Carrollton Market, New Orleans, 12/28/18

from outside
building

Carrollton Market is a medium sized place out in the suburbs that has been open 4 years.  The entry is into a bar area that is not very well separated from the main dining room.  The small marble tables are set closely together, a tin ceiling, wood floor and wood and painted walls all add to the loud noise level in the room, even without background music.   Windows along the front wall look out onto the street but otherwise there are no windows except for the interior one that looks into the open kitchen and the general light level is low.  They offer only a small a la carte menu.  The staff were friendly and helpful but the food was mostly unexciting and the overall ambiance is ear numbing, yet it was packed with people.  There is no subtlety in the food, it tends to be over-seasoned with large portions of heavy food.   Continue reading

Herbsaint Restaurant (update), New Orleans,12/28/18

building
building

It’s been a couple years since we went to Herbsaint, but this visit we went for lunch.  White tableclothes are covered with paper on the nicely spaced large tables.  There is background music in this corner building location.  The two walls of windows give lots of light in the daytime.  We were in the front of the 2 rooms, which is my preference, and snagged a good table with a direct line of site into the busy kitchen.  The first part of the restaurant that you come into is a large bar with lots of bar seating and additional counters.  They also had a fairly large patio out front.  It’s not a huge menu but everything we had was very good, packed with flavor, and nicely they seem to be open continuously so matter what time you hit town you can go, but reservations would be recommended for any prime time.  We ordered a number of items with the intention of splitting them, so we could try as much as possible.  Portions are well sized and service was very good. Continue reading

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans, 8/8/17

entrance
entrance

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.   Continue reading

Shaya, New Orleans, 8/8/17

building
building

Shaya is a good sized place with additional seating available at the bar and on the patio.  A long bench seat lines one wall where most of the 2-tops are located.  The other tables are more generously spaced and all enjoy the light of spoked fixtures with silver tipped bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a wall of windows to the street.  There is background music but the noise level was low which was good considering the percentage of tables that were occupied.  Beyond the open wood-fired oven for the pita bread is the patio which was not well filled, but it was a warm day.  There is different menu at lunch than in the evening, which we looked at outside.   Continue reading

Clancy’s Restaurant, New Orleans, 8/7/17

window sign
window sign

This is a repeat visit but Clancy’s is worth another visit.  This time was during a less active season however the place was still super busy with people coming and going, but it dies down by 10:00 pm.  The large dining room downstairs was filled with lots of groups as well as couples but the noise level is very livable.  Located on a corner in a mixed commercial/residential neighborhood the restaurant is appointed with lovely tablecloths, napkins and formally dressed waiters which in turn attract a fairly dressy crowd even in the hot summer. You can’t miss the “Clancy’s” written on on the outside facing windows and the guard out front.  Service is friendly, helpful and efficient – in fact it’s a fun show to watch them set up a new table which is assembled in a lightning speed symphony of movements. Continue reading

Peche Seafood Grill, New Orleans, 8/7/17

building
building

Peche is a large place that’s about  a 15 minute cab ride from the French Quarter. Seating is available in 3 booths, bar counter stools and a number of well spaced tables throughout.  Windows to the street form one wall of the place and add nice natural light during the day.  Tables are of bare wood and matching unfinished beams line the ceiling while soft  rock music plays in the background.  Lots of seafood art adorns the walls and the street wall is of the natural brick. Service is exceptionally friendly and helpful.  Our waiter provided many details about how the various dishes are prepared and was nicely opinionated about how we might configure our order.  Freshness of ingredients is stressed.   Continue reading

Café Beignet, New Orleans, 8/7/17

building
building

Café Beignet is a small space made more spacious by an adjacent patio.  You enter and walk to the back counter to order, commonly there is a line to get in.  They offer sandwiches and the like but the main draw here are the beignets and coffee.  They are an order of 3 for $3.99 and are a staple of New Orleans food.  Many people go to the larger Cafe du Monde but I like the less chaotic feel here and the beignets are ‘fatter’ with a better bite to me.   Continue reading