Opened in 1986, Brigtsen’s is located in an old house in the Garden District, about 20 minutes by cab from the French Quarter. It is worth the trip! Owner Marna Brigtsen greets you at the door and guides you to your seat. Music plays in the background, lighting is low and the nicely spaced tables are appointed with lovely linens. Painted wood walls, fireplaces and many windows give the relatively small adjoined rooms a very cozy feel. The several rooms are packed with people and tables turnover throughout the evening, but the noise level is not bad at all. Marna’s husband and co-owner Frank Brigtsen is the chef in the kitchen. They offer a fixed price 3 course menu, with several choices for each course, an a la carte menu and a few specials of the day.
Tables are all served fresh hot bread and softened butter after you order. We started with a special that day, fried soft shell crab with pecan sauce. A bit of worcestershire sauce added to the meuniere sauce makes it a Creole version. It is yummy. The crisp crab is fresh and delicately fried and absolutely delicious. The roasted pecans add a richness to the flavor and an additional bit of crunch. It is lick-the-plate amazing.
The roast duck was served with dirty rice and a tart dried cherry sauce. It is a huge portion of boneless perfectly roasted duck. The fat had been mostly rendered leaving a crisp skin and tender meat. The accompanying rice was flavorful and mixed well with the sauce as did the selection of nicely cooked vegetables. It was another delicious plate of food – filled with flavors and textures. A winner.
For dessert we had the pecan pie that is served swimming in a delicious caramel sauce. A totally flakey crust holds the sweet, gooey filling and crisp nuts. A dollop of whipped cream crowns this jewel. It is definitely a plate licker – yum x2.
The bread pudding of the day was with seasonal peaches and another winner. Seasoned with cinnamon, surrounded by a peachy sauce and topped with a slice of fresh peach and whipped cream – it is another lick the plate opportunity. This is seriously great food. Yum x3!