Crab Remick, Mile-High Pie, and NOLA restaurant with a view

Published 1:10 am Saturday, December 10, 2016

The renovated Pontchartrain Hotel’s Caribbean Room re-opened this year and we had been getting recommendations to especially go check out the Hot Tin Bar on the roof. So I decided to pre-celebrate my husband’s birthday at the jacket-required Caribbean Room and have drinks on the roof pre-dinner.

The Pontchartrain was built on New Orleans’ St. Charles Avenue in 1927 as a luxury apartment building. There were problems with the stock market crash. These were solved when in 1949 the space became a luxury hotel. The owner thought a great hotel needed a great restaurant and he created the Caribbean Room. Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Rita Hayworth, Presidents Ford and Bush stayed there. Tennessee Williams wrote ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ while living there.

Back in the 1970s when we first visited New Orleans, we ate at the Caribbean Room along with other great eating places in New Orleans. I have to admit I don’t remember it, not like I remember the first visit to Antoine’s. That’s another story.

The place fell on hard times and the restaurant closed several years ago. It re-opened this past June. The AJ Capital Partners bought the property with real estate developer Cooper Manning (eldest son of quarterback Archie Manning) being the local face of the owners. The James Beard award-winning chef John Besh brought back the restaurants and bars with Chef Chris Lusk heading the Caribbean Room. We didn’t get to check out the Bayou Bar where in 1967 the deal was signed to create the New Orleans Saints. Next visit.

We began our visit for cocktails at the Hot Tin Bar. My husband, of course, had his favorite New Orleans drink, the Sazarac. We took the drinks to the terrace to check out the night time skyline of the Big Easy and the Crescent City Connection. It was windy and chilly and we headed back inside to finish our drinks. I think summertime would be a good time to relax on the terrace, especially at sunset.

In the dining room we decided to have one of their special cocktails, a duck fat infused Sazarac—-another Sazarac. It was just a bit smoother than the usual. I had the crispy oysters for a starter and my husband had their signature Crab Meat Remick. I then had their duck which was excellent. My husband continued with another old standard, Snapper Pontchartrain with hollandaise, crab and wild mushrooms. We ended with their famous Mile High Pie and they presented my husband with a lit sparkler topped chocolate brioche in celebration of his birthday.

Crabmeat Remick originated at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1920, named in honor of the then president of the stock exchange, William Remick. It was a signature dish of the old Caribbean Room and even Emeril has his version at his Delmonico’s in New Orleans. This recipe for Crab Meat Remick comes from The New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook I have from 1967.


Crabmeat Remick

1 pound lump crabmeat

6 strips crisp bacon

1 scant teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

½ cup chili sauce

1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar

1 ½ cups mayonnaise

Divide crabmeat into six portions and pile into individual ramekins. Heat in 400°oven and top with strips of crisp bacon. Blend together mustard, paprika, celery salt, and Tabasco sauce. Add chili sauce and vinegar, mix well, blend with mayonnaise. Spread the warm crabmeat with this sauce and glaze under the broiler flame.

Serves 6.


And here is the recipe for the decadent Mile High Pie dessert. It will put you over the edge if not careful. It is taken from the cookbook Cooking Up a Storm, published in the ‘Times-Picayune’ in February, 2014.


The Pontchartrain Hotel’s Mile High Pie

Serves 10-12


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water


1 ½ pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

1 ½ pints chocolate ice cream, slightly softened

½ pint strawberry, slightly softened

½ pint peppermint ice cream, slightly softened


8 large egg whites

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows)

For crust: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry cutter or two knives until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over the flour mixture and gently toss with a fork. Repeat until all flour is slightly moistened. Form into a ball and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Fit loosely in a 9-inch pie pan. Prick the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.

For the filling: Layer the vanilla ice cream on the bottom of the cooled pie shell, and in layers add remaining flavors. Place the pie in the freezer while you make the meringue.

If necessary, adjust racks inside your oven in order to put the pie under the broiler, because the pie will be very tall. Preheat the broiler.

For the meringue: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy and the sugar is dissolved. Spread the meringue over the ice cream, sealing it to the edges of the pastry.

Carefully move the pie to the oven and broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute to brown the meringue. Freeze the pie for several hours or overnight. Cut into wedges and drizzle some chocolate sauce over each serving.


Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

2 (1-ounce) squares German sweet chocolate

2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

½ cup sugar

½ cup heavy cream

In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolate with sugar and ¼ cup of the cream, stirring until well-blended and thick. Add as much of the remaining cream as necessary to achieve a pourable consistency.