For our last night in the crescent city I booked a table for the Belle of Ballast Point and myself at the historic La Petite Grocery on Magazine Street.
In March of 2004, La Petite Grocery opened its doors in the same building that, almost 100 years earlier, started as a very popular full service grocery store with a barn in back to house delivery carriages and horses.
The carriages and horses are gone, as is the grocery, but La Petite Grocery still exudes the warmth and charm of old New Orleans.
Our reservation was for 6:30 which apparently is early for New Orleans diners, so we had the dining room pretty much to ourselves. Emily was the lovely lass who catered to our every whim.
Our first whim was to enjoy a cocktail called Delayed Departure, a delightful, citrusy concoction that is new to the menu. I believe it consisted of Bols Genever, liqueur de violette and possibly St. Germain with a hint of elderberry flowers. I can't give you a better description, other than to say it was so good we had two each.
While we are on the subject of adult beverages, we requested a bottle of a well structured Greek wine with intense fruit aromas and a pleasant flavor imparted by oak barrel aging to accompany the rest of our meal. The Gai'a Agiorgitiko paired nicely with our appetizers and entrées.
To begin her gastronomic journey, my lovely bride requested the savory beet salad adorned with pickled onions, garden veggies, and goat cheese.
I have never met an octopus that I didn't like or could turn down, and I swooned over my griddled octopus with roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, fried chickpeas and annatto. That octopus was tender and delicious.
I guess I was feeling a little fishy that night, and after several days of heavy food, I chose something a little lighter for my main dish - the grilled grouper with garden veggies. The grouper was moist, flavorful, and flaked nicely when forked. A side of grits rounded out this yummy creation.
For her entrée, my bride ordered the roasted hanger steak with grilled vidalia onions, okra, popcorn rice and bordelaise. The Belle shared some of her steak with me, and it was divine - tender, juicy, and packed with flavor. Looking at this photo, I am tempted to lick the computer screen. The steak was that good.
We had to pass on dessert. After four days of glorious gluttony, we two piglets were stuffed. At this point we were concerned that we might have to pay an over-eaters surcharge on our flight back to Tampa.
La Petite Grocery provided a grand ending to our gastronomic adventures in the crescent city. Our total bill for the evening came to $203.04. We added 20% for Emily.
Editor's note: The Oracle dines anonymously and we pay full price for all that we consume. Restaurants do not buy our reviews.