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Restaurants & Bars 3

Acadiana report

DC in DC | Feb 1, 2006 12:10 PM

At the risk of irrelevancy (the Post published a review last weekend), I thought I'd report on my own recent experience at Acadiana:

For the unfamiliar, Acadiana is the newest member of Jeff Tunks' restaurant family. It's billed as New Orleans-style food.

So... dinner begins with warm biscuits brought to the table with butter (or is it a cream cheese mix?) in pepper jelly. Frankly, I could eat 6 or 8 of these and forget dinner altogether, but we persevere...

We had one beet-and-goat-cheese salad and one andouille/chicken gumbo. The salad had a generous handful of red baby beets, a small pile of greens, a nice hunk of triple-cream goat cheese (I prefer the standard kind myself), and was sprinkled with fantastic candied pecans. The gumbo was wonderful: smoky, spicy, properly thick, and chock full of chicken and sausage. No big slimy pieces of okra were detected - thank goodness.

For entrees, we had one order of grilled redfish and one order of BBQ shrimp. I can't fully report on the redfish personally but it was pronouced very good by my dining companion, and was served over green beans and seafood risotto. The BBQ shrimp was the star of our meal. 7 or 8 enormous and tender shrimp arrived swimming in a moat of an utterly delectable sauce. (When asked, the server said the secret to the sauce is Abita beer, along with butter, rosemary, garlic, and pepper.) After finishing the shrimp I unrepentently sopped up every last drop of sauce with the fresh french roll that comes with the dish. (A note about this dish: as a default, the shrimp come with heads and tails on, but upon request, the kitchen will remove either or both.)

For dessert we had a chocolate bread pudding, which we didn't really like. It was way too sweet and the chocolate didn't seem to fit into the scheme. However, it comes with a scoop of salted (!) vanilla ice cream that fully redeemed the dish. Next time I'll just ask for the ice cream.

A word about the atmosphere: it's a standard Tunks operation - by which I mean that the room is spacious, dramatic, lovely. The restaurant has what I can only describe as a very slight "corporate" feel to it: on the plus side it's very competent, efficient, and has a solid management structure to which one can appeal if one needs special attention. On the down side, a meal here doesn't have anything approaching a funky, neighborhoody, or personalized feel to it. I'd say it would be very suitable for either a date scenario or a business meal.

The meal was $125 including tax and a generous tip.

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