and it leads to Fat Wednesday.
Still stuffed from my weekend in Charleston, I continued the food fest Monday night with a six course Mardi Gras dinner at Locanda Verde. I had no business eating such a decadent meal, but I couldn’t pass up an evening of dishes from Locanda’s Andrew Carmeliini & Karen DeMasco and L2O’s Laurent Gras.
It was a good call. Though, two days later, I still feel like a fat cow…with good reason.
The meal kicked off with the tiniest little Shrimp Po’ boys with Red Remoulade, followed by giant bowls of Louisiana Crawfish and Oysters Rockefeller. I must say I’ve been a little over oysters (*gasp*) but these little guys were just the thing I needed to get back on the bandwagon. I’ve been dreaming of them since.
Next up was a Coonass Seafood Gumbo with Popcorn Rice. It’s just plain fun to say the word Coonass and with a little spice, a little funk and a lot of seafood, this dish truly tasted like New Orleans.
After bringing out warm biscuits covered in honey, platters of Blackened Char with a fruity mango slaw were placed in front of us. At this point I felt like I was approaching my wall – and we still had two more courses to go. Though the dish had great flavor, I had to save room for…
…the Pecan Duck with Dirty Rice. I love dirty rice, a love that started early with my first taste of the dish at Bojangles – a southern fast food joint specializing in Cajun food. Rich and creamy with little nuggets of chicken livers, this dirty rice was light years better than the rice I remember from my childhood and may have been my favorite dish of the evening.
The meal began to wind down with DeMasco’s Beignets. Served with lemon curd, chocolate mousse, and a burnt caramel sauce that I wanted to pour straight into my mouth, these perfectly fried little pillows of dough put me close to the edge.
The bowls of Pistachio & Rum Vanilla ice cream, which was honestly the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, did the job of pushing me over. I ate at least three servings – straight out of the communal serving bowl with the communal serving spoon, the last scoop topped with the remaining burnt caramel sauce.
I found a new limit. Now I need to find myself a Weight Watchers meeting!