The stereotype of the broke college student is pretty justified. I’ve never struggled with tuition, but my savings don’t exactly run deep. To make up for my lack of cash I work a couple part-time jobs and any extra spending money I pull from them gets stashed away where I can’t touch it at any bar or festival where the mood strikes me. I’m not saving it for a car or an apartment though; that’s papa’s eating money.
I’m no stranger to the nearby poboy shops and pizza chains, but if I manage to find a date — it’s white-table cloth time. That’s where Rue 127 comes in.
The queen of New Orleans cuisine, Leah Chase, personally recommended it, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
I went on a Tuesday night and was seated immediately. The restaurant itself is a small venue with original art hung on every wall. White tablecloths and small clear vases with a couple flowers decorate each table. For larger groups there’s a main dining room with a window looking into the kitchen, but if you’re trying to play it cool and romance it up they’ve got a small side hall with a couple tables set for two.
The waitress was quick to grab my date and I some drinks. I didn’t linger on their wine and cocktail menus because I knew I needed to keep my wits about me, but their beer menu was more than I could’ve hoped for. It was relatively small compared to most restaurants around the city, but the selection, just like the regular menu, was very deliberate. They had the local classic, Abita Amber, but apart from that I didn’t recognize a thing. Each beer was at a different point of the spectrum: a lager, a porter, a stout, an IPA, and I’m sure each was just as delicious as the Meantime Coffee Porter I ended up with.
I matched this dark-creamy brew with some gumbo. This was the first time I’d seen gumbo served with potato salad instead of rice (horseradish potato salad to be exact), and I have no clue why anyone would do it any other way. It was spicy, creamy and savory and had the best consistency I’ve ever found in any gumbo.
I followed it up with their rabbit pot pie cooked with leeks and radishes and topped with their homemade cornbread. I don’t know if I’ll ever think rabbits are cute again, because apparently they’re way more delicious than they are fluffy. My date picked up the roasted chicken with mac and cheese and brussel sprouts. She loved the chicken, but said the mac and cheese could’ve been cheesier. Then again, that’s how most people feel about pretty much every food.
I personally took care of the brussel sprouts. I’ve never like them before. Ever since I was too small to see over the table without a booster seat brussel sprouts have been known as some horrible stink-weed sent to ruin all food that comes in contact with it, but not these. These brussel sprouts were heaven sent. I have no clue what they were cooked in or why the melted in my mouth like they did, but I can only assume they soaked in unicorn tears: the rarest and most delicious tears.
At this point I’m completely satisfied, but it wouldn’t be a proper date without dessert. My date went with the s’mores brownie. It came out intricately plated with some of the moistest brownies I’ve ever witnessed and globs of toasted marshmallow and graham crackers. I went for the deep-fried cupcakes: crispy balls of devils food cake and frosting dipped in either crème fraiche or nutella and peanut sauce. I don’t think it’s necessary to write about how delicious something called a “deep-fried cupcake” is — so let’s leave it at that.
At about $25 a plate, this is about a once-a-month style restaurant at the most for most college students, myself included, but it’s so worth it.
I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a better date and I attribute that completely to Rue 127 because I definitely blew it. I avoided a goodnight kiss at all costs to let that sweet cupcake flavor linger just a little longer.
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