Pell City Steak House
Pell City AL, 2017.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
in this closed bathroom cabinet, repro apothecary bottles. Santal 33 was the provided toiletries brand.
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
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.
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.
Upstairs, the Hot Tin bar
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!