Finally made it to Borgne and it was pretty good. I’ve seen the oyster shell pillars before so that wasn’t so original and the plastic chairs and white formica tabletops were a little odd. Sat at the bar, watched the hoops game and had some good drinks. The oysters were plump and fresh on the half shell. The baked oysters reminded me a lot of baked clams- very garclicky. The empanadas were very good as was the accompanying sauce.
Kingfish did a remarkable renovation of a former Rotolo’s Pizza place. It’s so cool and hip walking into the giant bar. The vibe changes immediately when you turn the corner at hit the dining room- more mellow and a little darker. I think I would have preferred to eat at the bar. It was a busy Jazz Fest night so we got terrible service. The bar was really backed up and it took about 30minutes to get our drinks. It’s such a big restaurant that is probably trying to decide its identity. Are we a cool bar like Sylvain or are we a hot new restaurant? The food runners brought out the wrong dish so that meant we got an extra appetizer. We ordered the apps that the waiter recommended. The blue crab cakes were off-the-charts good, made with lots of crab and not a lot of filler. The smoked andouille was good, but not memorable. I didn’t really care for the extra mistake dish which was the tempura battered deviled eggs. Not something I would have ordered. I also wasn’t crazy about the cracklin. I much preferred SoBou’s cracklin. For the entrees, we shared their two house specialties- the “Every Man’s a Kingfish” and the Duck a la Soulnier over ramen noodles. The Himalayan salt-brick seared pampano had a beautiful presentation but the dish didn’t live up to expectations. It was bland. We all really liked the duck dish. Full of flavor and generously portioned duck wowed the table. The waiter brought us out a complimentary dessert for the service snafus. It was a very good bread pudding. The two drinks I ordered- not sure if Chris McMillan made the drinks or created the drink menu, but he was there- were both outstanding. I think this place will work out its kinks and be a very popular FQ spot.
One complaint about the drink menu at both restaurants. My group were big tequila fans and at Kingfish there wasn’t a single tequila drink on the cocktail menu and at Borgne the only drink made with tequila used Sauza Silver. Using a $13 bottle of tequila for a $9 drink is simply unacceptable. At least step it up to the Sauza Blue made with 100% blue agave.