By Todd Barron @ Foodiecuisine.com
Back in July 2005 my wife and I were visiting New Orleans. There was no way we could have known about Hurricane Katrina, but it did come through, and destroyed large parts of the city. Due to the destruction, and the bad food I had eaten during my visit, I was in no particular hurry to return. This last Spring Break (2012,) I decided to bite the bullet and booked a five-day trip to a hotel in the French Quarter.
As mentioned, the food on my previous trip was all greasy, of low quality, and just didn’t taste good. I know, I know, everyone says “But New Orleans food is great!” This may be true, but everywhere I visited in the French Quarter in 2005 was not so great. This time around I armed myself with Zagat’s guide to New Orleans, several viewings of Urban Spoon, and a cross-reference of everything against Foursquare and Yelp.
Needless to say, my research paid off several times over. Not only did I find one good restaurant but I found several and had a great time. By the end of the trip I was “fooded out” but had enough room for Italian fare and walked down to the Italian Barrel. We had a reservation for two at 6pm and the place was nice and open when we arrived.
The Italian Barrel is small but has outdoor seating to allow more guests. It was raining when we visited; otherwise, outdoors would have been nice. We ordered the Cheese Platter (half order) for our appetizer and I ordered the Filet with Crab Meat for my entree.
The cheese platter was wonderful with each cheese having a different texture and flavor. The appetizer included a few side items to augment the cheese such as fresh honey comb (our favorite.) I’m glad we only ordered the half portion as a whole would have been enough for four people.
My filet came out next and was a bit on the rare side (I ordered it Medium Rare) but was huge. I think they gave me half of the cow given how large the filet was. I got more than my moneys worth and the crab meat on top was tasty as well. Overall we really enjoyed the Italian Barrel and can’t wait for our next visit.