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四处游荡的艾小柯

四处游荡的艾小柯

My Little Travel World


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盛宴天堂——新奥尔良美食指南(九)


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九.        法国大餐

新奥尔良与法国的历史源源说起来可就长了。因为其优良的地理位置与航运便利,这座城市兴建于1718年,当时的主要头头是法国人Jean-Baptiste Bienville。Bienville带领一帮法国人在密西西比河口安了家,最早的新奥尔良老城就是今天河边的法国区。不过法国为了牵制英国在北美的殖民势力扩张于1763年与西班牙签订协议,也不管法国区里哭爹喊娘自以为是的法国人们多么心不甘情不愿,还是把新奥尔良当政治礼物送了出去。后来法国与西班牙爆发战争,西班牙的势力逐步消亡,尤其是拿破轮上台后,西班牙于1801年终于被迫将新奥尔良还给法国。

法国人这下终于扬眉吐气了,可法国区再也不复当年建城时的法国风情。原来在西班牙统治新奥尔良的这40年间,法国区刚好烧了两场大火:1788年和1794年,尤其是1788年这场最为惨重。本来法国区的法国风格建筑都是木制结构,一家不小心半夜着火,火借风势迅速蔓延,再加上各家各户都有弹药火枪,不及时组织人力扑救那整个城市肯定要沦为火海。赶巧的是起火当天是3月21日星期五,基督教耶稣受难的纪念日。本来法国区腹地Jackson Square上的St. Louis Cathedral大教堂的钟声同时是用于火灾警报的,可当时迂腐的神甫就是不干,说要严格依据基督教义不能在神圣礼拜五敲钟。于是大火迅速吞噬了整个新奥尔良,只有一幢修道院幸存,就连宏伟的St. Louis Cathedral也化为灰烬。六年后法国区又着了场大火,彻底磨灭了法国人在新奥尔良的建筑痕迹。结果今天的法国区老房子大多是西班牙建筑风格,不过法国对新奥尔良的长久影响仍然渗透到生活的方方面面,尤其是饮食。

可是正因为法国对新奥尔良的影响有200多年,时间长了,法国饮食习惯与南方本地的原料、烹饪风格结合起来,所以新奥尔良的法国餐馆都是带有南方独特烙印的,也就是说,在新奥尔良吃到的法国菜,很难与卡真和克里欧脱得了干系。新奥尔良最具特色也最贵的法国餐馆们,几乎个个都是法国大餐与克里欧风味相结合,比如前面提到过排名第一的将军宫和Court of Two Sisters。

这些昂贵的法国餐馆们小柯去过的没几个,只能依据本地报纸的一贯评级推荐两家:Peristyle, 1041 Dumaine Street, (504) 593-9535; Rene Bistro, 817 Common St, (504) 412-2580。这两家是众多高档法国餐馆里多年连续入选最佳高档餐厅、最佳法国菜的数家之一,不仅在新奥尔良,就是全国性的美食杂志都曾经做过专题介绍。去这样的地方,一定要提前预约。还有一家已经有160年历史的Antoine’s (713 St. Louis Street, 504-581-4422) 是新奥尔良最古老的餐馆之一。除了大聚餐厅,Antoine’s还有不同名称的小餐厅,装潢奢侈而艳丽堂皇。在这里吃饭,除了品尝著名的Oyster Rockefeller,更重要是体会倒流的时光,追诉永远逝去的辉煌。

Rex Room in Antoine’s

 

介绍新奥尔良的高档法国餐馆,虽然有一家排名不似前面两家靠前,但是名头却绝对响当当,凡是美国人没有不知道的。对啦,说的就是新奥尔良最著名的厨师Emeril Lagasee在本地开设的Emeril’s (800 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-528-9393)。常看美食频道的朋友一定知道Emeril,他有多个自己的烹饪节目,风格轻松随意,还有那句著名的大喊“Bam!”。不看烹饪节目的大概也看过高露洁牙膏的广告,里面那个因为桂皮味新高露洁牙膏的劲道而半夜大喊“Bam!”惊醒整幢楼的人就是他啦。Emeril现在不仅是著名厨师,更开设了自己的烹饪王国,出售菜谱与厨房用具。除了新奥尔良的多家餐馆之外,更在美国最繁华的旅游城市,比如Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami等地开设了一系列Emeril’s餐馆分店。去过Universal Studios主题乐园游览的游客大概都有印象在City Walk看到过这个名号的高档餐厅吧。

新奥尔良这家Emeril’s总店,小柯竟然有幸在几年前与朋友一同去过,至今记忆深刻。这深刻的记忆一方面来自于不菲的价格,让初来美国的我刻骨铭心;另一方面来自于超凡的美味,让刚刚走出中餐的我见了世面。那天我点的是一道烤鸭腿,配以威士忌面包布丁。毫不夸张的说,那只鸭腿是我在美国吃过最美味的鸭子:表皮香脆,里面的肉松软多汁,稍微蘸点威士忌面包布丁的褐色汁液,鸭肉的嫩、威士忌的冲、布丁的甜混合在一起形成一种言语无法描述的香,似乎带着些许酒精的微苦,舌尖转动仔细一品又没有了,只剩下味蕾的激荡与想要立刻再吃的强烈欲望。我们隔壁那一桌子不知是否专门来享受法式甜点的,满满一桌子各式蛋糕、冰激凌、布丁、奶昔饮料,两个穿商务套装的男人正襟危坐在一片眼花缭乱中一小勺一小口的品,让我又怀疑这两个肯定是什么杂志的美食评论家。

Emeril’s in New Orleans

 

如果没有银子去Emeril’s,去餐馆里的酒吧小酌一杯感受一下明星餐厅的气氛也好。当然,城中也有味道又好价格还算能承受得起的法国餐厅,比如花园区的La Crepe Nanou (1410 Robert Street, 504-899-2670)。

这一家同时也是城中最浪漫的几家餐馆之一,不接受预约,一到周末门口就排成长龙。餐馆的氛围非常具有欧洲那种小而暖的特色。小小的方桌挤在长长的走廊,彩色的壁画在昏暗的灯光下变作水彩般氤氲,小小的玻璃烛台里火苗跃动,彼此的面孔也因为火光变得温暖而充满光彩。恋人之间的表白,小柯想不出来更浪漫的所在。

餐如其名,这里最受欢迎的就是法国薄煎饼Crepes。炖蔬菜的,红酒熬牛肉的都价格公道又美味。这里同时还有价位更高些的牛排、鱼等,最好配以品种繁多的法国红酒,将情调推向极至。

说完法国大餐,最后不能不提一提享誉全球的法国点心。法国区腹地617 Ursulines Ave 上的Croissant d’Or Patisserie(504-524-4663)是全城著名的法国糕点店。空气清新的早晨去点一个享有盛誉的杏仁或苹果牛角面包(croissant),喝上一杯香浓的Café Au Lait,然后沿着法国区狭窄又色彩缤纷的街道信步闲逛一圈,看看橱窗里色彩浓重的油画和闪着玄光的水晶吊灯。或者赶个淅沥细雨的中午,点上一个圆圆的火腿蛋奶酪法式咸派(quiche),坐在窗边看游客行人举着花花绿绿的雨伞匆匆而过,看连续不断的水滴是怎么从倾斜屋顶上沿着灰色的瓦片不停坠落,然后一小口一小口把新奥尔良的美丽就着可口的咸派吃进去。而对这个城市的爱情,也就此扎根生长绵延,直到天——长——地——久。

 

  杏仁牛角面包                        火腿蛋奶酪咸派


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June 26th, 2006
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