I love that Tales of the Cocktail is having their “Kick Off and Theme Unveiling” from 12:30 pm-2pm on a Thursday. Maybe that’s why they have the largest, international cocktail conference/competition here. I mean sure, the cocktail was invented here (which some dispute), but in what other city in America will no one bat an eye at playing hooky from work, and having cocktails before lunch? This year’s theme and poster will be revealed, and there has been promised “an Herbsaint Frappe toast.” Natch. This is all on the steps of the Hotel Monteleone.
After your Frappe, you’re going to need some lunch. Luckily, Green Goddess serves lunch until 4. Green Goddess is a very new and enterprising enterprise, in a teen-tiny space over in Exchange Place. The weather just turned warm and sunny, so they should have the outside tables all set up. I recently had dinner there on a cold evening (so we had to eat inside), and it was one of the most intimate and unique dining experiences I’ve had. First of all, the night chef and principal proprietor Chris DeBarr, personally takes you through every page of the very long menu (of which most is cocktails, actually). He comes off as sort of your eccentric uncle who spent the last twenty years bumming around the world, and then came back with a trunk all stamped up, and full of exotic ingredients and liqueurs, who then decides to open a restaurant. Also, the place is willfully silent, as if to say, “We are here to savor food folks, not dick around.” Also, did I mention that is tiny? I mean, tiny tiny. We sat at the bar, behind which is half the kitchen. So, it’s sort of an open kitchen concept, out of necessity, though. I was going to to say the decor is eclectic, but I don’t think that suffices, it’s more psychedelic.
Anyway, enough about all that. The food is delicious. Sharing the Green Goddess Wedge Salad [radishes, cucumbers, hearts of palm, hearts of romaine, with sieved eggs, crumbled bacon and Romano cheese & Green Goddess dressing, beautifully presented ($10)] would be a good way to start. Then, off of the “Blue Plate Specials” part of the menu, they do Lox & Blini [Gravlox made from Loch Duart Scottish salmon, with truffled corn blini, capers, chevre, cucumber and wasabi tobiko caviar ($15)]. Also of interest is the Louisiana “Bangers & Mash” [Marciante’s duck sausage over mashed sweet potatoes, finished with Steen’s cane syrup ($12). Finish it all off with a Vietnamese coffee and you are restored. Although we really must come back here for a cocktail. Why don’t we do a little tour of fancy cocktail jernts during Tales of the Cocktail?
After our late lunch, let’s continue heading downtown to The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, NOCCA, New Orleans’ own high school for the performing arts. I really hope it’s like Fame over there, everybody singing and dancing down the halls. If it’s not like that, I don’t want to know. Just let me keep my fantasy. Anyway, this evening from 6-8 is the reception for the 2010 Faculty Exhibit. The work looks very good; and you can hobnob with the rich and powerful of New Orleans: school teachers.
Hopefully, there was a little wine and cheese to tide you over while you watch The Pomology of Sweetness and Light over at The Candle Factory in the far reaches of the Bywater. Now, the listing I saw in the Gambit said 2pm Thursday-Saturday, and 8pm on Sunday, but I think they got that wrong. I’m willing to bet it’s 8pm the next few nights and 2 on Sunday. That’s usually how theater schedules go. I caught Pomology during last year’s Fringe Fest, and was blown away by the ambitious undertaking this production is. It’s a dark, Romantic, puppet theater version of legend of Johnny Appleseed (and moreover, the significance of the apple itself), with trapeze and some wonderful video. The theater-making duo Black Forest Fancies, is making some of the most cutting-edge theater in town. Imagine Jan Svankmajar doing historical fiction on stage.