The New Orleans Saints welcomed cornerback Malcolm Butler to town Wednesday evening as they try to determine what they'd be willing to spend to add him to the defense.That's great that the vibe was good and all. But where did they eat? We don't even know from this who was there. If the team was taking him out, then it was probably Emeril's. The Saints always take people to Emeril's for whatever reason. If it was just a players' thing then it could have been anywhere. (Probably not Jimmy John's but who knows.) Anyway, everyone knows Saints fans are at least as interested in what was for dinner as they are in what the team might be up to. This needs to be revised.
After Butler arrived, he went to dinner with some members of the team, according to a source, though it's unclear exactly who dined with the 27-year-old cover man.
According to an ESPN report, the vibe at dinner was good, and Butler seemed comfortable.
By the way, Menckles and I got a chance to try Altamura last week. This is a relatively new restaurant that opened in the Magnolia Mansion last year. The idea is to do "Northeastern-inspired" Italian-American, as in not the "Creole-Italian" style you find all over New Orleans at places like Vincent's or Irene's or Venezia or in a lot of people's grandma's houses. Instead the model is New Jersey, as the proprietors told Gambit,
Jack Petronella and executive chef Coleman Jernigan have been working on the plan for the Northeastern-inspired Italian restaurant for the better part of three years, since the duo opened their Prytania Street coffee shop together in 2013.So we were curious. But I don't think the sort of place they evoke when they say that aspires to be quite as fancy Altamura does. Certainly it can't be as pricey. The design is described as "retro-chic" but, to us, the medium-bright lighting, plain white tablecloths, and sterile decor just felt like a hotel restaurant. This place is located at the corner of Jackson and Prytania so the crowd was extremely uptown Garden District types. Older couples and a table full of fancy ladies. Lots and lots of unnecessary jackets and pearls everywhere.
The restaurant’s menu is largely inspired by Petronella’s childhood in New Jersey.
“I’m so excited about what we’re doing here,” Petronella said. “We did not reinvent the wheel, but this was about bringing the Northeastern feel that's in every Italian restaurant on every corner in New Jersey and New York.”
The food was OK. The best thing was probably the spiedini mozzarella, which is fried bread and cheese soaked through with anchovy olive oil and capers. I ordered clams casino because nobody serves clams anything in New Orleans for the most part. There was a lobster ravioli that we thought was fine and a veal parm that she didn't like at all. (Too thick a cut. Soft breading that "tastes too much like fried fish.") I don't want to complain too much. It's just that I've paid less for better Italian.
Anyway, I'm sure Malcolm Butler could afford it, although I hope the Saints didn't try and land him by bringing him there.