Restaurant Review: Marti’s

I never dined at Marti's during its first incarnation. My first meal there was at Peristyle, during Anne Kearney's tenure. It was a more intimate place then, or at least that's how I remember it. While I'm sure the change in décor brings the place more in line with what Marti's looked like in the 1970s, the Art Deco touches leave me a little cold.

Fortunately, the food and the service were more than enough to make up for any discomfort I felt about the renovation. We ate early, which meant we were the first table seated on a Wednesday night, and that's how it stayed for about an hour. It definitely felt empty, but not uncomfortably so.

That may have had something to do with the service, which was attentive but not intrusive. We didn't wait for water or bread, and I felt neither rushed nor ignored during the meal. The place hasn't been open six months, and it says a good bit that the service was this polished.

The food was excellent, too, judging by the Marcona almonds we had with a cocktail and the fried octopus and roasted oysters we shared to start things off. My friend had the blue crab bisque, which he enjoyed, and while my “field greens” salad wasn't anything to write home about, it was good. The scallops in a Cioppino-style broth were another hit, as was the grilled quail I chose as an entree.

Marti's is the sort of place where you have a hard time ordering because there are several options for each course that you know you'll regret not ordering. I feel this more acutely, I think, because it's difficult for me to get out for a meal at night, and I'm not sure when I'll make it back to Marti's. Soon, I hope, because I'd very much like to try the hanger steak, the pan-fried speckled trout and the grilled duck heart sausages, among other things.

Marti's is located at 1041 Dumaine St., at the corner of Rampart; they're open daily, from 5 p.m. until midnight. Call (504) 522-5478 to make a reservation or visit


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