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

Herbsaint, New Orleans, 12/22/16

entry
entry

HERBSAINT is a fairly large restaurant in the Garden District.  It is part of the Link Group which also runs “peche” and Cochon.   It is has a good sized bar area, a dining room next to the kitchen window with 2 sides of street windows and an additional smaller dining room in the back near the wine storage and hanging meat cabinet (where they cure their own meat, some as much as 2 years old. They also make sausage and lardo and  age lamb).  It is noisy with a more lively buzz in the front room.  I saw several tables of celebrating parties with mixed ages and dress in the dining rooms.   Continue reading

Brennan’s Restaurant, New Orleans, 12/22/16

building
building

Brennan’s has been an institution (since 1946) in New Orlean’s French Quarter but it has recently undergone a major renovation and re-opened in the fall of 2014.  The large restaurant has many different public and private dining areas, extensive wine cellar and bar area serving breakfast breakfast/lunch and dinner.  It was filled with many tourists as well as local folks, some celebrating the holiday or just having a good meal.  Their menu is a la carte but does feature daily specials, combination meals and the off-the-menu Steak Diane.  While the front of the restaurant has elegantly appointed dining rooms, I really preferred the ‘garden room’ in the back where we had lunch.   Continue reading