Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cossaks on Prozac - N'Awlins Style

One of the perks of having those cocktails on the stoop of the Royal Barracks Guest House was that our hostess, Kelly, gave us some tips for restaurants and spots that are patronized more by locals than tourists. After all, there's hopefully more to N'Awlins than just Bourbon Street - at least, one needs to hope so when you hit our age.

We decided to have dinner at one of Kelly's suggestions, just outside of the French Quarter - the Marigny Brasserie on Frenchman Street. Just two blocks out of the eastern edge of the Quarter, Frenchman is known as a local haunt for jazz and music clubs. Some tunes, after throwing back a bit of Cajun or Creole fare, sounded like one heckuva plan.

981. 2010 Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Margaret River - Australia)

The Cape Mentelle was a perfect choice for Margarita's hankering for Sauv Blanc and played to Merlot Boy's bent for Aussie wines. The fact that I have a serious jones for Margaret River didn't come into the equation at all - hardly. I fell hard for Margaret River wines the first time I toured Down Under in 1996. When I returned to Vancouver, it was next to impossible to find any wines from that region. Cape Mentelle was one of the few wineries that had any sort of a presence at all in our market.

It's a little easier to find wines from Western Australia but I still wouldn't say that we have a comprehensive assortment of wines to choose from. I'm quite looking forward to an upcoming visit to Perth (for the first time) next year. I want to try and immerse myself in all things Margaret River. But, for the moment, the Cape Mentelle will just have to be a bit of teaser of things to come.

The big surprise of the night wasn't the wine though. Rather, it was Boo's discovery of Red Velvet Cake. I'd heard of Red Velvet before but I don't think I've ever tried any. I'm a tad surprised that Boo had never had it before though - after all, I believe it's a Southern thing and the boy was raised in the South. All I know is that the cake was a hit and Boo is determined to recreate it at home. Lucky me.

I found the tunes to be an extraordinary find as well. We'd wandered down Frenchman Street and decided on Maison seeing as how Merlot Boy and Margarita had enjoyed a brief visit previously. The unfortunate thing was that our timing was a bit off. The band didn't start until about 45 minutes after we arrived. It was standing room only and our feet were pretty sore from walking all day.

When the show actually got under way, Maison was hopping! I think the band was rather well known in the city because folks were singing and dancing along - and they weren't exactly the easiest lyrics to learn, considering they were in Russian. The band was called Debauche (pronounced "de-bosh"), a.k.a. Russian Mafia Band, and they call their music Punk Rock Hooligan Russian Street Songs. "Cossaks on Prozac" wasn't what we'd expected wandering down a famous New Orleans jazz street. Hardly music to sip wine by - try swilling beer or downing vodka shots - it sure was great fun though.

The feet ultimately gave out for Boo and Margarita though. So, we headed off home at quite the decent hour.

Merlot Boy and I weren't quite ready to give up the ghost though - after all, it was Saturday night in The Big Easy. And Merlot Boy isn't anything if not "easy" - to have some fun on the town with that is. So, we dropped Boo and Margarita off at the guest house and the Boy and I wandered over to the Golden Lantern - the bar just around the corner. As luck wouldn't have it, we just missed the weekly drag show. But a couple of the gals were hanging around for a drink - and nothing seems to entice a drag queen more than an Aussie accent.

I didn't even ask if they had wine at the bar. Something told me that we were better off sticking to the vodka. Once our new friends moved on, Merlot finished his flirt with the "farm boy" of a bartender and we made our way home to get ready for the next day.

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