Adolfo’s in the Marigny

This place was my idea and we nearly didn’t eat here because the wait was a supposed hour and forty five minutes long.

An hour and 45 minutes to eat a place where the doorway looks like this

New Orleans, LA

Now I know that sketchy doorways like this hide amazing restaurants all over the world and the overwhelmingly delicious smell of garlic and tomatoes made me pretty sure even the table cloth would be worth eating, but the real reasons we waited were two fold:

1. We couldn’t find another restaurant on Frenchmen’s Street that caught our fancy

2. Adolfo’s is built over a blues bar called the Apple Barrel and nothing mitigates a long wait for a table like cold beer and live music.

New Orleans, LA

So, we put our names on the list, ordered a round of beers and hung out listening to a great blues guitarist. Just as I was about to order a second round, a guy with a clipboard came down the crowded staircase, he hollered a list of names and no one answered but us so we got the table. The whole process took about 30 minutes.

Many of the reviews online gripe about this long waiting list and the rather lackadaisical manner in which the tables are filled so I’ll only offer these pieces of advice: stand near the staircase so you can hear your name, keep checking back with the host/servers to make sure they haven’t crossed you off the list accidentally and keep an eye on the time. After a certain point their kitchen will close and they won’t seat you even if you are on the list.

The food was definitely worth the 30 minute wait. We ordered a variety of things including the oysters pernod

New Orleans, LA

Spinach and oysters in a pernod cream with crusty bread? Sublime. I could have just had this for dinner.

But of course I didn’t.

Adolfo’s ocean sauce gets a lot of love online so I ordered it over the freshest fish they had available, which happened to be amberjack. The sauce is half crab and half shrimp and crawfish.


It was incredible but it bore a striking resemblance to the oysters in ingredients and consistency. For reasons of variety, I probably would have preferred Matt’s smoked pork chop instead.

New Orleans, LA

I wish I’d thought to put a dollar bill or a Volkswagon or something next to that pork chop to give you an idea of the scale. That was one gigantic hunk of meat. Richly flavored and delicious.

Vegetarian options were slim so Ryan had pasta and said it was good but I think that you shouldn’t order pasta if you go to Adolfo’s. You can get good pasta a lot of places and you won’t wait 2 hours to get it.

Adolfo’s is fun. We happily waited for 30 minutes and thought it was worth it. I loved the Apple Barrel and the music and I think every tiny 10 table restaurant should be built over a blues bar to give the waiting patrons an amusing way to pass the time. Would I have been as happy had I actually waited an hour and 45 minutes? Hard to say.

As with most of my NOLA restaurant recommendations, you’ll have a great eating experience if you aren’t in a hurry and you settle in. As another reviewer put it “This isn’t America, it’s New Orleans.” The normal rules don’t apply here.

Three Muses in the Marigny

We all got into New Orleans in the late afternoon and found our way to the house we’d rented only to discover that a house in the Arabi is about as far from the French Quarter/heart of NOLA as you can get and still be within the boundaries of the city. By the time we’d settled in, walked around the neighborhood looking for a grocery store (nope) or convenience store (nope) and caught a taxi into the Marigny, it was 10pm. At 10pm after traveling all day, you don’t choose a dinner place so much as walk into the first place that’s open and still serving food.

Ergo and voila

New Orleans, LA

I’d call this visit a happy accident rather than a focused attempt at finding a quality dinner location.

That said, I’d go back and choose this place for dinner because it’s a tiny place with live music and outstanding food. What more do you want for your first night in New Orleans?

This picture is at least 75% less impressive than the food tasted

New Orleans, LA

That’s beet and spinach bruschetta, mac and cheese, and the remains of what I think was sweet potato gnocchi.

The mac and cheese was so good, we ordered it twice

New Orleans, LA

We also tried the lamb sliders (good) and the feta fries, which were also great so we ordered those twice too.

Traveling makes us hungry.

We finished with ice cream made in house

New Orleans, LA

Don’t ask me the flavors… something sweet and creamy, I’m guessing…

Long travel day, a rental house far away from everything, great food and music found by accident and terrible pictures taken as an afterthought.

Hey, welcome to vacation!

Mimi’s in the Marigny for Tapas

New Orleans, LA

Mimi’s is a tiny little tapas restaurant above a bar with spectacular food and super dim lighting, as you can see from the pictures. We’d tried to eat here our first night in New Orleans but it was too crowded. Fortunately, most of the Mardi Gras tourist crowds had  thinned out by the night of our Progressive Dinner.

We started with a bottle of Chilean sauvignon blanc

New Orleans, LA

Ryan was pretty stoked when he saw the bicycle on the label and thought that boded well, which it did. And then came the question of what to order. Matt was along for the ride and said he’d try anything (which is true since he ate an oyster even though he hated it…), Corey wanted a little adventure and pushed for the mystery tapas entry called “Trust Me”, I wanted to order something interesting and Ryan doesn’t eat meat and doesn’t care for seafood.

Goat cheese croquetas with caramelized onions and honey were an easy choice for everyone

Mimi's in the Marigny

And they were as delicious as they sound. It’s hard to go wrong with fried cheese.

But our next entree was killer (though the picture is much less so): Escargot in a white wine reduction with cream

Mimi's in the Marigny

Normally escargot are tough and chewy like little pencil erasers but I order them anyway because even pencil erasers taste amazing with enough garlic, butter and cream. But these escargot were pillowy and tender, much like portobello mushrooms and the sauce was to die for.

Ryan and Matt both ate and loved them and we scraped every bit of that creamy sauce out of the pan and licked our fingers. Decadent.

At Corey’s request, we ordered the “Trust Me” mystery tapas, which turned out to be fried frog’s legs tossed in buffalo wing sauce.

Mimi's in the Marigny

And the worst blurry picture ever. Sorry bout that…

They were good. Again, I’ve had frog’s legs before and they can be really tough and chewy but these ones were well cooked. The meat has the texture of stringy chicken but actually tastes somewhat like fish, which is a weird contrast to wrap your mind around. In this case the crunchy buffalo wing coating obliterated any hint of that delicate flavor, but it wasn’t a great loss. I liked them. I don’t know that I’d order them again, but it was fun to be surprised.

There were a bunch of other things on that menu I’d have loved to try but we had more restaurants waiting for us. So, after an hour or so, we headed to our next destination. By this point it was about 8:30 and we’d reached the 3 hour mark.

Tomorrow: Course 4 and the only failure