quite a bit in advance this time, as it was Mardi Gras, and Valentine’s week, and lots of newcomers had said they wanted to come. With the original 18 people committed, I knew two tables would be necessary, and I made two separate reservations. Since this was going to make things very difficult with so many new faces, I commissioned famous blog-mistress and all around good person Marnie to be my second table hostess and to write a review from the alternate table. Luckily, when “only” 13 people ended up showing at Acadia, we managed to squeeze into one table taking up an entire wall. Fortunately I still had Marnie to “man” the South end of the table and write her review, since from my vantage point I had no idea what was going on down there, except for much laughter and oyster gulping.

Here’s Marnie’s review, from her Acadia South viewpoint. Below that, you will find my impressions of what was going on, and being ordered, at the North end of Acadia. Dig In. (more…)

Roux logoRoux had a surprising amount of empty but waiting tables when we arrived for our reservation at 7:00, but seemed nearly full when our dinner concluded about 8:45. Must be one of those late happening kind of fine dining establishments. Nice airy open feeling in main Killingsworth side dining room, with attractive dark wood booths in westside dining area. Service was very friendly and knowledgable on both food items and drinks, steering us away from several of the colorfully named but more severe tasting cocktails. Two of us had a gin and anise concoction called an Obituary, which frankly made many details of the rest of the evening hard to remember. Featured food selections at our table included Salmon cooked somehow or other (sorry, blame it on the Obituary,) served with lots of nice looking sauted carrots, Crawfish Pie, which I was told was excellent, and rabbit tenderloins stuffed with Andouille sausage which I was told was delicious, but rather a small portion. (Perhaps the rabbit outran the chef?) A more generous portion was the delicious grilled flat iron steak topped with gorgonzola and shallots (??,) a delicate little frize salad with tiny tomatoes, and two delicious little stuffed potato halves very spicy from cayenne but flavorful from pancetta and cheese. The side dishes of Blue Lake green beans were perfectly prepared, but the collard greens were lacking zip, as they often do. The desserts included peach cobbler, an excellent marionberry triffle, and some cute little beignents with caramel sauce that someone lost their tooth over (only a temporary one luckily.) In my opinion, a very successful experience, but that’s not surprising, as Roux has quickly become one of my top five restaurants.

(Incidently, if you were at Roux and I mangled your dinner selection too badly, you can tell me what it was you really had. Like I said earlier, that Obituary kind of wiped-out certain precise details of my memory.)