This Thanksgiving, the JohnnyCakes and I decided to skip all the Whose-Family-Gets-To-Feed-Us-First drama, so we went to New Orleans!

For our Thanksgiving dinner, we ate at the fantabulous M Bistro  at the Ritz Carlton in new Orleans.  I took pictures.  It was AMAZING!

Amouse Bouche:

Escargot Croquet Madame

with organic quail egg and gruyere cheese

It was DIVINE.  It was like a tiny little escargot lasagna…  Made with toast instead of pasta.  But totally yumtastic.

First course:

Acorn Squash Bisque

with sultana marshmallow and pumpkin toast

This is seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long, long time.  It had MARSHMALLOWS!!!!  How can you not like anything that has marshmallows in it???   This soup was sweet, creamy, marshmallowy, and the pumpkin toast croutons gave it a nice kick of texture.  I’ve asked the chef for the recipe.  Crossing my fingers in hopes that he provides…

Second Course:

Shrimp stuffed Mirliton

with warm andouille remoulade


My first question for the waiter was, “What the heck is a mirliton???”  And you know what?  He didn’t know either!  (That’s why he gave me the food and drink manager’s business card!  So that I could get the recipe from him!  Ha!)

So thanks to, I have found out what a mirliton is.  Ready?


(It’s a chayote squash.)

So anyway, this was basically a peeled, cooked half of a chayote squash, stuffed with chopped shrimp and something resembling mayonnaise, covered with panko (I think) and browned on top.

It was pretty good.  A little too mayonaissey, but not unlike your average shrimp salad stuffed into a squash shell.

Note to Waitstaff: KNOW YOUR FOOD.  Ugh.

Third Course:

Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib

with twice-baked potato, shiitake-green bean casserole, and bone marrow espagnole


Johnny opted for the standard turkey breast dinner with the standard accoutrements, but I decided to get something a little different.

The prime rib was perfectly cooked, the potatoes were light and airy, and the green bean casserole was KILLER.  I’m SO glad I didn’t get the turkey!

Fourth Course:

White Chocolate Spiced Apple Mousse

with carmelized bourbon apples and chocolate-hazelnut sorbet

I didn’t much care for the dessert, honestly.  The mousse was more like stale pudding, and although the crust added some interesting flavor and texture (it was like a soft granola bar with bourbon), the chocolate sorbet kind of ruined it.  It was WAY too chocolatey, and it didn’t really complement the apple flavors at all.

Fifth Course:

Seasonal chocolate truffles

There were six of these suckers.  And in other fine dining establishments that I’ve visited, the waiter at least TELLS you what flavors the truffles are when he puts them on your table.  At Stephan Pyles, there was a lavender one, a peanut butter (I think) one, and “the chef’s take on an Oreo cookie.”  See?  I still remember!

So waitstaff, when you hurl a plate of random truffles at a customer, PLEASE tell them what the flavors are supposed to be!

Johnny and I resorted to biting into each one and leaving a bunch of uneaten truffle halves on the plate.

Just sayin’.

But all in all, this was an AMAZING dinner, and if you are ever in New Orleans, go to M Bistro!  It’s well worth the trip!