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Report on Brigtsen's - wow! (somewhat long)

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Report on Brigtsen's - wow! (somewhat long)

gimpeaux | Apr 29, 2004 10:34 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Chowhounds on this board who recommended Brigtsen's! My wife and I ate there last week while in town for Jazz Fest. Although we've been in N.O. many, many times, I'd never heard of Brigtsen's. We went on a Thursday evening, arriving just after 5:30 as they were opening. It is way out of the way, about a half-hour cab ride from the French Quarter. Our cab driver had never even heard of Dante Street, and couldn't get us there even when we got as close as Carrollton and St. Charles. But we pulled out our trusty cell phone, called, and got directions for the final few blocks. When we arrived, the driver said, "Huh....I've never heard of this place, let alone knew there was a restaurant out here." As more people from out of town learn about this place, he'll be driving back there.

The service was wonderful -- friendly, informal, and welcoming, like dining at a good friend's house. And the food! One of those menus that gave us fits trying to decide what to choose, especially knowing all of the wonderful things you folks had recommended. At the waitress's recommendation, we shared a soft shell crab appetizer -- the largest and most succulent soft shell crab I've ever seen, in a spiced pecan and lemon bordelaise sauce. It went very well with the Pinot Gris.

We then shared the house salad with satsuma oranges, feta, spiced pecans (sensing a theme here?), pickled red onion, and cane vinaigrette -- plenty for both of us, and scrumptious. After a very tough time choosing, we ended up ordering two entrees, which we shared -- the broiled Gulf fish (it was sheepshead, a mild fish) with crabmeat parmesan crust, asparagus, mushrooms, and bearnaise (which we got on the side), and the roast duck with cornbread dressing and honey pecan gravy. (More pecans!) It's not even close, this was the best duck I've ever eaten. And the fish was wonderfully prepared, the crust lending it that extra touch. The portions were large, making us rue the fact we didn't live there, and thus able to take a "doggie bag" home to enjoy the next day.

We thought about ordering one dessert to share, but being in New Orleans, and on vacation, that seemed inappropriately abstemious. So we got two -- banana bread pudding with banana custard sauce, and (you guessed it) pecan pie in a caramel sauce. My wife doesn't particularly like bread pudding, and I don't particularly like bananas, but there wasn't a morsel left by the time we finished. And being a pecan pie afficionado, I was in heaven. Its top was candy-like, but oh so good.

I couldn't eat such rich food every day (or else I'd have to buy new clothes), but Brigtsen's is an incredible find. The service was great, the food delicious. Thanks again for directing us there.

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