The evening featured a critique of Long Day’s Journey into Night, which the family had attended. Lucey thought the younger son, the Eugene O’Neill character, lacked the theatrical heft required for the part but agreed that Jessica Lange was brilliant.
The conversation occurred at Gentilly Kitchen and Bar, a New Orleans themed place about five blocks from the hotel. Our timing was perfect as it began to sprinkle on the walk over and was pouring not long after we settled in.
The drinks and appetizers could have been enough – there were sazeracs, fizzes, and a variation on a hurricane. Some of us shared a bottle (or two) of Prosecco. Our young waitress appeared intimidated by waiting on twelve people but kept things moving: crawfish and corn filled beignets (light on the crawfish and corn, heavy on the beignet), excellent fried green tomatoes with soft cheese and mesclun, gumbo (did not try because of the andouille), frog leg (did not try), beet salad, (ok). Things got confused as apps morphed into entrées, which included indifferent mac and cheese, more gumbo, low country boil (not strictly a NoLa dish that I didn’t try because of the clams). Everyone received their selections except me. I ordered salmon cooked rare. It arrived on the verge of overdone but still flavorful, accompanied by delightful pea shoots and fresh peas. along with pimiento grits. The latter were just as bland as the plain version.
The evening concluded with more fabulous and insightful conversation on the patio at the hotel.