Gris-Gris is in a two story corner building in the Garden district (where the restaurant Square Root had been). Downstairs is the open kitchen enclosed by a stainless steel bar. Many wanted to sit upstairs but I preferred to watch the kitchen action. Music is in the background and light from the many windows filled the room. Upstairs is a large bar and tables as well as a balcony for seating. The staff all wore masks but the kitchen was mostly too busy to engage in much conversation with those at the bar. The waitstaff was happy to help guide your choices and split items from the menu, which is similar at lunch and dinner.
Chicken and Andouille gumbo is Vermilion Parish inspired with Louisiana Popcorn Rice. It was filled with good flavors and textures. Lots of sausage and tasty chicken made up this savory dish.
Oyster BLT is made of fried gulf oysters, smoked pork belly, tomato jam and micro arugula with sugarcane vinegar The oysters were lightly fried and juicy but the smoked pork belly was the star of this dish. Lots of flavor made it dominate every bite of this tasty dish.
Cast Iron Seared fish was served with squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and charred lemon. The fish that day was swordfish which was cooked perfectly, moist and meaty. Seasoned yellow and green squash worked well with the cherry tomatoes.
Shrimp and Gris-Gris grits is made with gulf shrimp, smoked sausage, roasted red peppers with cherry tomatoes and stone ground grits. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and large on the soft, polenta-like grits. The amazing sauce made this dish sing. It was without a doubt my favorite of the selections.
Sticky bun bread pudding and butter pecan pie were two of the dessert offerings (the third offering was chocolate ganache cake). I couldn’t decide so had both. It was a bit of overkill, especially since we took the server’s advice and added ice cream to both (extra $2). The sticky bun bread pudding didn’t have nuts, which surprised me but was mostly moist with a good caramel sauce underneath. It went well and needed the ice cream. A good sweet fix here. The Butter Pecan Pie had a pecan crust and praline custard inside. It was sweet and served with a large scoop of whipped cream dusted with candied pecans. It really didn’t need ice cream. The crust was crisp and the custard dotted with more nuts and a zigzag of caramel sauce adorned the plate. It was also good.