For our last night in the Big Easy we chose to dine at Brigtsen’s.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m eating a meal there is usually something on the plate that I like better than the rest of the meal so I always save a nice big bite of it for my last bite. It could be a bite of lobster or the longest, crunchiest French fry, but I always save a special last bite. That special last bite is almost always Brigtsen’s when we visit New Orleans.
We first learned about Brigtsen’s way back in 2006 from friends who live in New Orleans. We had asked for recommendations for places that locals go to. They didn’t hesitate to tell us about Domilise’s for the best Po’ Boys and Brigtsen’s for a fine dining experience. And we go back to both each time we visit this fabulous city. We even celebrated New Year’s Eve there in 2009!
Brigtsen’s is a family owned and operated restaurant that is way off the beaten path (meaning no where near the French Quarter) in a beautiful old house. When you enter you are warmly welcomed as you would be when visiting old friends at their home. The dining rooms are intimate and elegant and the food is divine.
Chef Frank Brigtsen, who is a native New Orleanian, uses his well trained palate to create dishes that pay tribute to the traditions of Louisiana cuisine. Restaurant critic for The Times-Picayune Gene Bourg described Frank’s interpretation of Creole/Acadian food as a “reaffirmation that Louisiana cooking is America’s most durable and satisfying. Brigtsen’s is now the place against which all other restaurants serving South Louisiana cuisine have to be measured.” He began is culinary career in 1973 while attending Louisiana State University and in 1979 he apprenticed at Commander’s Palace under the tutelage of Chef Paul Prudhomme. When Chef Prudhomme opened K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen Frank became the first Night Chef. And during his seven years there he attained the position of Executive Chef. K and Paul Prudhomme helped Frank and Marna open Brigtsen’s in 1986. In 1988 Frank was named one of America’s Top Ten New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine. In 1994 he was chosen as Chef of the Year by an annual poll of local chefs and restauranteurs for New Orleans Magazine. And in 1998 he received the James Beard Award for American Express Best Chef: Southeast.
We started off with the Shrimp Remoulade, a wonderfully flavorful and colorful salad of succulent shrimp, guacamole, maque choux (mirliton corn relish) and rich creamy deviled eggs.
For our entrées Steve chose the Grilled Filet of Beef with Tasso Machand du Vin Sauce and Fried Shallots and I ordered the Blackened Yellowfin Tuna with Smoked Corn Sauce, Red Bean Salsa and Roasted Red Pepper Sour Cream. There was no sharing. Not even a bite! We both enjoyed our dinners so much that neither of us was willing to give up one bite!
And although we were quite full from our meal and a bottle of wine we somehow managed to devour a great big slice of Frank’s famous Pecan Pie with Caramel Sauce. I have never really been a fan of Pecan pie because it’s usually cloyingly sweet and frequently has a gritty texture from the sugar overload. But this pie is what dreams are made of. Not too sweet. Smooth texture with loads of nice crunchy pecans. Beautifully flaky crust. Absolute perfection.
We really had saved the best for last on so many levels.
723 Dante Street
New Orleans, LA 70118