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Champagne and fries... an interesting combination and the beginning of a fantastic meal at Sylvain in New Orleans' French Quarter. featured post *tasteologie

Champagne and fries... an interesting combination and the beginning of a fantastic meal at Sylvain in New Orleans' French Quarter.

November 15th, 2011

Last weekend's trip to New Orleans hosted by their Convention and Visitors Bureau included a stroll through the French Quarter.  After a fire and the subsequent exchange of the territory to the Spanish following the Seven Years War, the French Quarter is actually rather Spanish in its architecture.  Royal Street, Rue Royale, and Calle Royal are one and the same.  With its narrow streets walking is definitely the way to experience the Quarter and it doubles as a great way to work of some off the rich food which we'd been eating.  It was time for lunch though and we ducked into Sylvain for a bite.

The sights and sounds of the city are unmistakably New Orleans... you are reminded at every turn, every reflection.
The restaurant is in a converted carriage house and offers a back courtyard (another Spanish influence).
Their bar makes a fine Sazerac, that delicious combination of rye, bitters, lemon twist, and an absinthe rinse. It recently received the Sazerac Seal of Approval award at Tales of the Cocktail 2011.
Something on the menu immediately jumped out at me. I couldn't not order the Veuve and fries combination.
While initially surprising the pairing soon started to make sense. The dry champagne helps cut through the richness of the fries. The two give each other room... each occupying a different part of the palate. Together they are nicely balanced and satisfying. It might be my new favorite way to start a meal.
That fantastic opening was soon followed up with a gorgeous beet and goat cheese bruschetta...
... and Sylvain's interpretation of a Po' Boy. The pork, shredded from a shoulder roast, was moist and succulent, making this sandwich a fantastic if slightly dressed up version of the regional classic.
Sylvain creatively plays with one's New Orleans culinary expectations, and definitely stands apart as something different. It holds its own against a delicious sea of fried oysters, shrimp and grits, cajun and creole spices. In New Orleans, with its amazingly rich history, I so often felt pulled between their tradition and their zeal for new development, but Sylvain appears to pull this feat off effortlessly.
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