Different Passover, and Thinking of Aquitaine

I received an email from Aquitaine in Boston last week, about their pickup Passover seder meal — it was matzoh ball soup, kale crunch salad or smoked whitefish rillette, brisket or coq au vin, a choice of two among whipped yukon potatoes, blistered hericot verts, and maple glazed root vegetables, and coconut macaroons for dessert.

Our own seder this year was obviously very different this year — we facetimed with family, but it was just us, as we didn’t want to take any chances. I keep telling the boys that they are going to have some of the most magnificent stories to tell their children and grandchildren about this short period and how it’s important that we all do our best in keeping everyone well and filling the time with interesting activities so that we can look back on this a pause that we took advantage of in the best ways. There’s plenty of iPad time going on here at home, but we’re doing online courses for new skills and enjoying the downtime as a basis to get more creative. And school.

So while I’m thinking about it, here are some pics of a visit to pretty-pretty Aquitaine with my friend Suzanne, and yes, it was completely delish too.
Aquitaine, Boston MA Aquitaine, Boston MA

Aquitaine, Boston MA Aquitaine, Boston MA

I had the duck presse: duck confit, dijonaise, gruyere, pan au levain. And I could eat that every day of my life and be happy.

Duck Presse: duck confit, dijonaise, gruyere, pan au levain. Aquitaine, Boston MA Duck Presse: duck confit, dijonaise, gruyere, pan au levain. Aquitaine, Boston MA


xoxo!

Pontchartrain Hotel

Behind on some of my magazines, but managed to get back to the Conde Nast Traveler November ’19 issue, and saw that the Pontchartrain Hotel received first place for New Orleans hotels in the Readers’ Choice Awards. The lobby area is small — almost a little jewelry box; the designer is Andrew Alford (who also designs Graduate Hotels).

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

This stay, we got a lovely, sort-of understated suite; I think Andrew put his signature design philosophy hashtag to rest a bit here with the subtle shades and the little Granny nods, though from this Architectural Digest article, that was the intent, as the hotel wanted to sustain the feeling from the earlier days, when long-term guests brought in their own furnishings and tchotchkes if they wished. The softer feel of the rooms is intentional. It was comfortable without being over the top.

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Some suites at other hotels are whatevs but this one, we actually spent time. I wanted to sit on that couch cross-legged and watch tv and flip through magazines just like at home. It was good.

Sidenote: Tennessee Williams worked on A Streetcar Named Desire while staying at the Pontchartrain.

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans
pink bathrobes

Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans
in this closed bathroom cabinet, repro apothecary bottles. Santal 33 was the provided toiletries brand.

Me, at the Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans
oh, hi.


Okay! So supper during this stay was at Jack Rose, the restaurant that replaced Caribbean Room. They went much with a much darker, more luxe look with heavy draping and plush fabrics
Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

I’ll forego description of the dishes here as I don’t see any of this on the current menu — and Jack Rose is definitely the level that’s going to change its menu very, very often. We had one unsuccessful dish, but the rest was quite good — and they continue to get excellent ratings.

Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans Jack Rose, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

Though we didn’t have it on this visit, they’re still serving Caribbean Room’s Mile High Pie (more on that in an upcoming post). And yes, the Ashley Longshore painting of Lil Wayne with a slice is still hanging.

Caribbean Room, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans


Upstairs, the Hot Tin bar

Hot Tin, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans Hot Tin, Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans

and its view of the city.


Can’t exaggerate how much we’re missing going out whenever, wherever, however, and keep promising myself that when we’re free to do it again, I’ll do it more and better and soak it allllll in. I’m taking this as a lesson to live more, feel deeply, appreciate appreciate appreciate. Maybe this pause can be a restorative breather. Sending you lots of love and well wishes. More tomorrow! Carry on! xoxo!