Written by Eddie Ferranti
Aug 28, 2008 at 10:47 AM
ImageRosie and I got to visit one of our regular cities recently. “Nawlins” is like an old friend to us. This was our second visit since the devastating hurricane Katrina nailed them in 2005. We’ve been there for sports related visits, multiple festivals and just to get away to blow off steam trips.  But this time had a different twist. What a twist it was!  Thanks to the generosity of Liz Goliwas Bodet, who was a media kingpin at thee event, the two of us were treated top notch. Thee event was the 17th Annual (where have we been?!) New Orleans Wine & Food Experience held in the Superdome.  Thee entire floor of the Superdome was laid out with booths for over 100 Lousiana restaurants and 175 wineries from around the world!  Over a 1000 wines. You walk down the ramp to the floor of the Superdome and you are greeted by 2 huge Mardi Gras type floats of seafood!  Most cool.  They had a replica of Jackson Square in the center to give a nice landmark feel to thee outing.  Even an ice sculpture of a duck…

Band stages were set up in each corner of the Superdome providing live tunes throughout.  The music covered all the bases as far as New Orleans goes, with the blues,  jazz and swampy stuff thrown in. NOW&FE raised over $100,000 to donate to local educational entities and other worthwhile charities, and realize a local economic impact of over $5.4 million in 2007!  God knows the Crescent City needs the help.

ImageThe word from the all the patrons and sponsors to us was that this deal has survived basically without a hitch for years.  I can see why!  Mouth watering food at every turn is truth not fiction.  Easy to get, too.  Thee advance admission of $89 is well worth it for sure.  Wine was easier to sample than the food.  You could stop and converse with the winerie folks or just get a taste with a smile.  Thee attention we as media got was beyond compare. Talk about a red carpet.  The names of restaurants are quite endless and too many to mention over the 2 day visit. One thing for sure-portions were generous at all the places! Here’s some that Rosie & I dug:

-Zoe Restuarant  Jumbo Sea Scallop

-Delgado Culinary Arts  Shrimp & Grits

-Rouses  Andouille Sausage with shrimp & crawfish

-GW Fins Wasabi Crusted Yellowfin Tuna

-Timberlane Country Club  Italian Sausage & sweet peppers

-Semolina’s Bistro Italia   Tuna Ahi Italiano

-The Red Maple  Bread Pudding w/ rum sauce

-Jezz’s Kitchen @ Dorignac’s  Seafood gumbo w/ okra

-New Orleans Ice Cream Company   Chocolate City Ice Cream among others

ImageLike I mentioned, this is just a small bit of all the killer food places at this event.  As far as the wine list goes, it is not possible to mention all the delicious wines we partook in. However there were a few , especially Jenifer Wall and her hubby, from Three Alarm Cellars from California who were most kind to us.  We stuck to trying Cabernets mostly due to the massive amounts of wine to choose from. Barely found one that was not pleasant to the pallet.  Even one of the killer sponsors, Viva Towels, were great! They had booths providing towels to help mop your brow as you sample all the spicy foods and walk the streets of the Big Easy later. They also had wet towels, too!  This event actually starts on Wednesday and has seminars throughout along with frolic and fun on Royal Street, which got washed out this year by Mother Nature…

All in all, this was a fun and rewarding trip that I’m looking forward to already in 2009!  God Bless the great city of New Orleans for showing off their finest culinary delights and helping us discover some fine wines from around the world……………..Until next time, I’m out and about!