Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brigtsen's - New Orleans

Despite having already enjoyed a meal at the Commander’s Palace, a snack at Café du Monde, and a fair amount of time at the club level of the Windsor Court, here we were on the way to Brigtsen’s.

After our cooking class with Frank Brigtsen, I knew that I would have to try his restaurant. So, I was saddled with driving duties, and I made my way up St. Charles past, past Carrolton, and up to the old shotgun house on Dante street.

The place is tiny but the staff and the Brigtsen’s make it feel like you’ve come home. I don’t know how they keep up with it, but both Frank Brigtsen and his wife remembered all our names and seemed genuinely happy that we had made it that evening.

After a short wait, we were seated and got the sad news from our waitress; they were out of the duck. Luckily during the cooking class, Frank had told us to get the veal. Even though veal was on the way, I had to start with the filé gumbo with rabbit & andouille sausage.

I hadn’t had gumbo the whole trip, and how can one drive to Nola and not get a cup of gumbo in the wintertime.

With the first taste, I had no regrets about my choice. Frank’s gumbo is some of the best I’ve ever had. It was so rich and meaty, something to which all gumbos should aspire.

Onward to the entrée! At the recommendation of the Chef, I was soon presented with the sautéed veal with oysters, mushrooms, and brie red peppercorn sauce.

If you’re like me, you’re thinking that oysters and veal is an odd combination. Let me tell you, one bite of this, will put all your fears to rest. The veal was fork tender, the oysters fresh and a little briny, and the brie peppercorn sauce pulled it all together. However, as good as the veal was, the day of eating had caught up to me.

I had to take to take the rest home.

Frank Brigtsen doesn’t need some pedantic little man with a blog to tell him he’s doing a fine job. A look at his awards and accolades more than reward him.

Chef of the year – Nola magazine 1994, Best chef: Southeast – James Beard awards – 1998, Superior rating from the Times Picayune in 86 & 90, Top Cajun restaurant in New Orleans – Zagat Survey, the list is seemingly endless.

Regardless, I hope that I can soon pay another visit to Brigtsen’s and shake Frank’s hand, if only to tell him to “keep up the good work, you’ve made a customer for life.”

For my second visit to Brigtsen's, please click here

Brigtsen's on Urbanspoon

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