Amidst the fallen trees and chaos, there is hot boudin being served (again).
Seven years ago, Herbsaint was the first fine dining restaurant to reopen after Huricane Katrina. The day the city had potable water, Donald Link and his staff were serving duck confit and Champagne to diners eager for food (other than the street cart hamburgers being served by rescue crews), community–and a sense of normalcy. The chef and his staff made the same commitment today, when Herbsaint, Cochon, and Cochon Butcher were among the first to open their doors for lunch and dinner service. Although the restaurants have back up generators for their coolers, all three were running on city power.
“We could have waited until tomorrow,” said Link, “but it’s nice to see people come into the air conditioning, when they’re hot and tired from not sleeping in their un-airconditioned houses, and relax and get back to their regular lives by eating and drinking well.”
While 90% of the city remains without power, The French Quarter and much of the Warehouse District are blinking back to life. “There are a lot of down trees, but it’s nothing like Katrina,” said restaurant publicist Liz Goliwas Bodet. “It’s just a regular old hurricane, which we haven’t had for a while. You know what it’s like when you step on an ant pile and all the ants go nuts? That’s what the city feels like.”
The official Isaac Update website for the New Orleans CVB is sending the message that the city is open, but call to reconfirm reservations with airlines and hotels and attractions, just in case, because Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is still closed due to power issues (it’s slated to reopen tomorrow).
Have your travels been affected by Isaac?