Travel: A Taste of New Orleans at Brennan’s Restaurant
I love New Orleans, it’s not just a city that’s filled with deep history and rich culture, it is also a city that shakes up some of the best cocktails in the country and whips up the heartiest dishes one can ask for. It’s a city that allows you to indulge and live life to the fullest without feeling guilty… not that I ever feel guilty for living my life to the fullest…. But New Orleans does add a magical touch to all the indulgence.
I try to go to New Orleans two or three times a year, just to get my annual dose of proper Southern hospitality, authentic creole cuisine and of course, the best Dixieland Jazz in the country. There are a few restaurants and bars that I absolutely love and have to visit every time I’m there, but there are still so many amazing places that I heard of and haven’t tried yet, and Brennan’s was one of them that’s been on the top of my list to try.
Founded in 1956, Brennan’s Restaurant is a New Orleans institution. Known as much for its picturesque patio, flowering magnolias and verdant courtyard greenery as for its French and Creole cuisine; Brennan’s is locally and internationally beloved. After closing down for two years due to some structure change within the company and some extensive renovation, Brennan’s reopened again in Fall 2014. The new Brennan’s not only keeps the original’s Brennan’s tradition alive, it also gives it a modern world twist.
Brennan’s is best known for its breakfast menu, so I decided to go for the Sunday brunch just to have a taste of New Orleans. I didn’t know what to expect as I walk into the iconic pink building, but I was instantly smitten with its powerful yet charming interior. The restaurant is separated into eight dinning rooms, and each room is designed with a distinctive element of the city’s traditions, history and cultural. The main dinning room where we were sat has an unmistakable Spanish flair with green-and peach-patterned cement-tiled floors and grand-scale bouillotte chandeliers. It’s dramatic and whimsy but it’s also surprisingly elegant. The Roost is the main bar of the restaurant, it’s birdcage lanterns and ostrich barstools give it an exotic fair and it’s full of energy.
Since the Brandy Milk Punch is one of their famous beverage of choice, we had to give it a try. It tastes like a creamy cinnamon cream shake that’s just too good to be true, its’ dangerously delicious!
As for the appetizers, we went for the Seafood Filé Gumbo and the Roasted Gulf Oyster just to stay in the New Orleans’ theme. The seafood Filé Gumbo is rich in flavors and texture, but hit light on the tongue and doesn’t feel heavy at all. The Roasted Gulf Oyster was breaded in panko and Manchego flakes, roasted in smoked chili butter and quick broil till they’re golden brown. It has a light crunch on the outside, and tender and soft like a pillow on the inside, it’s just pure delightful.
For Entrée, I opted for one of their Eggs Benedict’s variations called Egg Sardou. It’s a vegetarian version of the Eggs Benedict – -instead of English muffins as the base, the chef used an artichoke’s heart breaded with breadcrumbs and fried till it’s golden brown. The dish is finished with sautéed spinach, and poached eggs and hollandaise sauce like the regular Benedict dishes. I have had many amazing artichoke dishes, but this is one of the best ones I’ve had so far. The freshness of the artichokes bursts as I bite into the golden crunchy shell, it’s incredibly satisfying. What an amazing creation!
We were happily stuffed after all the food and didn’t smartly planned enough room for dessert, but Brennan’s world-famous Banana Foster is something that everyone asks for at this restaurant. Upon the order, the server wheels out a little cart and make the homemade caramel sauce and cook the bananas right next to your table. It’s hard to turn it down the dish when you see the flame burst on the pan to give the bananas the perfect caramelized glaze!!
Besides the memorable food, the service at Brennan’s is one of the best I’ve ever experience. They not only know their menu well and gives customized recommendation according to your appetite, they are also very knowledgeable when it comes to their extended wine list, which makes the whole dinning experience very enjoyable.
It looks like I’ll have to come back again to visit, so I can actually try their Banana Foster and the rest of the dishes on the menu.
Address: 417 Royal Street, New Orleans LA 70130
Phone: (504) 525-9711