We visited Crustaceans last night for the first time. It is, as was recently noted on this board, a new restaurant opened by experienced cajun restauranteurs from New Orleans that were displaced by Katrina. The space is the old East Wind location so it was large and spacious. The ambience is casual New Orleans, well lit with a multitude of 4 tops featuring chrome backed chairs and a variety of Louisiana music floating down from overhead with Mardi Gras debris on the walls.
The menu, while not extensive, has most of the usual suspects including etoufee, shellfish platters, smothered okra, fried catfish and construct your own cajun pasta dishes. The etoufee and fried fish were very good. The etoufee had that perfect sauce, rich and spicy but not overwhelming. The fried fish and chicken were crispy, perfectly done and tasty. The chicken was part of my smothered okra with andouille and a choice of white or dark meat were offered.
Less successful were the bbq shrimp appetiser which was so overcooked that I totaly destroyed the shrimp just getting the shells off, as well as being way way too salty and the bread pudding dessert which was gummy and undistinguished.
Brian, the young owner, is very nice and introduced us to the chef (a Justin Wilson clone), who indicated that he will begin offering begniets one night a week in preparation for a total rollout if they are well received.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit. I believe that their store in NO was more of a neighborhood type place and the quality, friendliness and casualness of Crustaceans suggests the same experience. Not great but good enough. No reservations required, it was in fact a bit empty for a Saturday night but Brian seemed unconcerned. They do not yet have a liquor license so alcohol is bottomless and complimentary.
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