New Orleans: Dining at Sylvain
After drinks at SoBou, we went to Sylvain for dinner. Before I left L.A. plenty of people offered advice where to eat but when a chef’s wife emails you to tell you to go to Sylvain, it was one of the few suggestions I took to heart. Plus, she was from New Orleans so the advice was doubly as good. Twice as good? Good to the max? Whatever, I went to Sylvain.
We over-ordered but it didn’t matter. I was enjoying the night, the company and eating in the dim courtyard. Any romantic notions of vampires roaming NOLA could easily be applied here. When we got there, we passed through a busy bar. The cocktail list seemingly didn’t matter though ostensibly I was there for Tales of the Cocktail. After a week of drinks, I was ready for wine. My dining companion, a trained sommelier, chose a crisp white with mineral notes. It really went well with our meal.
To start, we got the Southern antipasti (pickles) plate and garlic sausage. Actually, the sausage is considered an entree but I figured it’s a good starter as any. It was juicy and I always like a good kraut.
I was particularly interested in the pickled egg and seasonal vegetables. The antipasti also came with cheese, cured meats and housemade mustard. I may have eaten almost all the pickles and okra myself.
For my meal, I wondered about the pappardelle bolognese or the duck confit. Guess what? We got both. We just had to. When would I come here again? Oh, the next time I’m in NOLA, of course.
The pasta was great though I really wanted other spoons. I asked for a serving spoon and a pasta spoon. I realize I’m not at an Italian place but the server was a bit confounded by the serving spoon request. I suppose not a lot of people eat family style here. But they were very nice and found a rather large spoon from the kitchen for me. Now that’s service.
The duck confit was fall-off-the-bone-good. The meat was so tender and I liked the sides. It came with Vidalia creamed black eyed peas, sprouts and bourbon mustard.
Beef cheeks? Seafood? What else should we try? How about a burger? I was interested in this seemingly simple burger which just came with cheddar and fries. And pickles. But no tomato or lettuce. A classic and I wouldn’t be surprised a staple of the menu.
I was too full for dessert. But on another night, I wouldn’t mind trying the Sylvain Float with Abita root beer, caramel ice cream and a ginger crisp.