Snapper Pontchartrain from Briquette
As the weather changes, so do the flavors we’ve come to know and love in South Louisiana. Braised meats and squash, apples and warm soups begin appearing on menus across the city as chefs welcome in seasonal ingredients. The holidays are upon us, and restaurants are gearing up with specials, holiday menus and special events. Food is how we celebrate here, and it’s time to celebrate the season.
Arnaud’s continues its 100th anniversary celebration with special menu items and events. A longtime holiday favorite, Arnaud’s will be open on Thanksgiving, serving a four-course table d’hote menu mastered by Executive Chef Tommy DiGiovanni and including Traditional Roasted Turkey, Stuffed Gulf Black Drum and Seared Pork Tenderloin as entrée options. Meanwhile, throughout November Arnaud’s will feature a special, three-course 100th Anniversary table d’hote menu. From December 1-23, Arnaud’s will honor its French roots with a four-course Reveillon dinner menu with entrée selections of Coquille St. Jacques, Chicken Victoria and Chargrilled Porkchop.
“Chicken Victoria was a very popular menu item back in the 1980s. It consists of roasted chicken, country pâté, golden raisins and port wine glace, and is served with roasted root vegetables,” says Co-Owner Katy Casbarian. Holiday guests can also expect another of Arnaud’s past classics, the Creole Onion soup, which features a roux, “making it distinctly Creole.” says Casbarian. “It is rich, but isn’t too heavy and is perfect for a holiday dinner.”
Red Fish Grill plays host annually to a festive gingerbread workshop, inviting guests to reserve a table and build their own gingerbread houses. This year, the restaurant is expanding on the idea and opening up group workshops from December 2-21, Sundays-Fridays, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Available for family gatherings, birthday parties, office teambuilding and a fun day out, the workshops cost $35 per person and include one gingerbread house, decorative candy, a jingle bell and an adult beverage.
Sauteed Red Snapperwith Thai Pesto from Gautreau’s
Groups can tack on a two-course or three-course lunch package if desired. Holiday cocktail offerings include the Candied Poinsettia (cranberry-orange syrup and sparkling wine), the Gingerbread Cocktail (vodka, cream liqueur and housemade ginger spice syrup),or the Kris Kringle Old Fashioned with rye bourbon and honey-winter spice.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse is welcoming the fall and winter seasons with a new addition rolling nightly: the tableside martini cart. The restaurant is seeking to resurrect the “decadence and showmanship of a bygone era of hospitality,” according to Wesley Noble, Marketing Specialist.
“New Orleans is special in that we hold tight to many of our culinary and hospitality traditions, and it will be fun to see the return of cocktail carts,” says Dickie Brennan.
Beverage Director Barry Himel set out to create a fun, elevated new martini menu. New additions include The Black and Gold Martini (Hendrick’s Gin, Cajun Caviar stuffed olives and edible 24 karat gold leaf) and the Truffled Martini, featuring a cured, dry-aged Louisiana Wagyu garnish.
Celebrating its one-year anniversary in the Central Business District is Briquette, a new restaurant from Owner Anna Tusa. Briquette brings a contemporary vibe to the traditional New Orleans restaurant scene and contrasts a bit of modernity with the long history of the building that houses it. An “open kitchen” is enclosed with glass, allowing diners to see the action of the chefs over the impressive 18-foot chargrill that informs the menu.
Two Dog Farms Buternut Squash Ravioli from August
“What we feature is whole fish,” says Tusa. “Every day offers a different fish, from Louisiana redfish and red snapper to pompano and sea bass.” The whole fish are skewered and placed on the grill, coated in olive oil and cooked over the open flame. The fish is then topped with a choice of puttanesca, olive caper miso or poblano butter. The menu also features filets of fish in addition to steak, lamb shank and pastas.
The Snapper Pontchartrain is a favorite of locals and tourists looking for a classic Creole dish. A pan sautéed filet of snapper is topped with hollandaise and lump crab meat and served with heirloom potatoes and baby green beans. The restaurant will be open for the holidays with specials on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Tucked away Uptown, Gautreau’s is highlighting the fall season with the ingredients and flavors adored by chef Baruch Rabasa. Gautreau’s celebrates the season perhaps more subtly than some of the city’s grand dame restaurants – no holiday menus or special events and giveaways, just classic dishes, a warm welcome by the owner and the fine dining service its longtime customers have come to know and love.
Highlights of the fall and winter menu include the Apple and Belgium Endive salad with maple-walnut vinaigrette, warm brie and Vidalia onion. Guests can expect a new appetizer in the Beef Tartare with charred scallion aioli, ghost pepper caviar, pistachios and fried yucca. A favorite entrée is the Sauteed Red Snapper with Thai Pesto, a complex dish featuring a black garlic jasmine rice cake, bok choy, eggplant grits and tomato braised kale.
August is welcoming fall and winter with a significant addition: lunch service. Chef Ross Dover calls the restaurant a hidden gem for lunch, a place where guests can find their Cajun fix and expect local ingredients elevated with the flare you’d expect from a fine dining restaurant.
Chicken Victoria from Arnaud’s
“My whole vision is to bring to light those feelings, thoughts and memories, the food that influenced my upbringing and cooking and allow guests to experience those same feelings and memories and bring them back home,” says Dover. Growing up between New Orleans and Lafayette meant an influence of both Cajun and Creole traditions on Dover, who enjoys playing with both on his menu.
A fall favorite, August will highlight the Two Dog Farms Butternut Squash Ravioli, a play on fall flavors such as squash, ham and pecan. The delicate ravioli are stuffed with a purée of butternut squash, cream cheese, goat cheese and braised mustard greens. The sauce includes the puréed squash with ham hock jus, butter and spiced pecans, and the dish is then topped with a gremolata of parsley, garlic and shallots.
August will feature special menus on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as well as a Reveillon menu throughout December.
813 Bienville St.
301 Tchoupitoulas St.
701 S. Peters St.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
716 Iberville St.
1728 Soniat St.
Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St.