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Brightsen's revisited

kibbles | Nov 13, 2009 10:48 AM

since it'd been a couple years and since they've been getting so many recommendations of late (Top 10, Top 5, etc) we decided it was time to try out Brightsen's again.

it wasnt bad. i liked it. but...i guess im not super-wowed like i am at some other places. the service is of course very folksy, homey, friendly. no complaints there. and while its not my thing, i understand the kitschy home-decor thing theyve got going on for atmosphere. but the food...i dunno, it just didnt seem to pull me in.

for apps we had the "Butternut Shrimp Bisque", which is lovely, tremendous flavor and nice peppery heat; i did really like this. the "Sauteed Veal Sweetbreads w/ Potato Leek Cake and Crimini Mushrooms" was good, earthy..and i think its actually representative of what my overall impression was.

for entrees we had one "Roasted Duck w/ Cornbread Dressing & Tart Dried Cherry Sauce", one "Pork Tenderloin w/ Sweet Potato Dirty Rice & Pork Debris Sauce", and one "Broiled Gulf Fish w/ Crabmeat Parmesan Crust, Mushrooms & Lemon Mousselline Sauce". all of them...good dishes. but in a way, they all kinda seemed the same -- protein, earthy sauce, mashed potato & veggies. good comfort food, to be sure -- the mashed potatoes were rich and tasty. but i just couldnt imagine how this is making it to the Top 5s, and "Must have!" recommendations.

in fact, next to the soup i felt the best thing was the "sweet potato dirty rice" side -- im not a rice man, i usually find it boring & pointless, but this had me stealing forkfuls. creative and complementary flavors, i loved it. but the pork and sauce? yeah fine but nothing special.

but thats my thing; i think i like whole *dishes* -- plates of food comprised of differing and complementary ingredients which create something greater than the sum of their parts. and i guess thats what i feel Brightsen's doesnt do. for me... of course everyone's mileage will vary.

so i dont think its going to make my short list, the go-to rotation. (the neartest to it on my rotation, also a homey/comfort pick, is Irene's)

to its fans -- what do you love about Brightsen's, food-wise? what do you always order or recommend?

Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

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