Posts Tagged With: Brigtsen’s

Top 10 Things We Ate in New Orleans

Peche Crawfish Capellini“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Everywhere else is Cleveland.” ― Tennessee Williams

Having been to New Orleans, and San Francisco, while living in NYC, I’m starting to believe it.  He was talking about food, right?  I believe so.  As I’ve said before, I always compare the excitement of going to NOLA to that of Italy.  Amazing, in a way somewhat foreign cuisine in one heck of a unique setting.  Without further ado, here are our top NOLA bites during a recent trip.

(Note:  For the Dessert list, click here)

BBQ Shrimp at Bevi – I’ll start with the no-brainer.  Perhaps our top eat came from a little shack in Metairie about 30 minutes out from the quarter, close to the airport.  We came for the Crawfish boil and got that and so much more.  Huge, plump fresh perfectly cooked head-on gulf shrimp complimented by what I can only describe as Sauce of Dreams.  Or maybe it was the beer talking, as in Canebrake beer, the sauce main ingredient.  Move over Mr B’s, and say hello to Mr B!

Bevi BBQ Shrimp

Savory Bread Pudding at Atchafalaya – Funny how this trip turned out.  After eating our way through eight sweet Bread Puddings on the previous trip and therefore aiming for more of the same this time, it was actually a savory one that won top marks.  Filled with Mushroom, Sundried tomatoes and topped with tomato sauce, this was addictive stuff to say the least. A joy with every morsel at this popular neighborhood brunch spot.  Bonus:  Try the Eggs Atchafalaya and Shrimp and Grits

Atchafalaya - Bread Pudding

Blue Crab Beignets at La Petite Grocery – This is an absolute must at LPG.  Those little suckers are packed with fresh crab and explosive flavors.  For my TCI readers these are like Conch Fritters on crack!  Bonus:  Get the Ricotta Dumplings, Hand-Made Spaghetti and Turtle Bolognese

La Petite Grocery Blue Crab Beignets

Chargrilled Oysters at Felix’s – Last trip we enjoyed them at Drago’s who invented the Chargrilled Oysters, but now we have a new favorite looks like.   They are not as cheesey and buttery at Felix’s but lightly breaded, some lemon, oil and a little bit of cheese just enough to bring out the flavors of the oysters without overpowering.

Felix's Chargrilled Boilers

Gnocchi Bolognese at Herbsaint.  So much for the “Lets avoid all things Italian since we enjoy great Italian where we live and in Italy” —  We not only managed to eat a lot of interesting pastas pretty much daily, but somehow 3 Bolognese dishes.  Expertly done pillowy goodness with a fine lamb ragu.  But the thing that took it to another level was the herby notes from the Mint Gremolata.  Get this.  Bonus:  Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Egg,  Lamb Neck.  Pastas here are superb

Herbsaint Gnocchi

Whole Grilled Redfish at Peche – Another no brainer.  This one is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated dishes in town.  Expertly cooked Redfish, perfectly complimented with first-rate minty oily Salsa Verde.  You dont mess around too much with greatness.  This little guy can easily be shared by 3, 4 at this multiple James Beard award recipient.  Bonus:  Crawfish Pasta (Top Picture) and too many to mention.  Read the post

Peche Whole Redfish

BBQ Shrimp at Mr B’s – Yes, two BBQ Shrimp dishes on the list this time, which prompted to ask on Chowhound where can I get this in NYC.  No replies so far and its been at least 5 minutes!  This thing was our top eat last time and the only repeater on the list.  If you cant get to Metairie, or even if you can, get this!

Mr B's BBQ Shrimp

Beef Cheeks at Sylvain – If you never had beefy cheeks, you are in for a treat!  Beef doesnt get any more tender and juicy than this, without getting all soft and mushy.  Especially love the supporting cast here of potato purée and field peas.  PS. New Yorkers,  try Bar Bolonat’s Tagine for more cheeky goodness.  Bonus:  Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Chick-Syl-vain Sandwich

Sylvain - Beef Cheeks

Seafood Platter (aka the “Shell Beach Diet”) at Brigtsen’s.  Six different items on the plate including a great Drum Amandine with plenty of almond action, two different baked oysters, a terrific smoky shrimp jalapeño cornbread (really liked this) and shrimp coleslaw.  The only thing I didn’t care for is the Why-So-Sweet scallop but what a fantastic jam-packed plate. Bonus: Crawfish Shortcake, Paneed Rabbit, Pecan Pie

Brigtsen's Seafood Platter

Beignets at Café Du Monde – Yes, this is a cliché I know.  But considering we ate Beignets every single morning I have no choice but give credit where credit is due.  Just edging out Café Beignet, these Beignets were consistently great.  Nice texture, not too daughy, not too airy, just perfectly executed Beignets.  The lines for a table move quick, and don’t forget to look inside for the best views of the action and history

NOLA 2014 460

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5 NOLA Desserts to Target

Banana Brown Butter Tart at Herbsaint.  So good we have to have it on every trip.  Rhonda Ruckman the young looking pastry chef is reaching legendary status according to various blogs/publications.  Add their terrific homemade vanilla ice cream and call me in the morning.  (Its just an expression – dont call me) Herbsaint Banana Butter tart

Butterscotch Pudding at La Petite Grocery.  We tried a few desserts at La Petite Grocery and the least exciting dessert prevailed over the others.  Truly delectableLa Petite Grocery Butterscotch Pudding

Pecan Pie at Brigtsen’s.  I love love Pecan Pie, and this was probably the best I’ve had.  The pecans are cut so fine that when they fill the top layer it results in a crunchy cookie like texture.  And the inside isn’t as jelly like and gooey as you find in your ordinary pecan piesBrigtsen's Pecan Pie

Pineapple Rum Cake with Dulce de leche Ice Cream at Peche.  There goes that Rhonda Ruckman again.  Far from your ordinary soggy rum cake Peche Rum Cake

White Chocolate Bread Pudding at GW Fins.   We’ve had some amazing bread pudding in NOLA from the great Cherry Jubilee at SoBou to the funky Krispy Kreme at Boucherie, to the classics of Mr B’s and Commander’s Palace.  But GW’s prevailed and not so much for the white chocolate, but the use of the dark stuff (chocolate) that did it for me

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

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Brigtsen’s – Eating Well, Spelling Pourly

Brigtsen's Pecan PieHow did we function before Google?  How did you go about reserving at a place like Brigtsen’s?  Did you do it via those large yellow books I sometimes find by my doorsteps, which normally means I have to do an unexpected trip to the garbage cans (after work, its a trip.  I prefer by appointment).  I’m only in my late 30’s (44 to be exact!) but I dont recall ever using these little yellow behemoths for dining.  I wonder because Brigtsen’s probably broke the record for the number of times I Googled a restaurant (previously held by Atchafalaya).  Mostly because I could never really get the spelling right.  I spelled it every wrong way possible including “Frank’s”, and sticking H’s where they dont belong.  Even now I had to Google it for the purpose of this post.  Copy and Paste – best invention since Ctl-Alt-Del IMO.

Brigtsen'sIts not a coincidence that this was our first night’s meal.  Frank (Ctl-V) Brigtsen’s, a James Beard award winner is one of NOLA’s great Creole ambassadors.  A long stint under the great Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen after starting with chef Paul at Commander’s Palace didnt hurt.  I was in fact debating between K-Paul’s and Brigtsen’s for this trip and very happy with the choice.  The restaurant itself is inside a Victorian Cottage and just about as homey as it gets.  It felt like eating at uncle’s house except that (a bonus normally in my family) the uncle never comes out of the kitchen.

Started with a terrific duo of soups.  A very dark and satisfying seafood gumbo, and an even better butternut shrimp bisque that turned my little one into a bisque junkie/critic the rest of the trip. The bisque was creamy, not too sweet, and had just enough pleasant heat to balance things out.  Shrimp Remoulade with Guacamole, Deviled Eggs and a surprisingly scrumptious corn relish was a nice medley of flavors and textures with the mustardy Remoulade at the helm.  The crawfish shortcake with peppery étouffée and corn was equally enjoyable. Brigtsen's shortcake

As for the mains we shared the Paneed Rabbit with mustard sauce.  We attacked this perfectly executed Schnitzel-like thing with full force.  And we had to have the famous Seafood Platter (aka the “Shell Beach Diet”).  Six different items on the plate including a great Drum Amandine with plenty of almond action, two different baked oysters (too full to enjoy and critic), a terrific smoky shrimp jalapeño cornbread (really liked this) and shrimp coleslaw.  The only thing I didn’t care for is the Why-So-Sweet scallop.  Fantastic dish overall though.

The dessert was perhaps the highlight.  The banana bread pudding was top notch but it was as expected the pecan pie that stole the show.  The pecans are cut so fine that when they fill the top layer it results in a crunchy cookie like texture.  And the inside isn’t as jelly like and gooey as you find in your ordinary pecan pies.  Now I get it.  Coffee I should say was surprisingly undrinkable here, but a solid meal overall at uncle’s house

Brigtsen’s
723 Dante St, New Orleans
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Butternut Shrimp Bisque, Crawfish Shortcake, Paneed Rabbit, Seafood Platter, Pecan Pie

Brigtsen's Shrimp Remoulade Brigtsen's salad Brigtsen's rabbit paneed Brigtsen's Seafood Platter Brigtsen's Gumbo

 

 

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