Visited Orleans on Bay Ave., Highlands, Saturday night, liked it quite a bit.
Not inexpensive, the menu suffered by having few low-priced choices. We each had a chopped salad, very nice. Other starter options seemed high in price. No bread on the table, although two slices came perched on top of the entrees. Another piece was tucked endearingly into my take away bag, too.
I loved my shrimp etouffé with its big, juicy-crunchy shrimp (without the tails, oh, goody) and my companion pronounced himself well pleased with his cassoulet. He felt though, that only two pieces of andouille seemed rather mean. With entrees starting at about $20, a few more pieces of sausage would have gone a long way toward cheering him up without having cost them much.
We had some quibbles with the service and atmosphere, although they didnt compromise the meal. There was a gas fireplace near our table and we wondered aloud if, on that chilly evening, it might be lit. Ceiling fans which would have been appreciated in the summer were making the room seem drafty. Our server was reluctant because she said that it would make the room too hot. We persevered and our request was honored, although we were darkly warned that it would be turned off if anyone complained. No one did.
The music was annoyingly and unnecessarily loud. Live music was being set up, too, and we listened to Microphone Man saying One Tsew, One Tsew over and over and over again. It didnt bode well for our conversation, but oddly enough the live music, when it came, was less intrusive than that over the sound system. Not bad, either.
The place itself had a smell of hot grease, not unpleasant, really, but noticeable. It only bothered me the next day when I noticed that it had clung slightly to my coat. Fortunately for me, I like the smell of hot grease.
And I really did like that etouffé.