Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, 5/20/15

Garden room windows
Garden room windows

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.

set up plates
set up plates

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!

Wine
Wine
Garlic bread
Garlic bread
birthday celebrations
birthday celebrations
Commander's Crisp Romaine Salad: hearts of romaine, grated Parmesan, pressed egg, housemade bacon, French bread croutons, shave Gruyere and black pepper dressing
Commander’s Crisp Romaine Salad: hearts of romaine, grated Parmesan, pressed egg, housemade bacon, French bread croutons, shave Gruyere and black pepper dressing
Caribbean watermelon salad: Caribbean rum and lime compressed watermelon with chili and basil soaked yellow tomotoes, goat cheese, cayenne pistachios and basil-watermelon vinaigrette
Caribbean watermelon salad: Caribbean rum and lime compressed watermelon with chili and basil soaked yellow tomotoes, goat cheese, cayenne pistachios and basil-watermelon vinaigrette
Sugarcane lacquered quail: crawfish and cornbread stuffed Texas quail over bacon wilted greens with five pepper jelly and a sugarcane jalapeno glaze
Sugarcane lacquered quail: crawfish and cornbread stuffed Texas quail over bacon wilted greens with five pepper jelly and a sugarcane jalapeno glaze
Creole bread pudding souffle
Creole bread pudding souffle
Frankie checks out the bread
Frankie checks out the bread

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