Saturday, March 26, 2011

Louisiana Bistro

There's a little place on Rue Dauphine that's been clawing at the back of my brain for several months now- I've heard good things about their "Feed Me" menu, where you tell the chef what you can't or won't eat and then he brings out however many courses you specify. I love stuff like that, so I was excited to try it.

The Louisiana Bistro is a very small, intimate space- there couldn't have been more than 15 tables in there. We'd made a reservation and once shown to our seat, I ordered a Sazerac (because I love them). Tom ordered an Abita Amber (explained earnestly by our well-intentioned waiter who thought we were tourists as "the local beer") and our friend Sarah had a mint julep. My Sazerac came on the rocks, which was a bit of a shock. At least Galatoire's asks first if you want it straight up or on the rocks. When I ordered my second one, I requested it be served without ice, in the classic fashion.

So it looked like a lot of diners were getting the Feed Me menus, based on the number of chef sightings there were in the dining room. He'd come by to first assess what couldn't be served, and then to announce what every course was. He looked pretty frazzled but I sure couldn't blame him. It was still a nice way to dine.

It took a while till he came out to greet us (our table discouraged the use of: blue cheese, avocado, and raw onion) and then quickly we had paneed frog legs over a creole muniere sauce. I'd never had frog legs before so it was interesting. Had an aquatic taste that I couldn't decide if I liked or not. The creole muniere sauce was amazing though!

Second course: black pepper quail with a jalapeƱo hollandaise with braised greens and potlikker. Ooh, that was flavorful. It danced at just the very edge of the line of being TOO MUCH (too spicy, too salty, too overwhelming), but it quite admiringly stayed on this side of it. We used up the rest of the french bread to mop up the sauce. We also gnawed on those quail bones like savages. It is just impossible for me to eat quail with just a fork and knife.

Third course: lamb loin served over jambalaya and with that creole muniere sauce we had with the frog legs. We were excited to see it again, and the chef came back immediately like "aw CRAP- I already served that sauce to you! I'm sorry!" We assured him that was fine and we were happy with the result. Dang, that was some good lamb and jambalaya. I still have a little left of it in my fridge.

Three courses were $39 per person (and the entire table needs to participate) and the drinks were relatively reasonable- I think my Sazeracs and glasses of wine (Louis-Jadot Chardonnay) were $9 each. I'd love to try on a slower night in the future and sample more.

Oh, funny story- a neighborhood dog (Rex? Buddy?) who has obviously been spoiled by the chef and staff of the Bistro for quite some time showed up and performed for us outside the door, twirling round and round and round and round. The chef wasn't out on the floor so the dog and owner went on their way- 3 seconds later, the chef burst out with treats for the dog and chased them briefly down the block to deliver them.

It was a fun, intimate, kinda touristy but not in a bad way place with some good food with very bold flavors.


  1. This is one of my favorite places in the city since back before the storm. Haven't been in a couple of years, though I always recommend it. Glad it's still doing well.

  2. Yes, I definitely want to go back again- would actually be interested in trying more courses, even though three almost kicked my butt. Just as a way to get as much of the chef's vision as possible!

    And while I gently mocked the Sazerac on the ice thing, I should say that the service was really quite solicitous and friendly, and both my Sazeracs were very tasty (the second one more so, but the first one was still nice.)

    The vibe on the place's rep is funny- never heard a bad thing about it, but it doesn't have the buzz like other places do. It's also recommended by locals and tourists alike. It's just quietly under the radar, doing its thing, feeding people who seek it out. So glad I finally got here.

  3. Dog's name was Max. And I'm glad you posted, so I can direct my parents here to read about our meal. Mmmm, Louisiana Bistro.