Adolfo’s Creole-Italian Cuisine – New Orleans, Louisiana

Adolfo’s Creole-Italian Cuisine – New Orleans, Louisiana

The dinner of a lifetime awaits you at Adolfo’s Creole-Italian Cuisine, 611 Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg-Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana; but, oh, the trials we endure in pursuit of culinary perfection. First, be prepared to wait. We were lucky. We dined the night AFTER Mardis Gras, one of the slowest nights of the year, we’re told. Our wait was a single hour and we hear that’s the stuff of legends where Adolfo’s is concerned. The wait on an average night is more like an hour and and a half or, God forbid, two. Inside the Apple Barrel BarExpect to spend your down time in the ground floor bar called the “Apple Barrel”. You’re sure to be blessed with live entertainment at this seedy hole-in-the-wall on just about any ol’ night you inevitably end up waiting on that elusive upstairs table. We were fortunate enough to be entertained by a sweet couple who dare to call themselves “Honky Tonkin’ Donkey”, rockin’ out primo covers of Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell. Hell, yeah. Don’t look for a fully upholstered metal frame chair. Be satisfied with the tattered, greasy wobbler that’s available, and be sure to keep your appetite intact by NOT touching the underside of the table at which you linger. Don’t leave, not even for a second. They’ll surely scream your name obnoxiously only once while you are gone and if you’re not there to hear it, well, tuff crap, Bro. Have fun waitin’ another hour or two. Now that you’ve done your time and you’ve finally been seated, get yourself a hand-washing and have a nice long gander at your environs. Marvel at the full-sized industrial service sink that you’re washing your hands in and try not to notice the two years worth of dust that’s gathered on the pipes along the Honky Tonkin Donkey Guitaristbathroom wall. Return to your table quickly because your waiter’s in a pretty big rush and will definitely give the impression that you ought to have your decisions made when he arrives at the table. Yes, the dude’s in a hurry. You can tell by his shirt, ‘cuz he obviously hasn’t even had time to wash it, or to wipe his steamed up glasses. If you start with wine, be glad the lights are dimmed; you might not notice the thin layer of film that seems to coat most of your glassware, oh, and your utensils too, and the menus and most of the visible counterspace for that matter. Scratch the table by accident and you might be slightly disturbed by what you find under your fingernail. Keep a straight face and don’t let the help know that you’re just a little concerned about the lack of sanitation standards you’re currently witnessing. If they feel insulted you’ll surely be shown the door. Locals will tell you that the house specialties are seafood and pasta, but don’t be stupid: order the Steak Labarca, medium rare or medium, and do it politely. And then finally, at long last, take a megalicious whiff of the insanely, stunningly simple garlic bread preparation that the bespectacled waiter has just dropped at your table, have a bite and there it is. Adolfos Garlic Bread ServiceHeaven. Forget about every health code violation you’ve catalogued in last fifteen minutes and just bask in the completely exquisite deliciosity of the next half-hour which you will later recall being among the best half-hours of your life. Your spinach-heavy house salad will arrive shortly thereafter and will be appropriately drizzled with one of the most unique and understated dressings you’ve ever tasted. Your steak, should you make the wise decision to order it, will be accompanied by an appetizer of spaghetti with a surprisingly spicy marinara so red and fresh tasting you’ll swear it must’ve been hand prepared from the ripest possible tomatoes just moments beforehand. Eat every bite and relish every single morsel, ‘cuz seriously, unless you live in New Orleans, there is a very real possibilty that you will pass before having another meal of this ideal quality. Anticipate your main dish like Adolfos House Salad and Dressingthe Second Coming. Walk hand-in-hand with pure bliss as you savor the ultimate singularity of Adolfo’s unequalled beef preparation: a twelve-or-so ounce, deboned New York Strip absolutely smothered in chopped thyme, chopped garlic and sauteed mushrooms, literally swimming in what must be, like, a single full stick of unsalted butter (see featured photo at top of page). They have the nerve to tell you it’s “Butter Sauce”, but don’t let ’em fool you, kids: they will dump a whole stick of butter on your steak, and if you know what’s good, you’ll love them for it. We kid you not, folks, in four decades of dining out Adolfo’s Steak Labarca is the MOST divinely decadent steak Adolfos Shrimp and Crawfish Pasta with Alfredopreparation we’ve ever eaten. Yep, meat elevated to high art. You’ll find it here. Might as well treat yourself to a few bites of your tablemates Shrimp & Crawfish Pasta with Alfredo while you’re at it, and delight in the freshness of the dish’s ocean critters that taste as if they were harvested from the Gulf that very afternoon. Skip dessert. You’re stuffed. Finish and pay, and give up your table to the deparate Johnny-come-latelies that’ve been coveting your seat since the moment your name was called downstairs. Spend the rest of your evening roaming up and down Frenchmen Street, taking in the indulgent local flavor, wondering how you ever let a little bit of filth lead you to doubt for a second the pure, unquestionable genius of Adolfo’s chef. ~I♥DM

Adolfos Spaghetti with Spicy Marinara


Dale Carlson

Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.

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