Let the howling begin: The Veranda is not a chowhound fave. Lots of snarky remarks over the years about this old "establishment" restaurant in the legal district and I have been amongst them in the past.
It is difficult to make a go of things these days in the restaurant biz. We had a small group dinner at the Veranda on Wednesday night last week and it was excellent. The restaurant was packed and it wasn't all people on oxygen tanks and walkers (G) The bar was lively even if the piano wasn't playing and there were as many 2 tops as large tables.
The restaurant has not waivered from their style over the years and I, for one, like it when a restaurant knows their strength and plays to it, rather than trying the next new thing. The Veranda is southern restaurant with a few contemporary touches to the menu. I had the hogfish (a really delicious Keys fish) last night which was served Oscar style with broccolini as well as the traditional asparagus. Large lump crab meat topped the mild filet as well as lemon bearnaise. Others had rack of lamb or yellow tail snapper. Southern influenced appetizers included southern grit cakes with andouille sausage and artichoke fritters stuffed with blue crab. Killer desserts included peanut butter chocolate pie and just a lovely glass of fresh berries and real whipped cream barely sweetened.
This not a restaurant that will ever be interested in "foam" or molecular cooking. Just classic continental cuisine. The wait staff is classically trained and attentive without being familiar.
The interior is old fashioned, which I suppose some do not like but it reminds me of classic New Orleans restaurants and no one expects them to update their look. The patio in season is evocative of the Court of the Two Sisters in New Orleans but thankfully the food is much better than that tourist trap. Could they stand to change the carpet? I suppose, but I like the look. If I were still doing interiors I'd probably have them do a custom carpet to look like it was from the 50's. <G>
Ok Suzy....have at it. LMF
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