Gabrielle Restaurant is a good sized place with one dining room. It reopened in 2017 after 12 years closed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Greg Sonnier is the chef owner and he named it after his daughter who currently runs the front of the house. One side is windows facing the street and another is a long bar with additional seating. The small cloth covered tables are set with some space between them on a tile floor with faint music in the background. The walls are decorated with paintings and photos with some spots on the art but overall the lighting is quite low. Lots of lights hang from the low dark ceiling but it still has a feeling of privacy. They offered an a la carte menu of New Orleans’ style Cajun food as well as Reveillon menu the night we were there. We chose the a la carte option. Service was friendly and helpful, the food was wonderfully flavorful but the pacing of the dishes was rushed.
We started with a cocktail – a negroni – while we made our dining decisions. The New Orleans style bread was served in a paper bag with a softened butter.
The Bowl of Smoked Quail Gumbo with anise flavored green sausage and popcorn rice was delicious. The smoked quail was terrific in the deeply flavored roux. The tasty sausage was juicy and worked well with the perfectly cooked rice. It was not too thick and had a lovely brown, nutty flavor. It was a good portion and a great dish.
Oysters Gabie were a gratin made with artichokes, pancetta, garlic, scallions, lemon and parma reggiano bread crumbs. The oysters were a tad overcooked and overall the dish did not have the intense flavors the gumbo had but the artichokes were tasty and it was good. The crunchy breadcrumbs made a fun contrast with the soft interior.
BBQ Shrimp Pie was a handmade shell filled with smashed sweet potato topped with New Orleans style BBQ shrimp. The crust was amazing and the pie was a terrific melding of flavors and textures. It was wonderful. Thumbs up here.
Slow Roasted Duck was with crimini mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and orange-sherry sauce over shoestring potatoes. The well cooked duck was fall-off-the-bone tender with the crisp skin separated from the meat. The fat under the skin was completely rendered and it was so crisp it stood up on the plate. The potato sticks had a crunch but their best use was to soak up the flavorful sauce. There was a lot of flavor in this dish with all parts – mushrooms, red peppers and especially the orange sauce – being scrumptious. It was a real winner.
Double Cut Mojo Marinated Pork Rib Chop was plated with a jack cheese stuffed pepper, root beer glazed apples, greens and smashed potatoes. The little pepper was fried and had a nice bit of spice. The greens were well flavored and the mashed potatoes tasty. The pork was not overly dry but I would have liked a bit more of the tasty sauce. The plate had lots of flavor and good textural contrasts but the duck was my favorite of the two mains.
For dessert we tried Lemon Chess Pie which had a nice crust and an intense lemon flavor. I didn’t detect the grit I expect from chess pie but it was good and the crust really nice. It was served on a bed of cream and drizzled with a caramel sauce.
The Peppermint Patti was a true peppermint fix. Peppermint ice cream with a brownie-like pie made a wonderful version of the mints you often find at the check out. It was really minty with a cool peppermint flavor and mixed great with the gooey chocolate pie. It was fun.