All food and drink featured in this post were offered to me free of charge. I was not compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
A few nights ago I was given the opportunity to join several other bloggers for a delicious dining experience at NOLA Oyster Bar in South Norwalk, located just below the train tracks and in the hopping center of “SONO.”
Upon arrival to the restaurant I gathered with the other bloggers before being brought to our seat. I also ran into Maria getting dinner and drinks with her friend.
Once seated I ordered my first cocktail of the evening which was their Leenie’s Lemonade which was hanger 1 blueberry vodka, fresh muddled mint and lemon. This drink certainly had my name written all over it. I don’t like overly sweet drinks that are pumped with soda or juice.
I sat with Anatoli from talk-a-vino and his wife, Cristina and her fiance Jeff from Cooking with Cristina and Jeff (fun fact my Jeff went to college with Cristina and as soon as they walked in I was excited to introduce myself), and Jenn from That’s so Jenn: Confessions of a Foodie. All of whom were incredible company!
It really wasn’t bad as my face made it seem! It was actually pretty good and the oyster went straight down. You could really taste the peppar vodka thats for sure!
After that it was time for some food! The chef prides himself on taking New England seafood dishes and putting a southern twist to them.
First up the CPA Braised Mussels: smoked ham broth, chipotle butter, toast
These mussels were divine and had I payed more attention to the description I may not have tried them do to the ham broth. Everyone raved about these and commented on how they wanted to lick the bowl clean.
Fried Brussels Sprouts: bacon, maple, cider vinegar and pistachio.
I obviously needed to have these and picked around the bacon. While people were knocking these for being fried I thoroughly enjoyed them. They were extra crispy just the way I like brussels to be! I love the flavor the maple gave to them.
Crab and Artichoke fondue: bacon, smoked gouda, sriracha and crackers
I will be honest, I didn’t try this dish. I figured it would be impossible to pick around the bacon. Everyone else seemed to like it, a few people mentioned it being very rich.
Cornmeal fried oysters and braised pork: creamed spinah, pearl onion jam, aleppo chili flakes.
Again this was another dish I had to pick around but it was easy to grab an oyster without getting any ham in the way. I enjoyed the oysters and thought the cornmeal gave it excellent flavor.
Somewhere in the evening I tried a glass of the dry Moscatel recommended to me by the vino expert himself! I will tell you one thing he did not steer me wrong. This wine was exactly like a sauvignon blanc and just the way I like it to be! It paired very nicely with all the seafood.
Poached lobster & Cornbread Waffles: butter poached lobster, griddle scallions, queso fresco.
This was by far my favorite dish of the evening. It also won bonus points because there was zero bacon involved. But this dish was incredible, it was so rich and the the cornmeal waffle was insanely delicious and soaked up all the broth nicely. Everyone kept saying they wished it had some heat to it and I could agree, it would have been tasty with some jalapeno pieces inside the cornbread waffle. I also mentioned that with the richness of the lobster and sweetness of the waffle it could have been a dessert. Although it would be weird to order lobster for dessert this would totally be the exception.
Blackened Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice: soy, sprouts, egg, scallions, sesame
Time to pick around more pork. The shrimp in this dish was delicious, the chef really knew how to do blackened the right way.
While this may all look like a TON of food each dish was shared between the 6 of us allowing everyone to get a decent taste and still have room to try other things. And as if we hadn’t gotten to taste enough delicious things they brought us dessert…
The chocolate lover in me died and went to heaven over the chocolate and peanut butter dessert! I could have eaten that whole thing to myself. I would have felt miserable after, but it might have been worth it ;).
All in all the food and service were great. I would have liked a few meals without some sort of pork but hey at least they were easy for me to maneuver around.
The company was great, it was so fun to sit at a table with people who knew that pictures needed to be taken before anyone could dive into the dish.
When was the last time you had southern food with a twist?
Where was the last place you went out to eat?
Would you ever try an oyster shooter like the one above?