This place continues to be on the “best of lists” for New Orleans but it really didn’t merit the accolades this evening. It is a beautiful dining room upstairs where the large windows in the garden room give it a treehouse affect. The other upstairs rooms are windowless and not nearly as pretty. Downstairs is the more conventional room (they still have a dress code that forbids jeans) and a much more serious vibe. We were surrounded by tables celebrating and thus adorned with balloons and hats. They offer a large menu and a large tasting menu but we chose a combo dinner after having had a large lunch.
Everyone gets garlic bread to munch on while making your choices but unfortunately ours was cool and almost to the stale side. I’ve had it before when done right and you could fill up on the greasy wonderful garlic butter soaked toast, but not this night. We tried both salad choices on the combo menu and the watermelon tomato was quite good but their romaine salad fell flat with tasteless croutons and being severely underdressed. Our entrees were a crawfish/cornbread stuffed quail which read so well but the stuffing was a gummy mess and the bird was nearly impossible to eat. We let Frankie play with the bread as it seemed unappetizing. Commander’s is famous for their bread pudding soufflé but this night it suffered the same gummy problems of the course before. It was cooked but just too sweet (didn’t think that was possible) and the texture was so off you couldn’t make yourself eat it. The service was another huge deficiency tonight with about 40 minutes waiting for the salads to appear after we had placed our order. The waiter came out with an apology after 30 minutes but offered no explanation and they still did not arrive for some time after that. This is totally inexcusable for a restaurant that bills itself as fine dining. Proceed here with caution!