Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 12:39
Olivier's Creole Restaurant
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
The food Olivier's serves is exactly what either a local or visiting customer might want to eat in a central French Quarter location like this. Fitting comfortably between the neighborhood cafe and gourmet bistro categories, it's solidly local in its ingredients and flavors, with a jazzy feeling in both the environment and the cooking.
Chef Armand Olivier has branched his cuisine upward over the years, while keeping the sap flowing from his back-o'-town Creole roots. The menu is more adventuresome than those of most casual Creole restaurants in the French Quarter, and does serious work with the likes of rabbit, duck, and seafood. The style is a bit heavier than in comparable restaurants--in some ways the food here reminds me of K-Paul's--but even that is an authentic New Orleans flavor.
Olivier's began as a neighborhood cafe in Gentilly. After the second generation of the family took over, it grabbed an opportunity to open in the French Quarter in a space which, by good luck, was across the street from where the House of Blues would later open. The food Olivier's serves is exactly what either a local or visiting customer might want to eat in a location like that.
The two-century-old building gives the main dining room tall ceilings, big windows, and the look of a classic New Orleans cafe. It's more opulent inside than you might guess from the exterior. A renovation in December 2009 made the place sparkle.
New potatoes with caviar
»Louisiana barbecue shrimp
»Gumbo sampler (Creole, file, and okra)
Great Grandma Jeanne's shrimp Creole
Grandmother Audrey's shrimp scampi
»Mama Cheryl's crawfish étouffée
Crab and salmon cakes
»Creole braised rabbit, oyster dressing
»Roast breast of duck, raspberry-plum port sauce
»Roasted half chicken
»Honey-glazed medallions of pork
»New Orleans trio (blackened redfish, shrimp and andouille jambalaya, crawfish étouffée)
Taster's platter (fried shrimp and fish, crab and salmon cake, Creole gumbo)
Jambalaya with fried catfish
FOR BEST RESULTS
Get that rabbit. A dinner here without gumbo is like jazz without a trumpet.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The appetizer section is weaker than it should be, and used to be.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +2
- Wine and Bar +1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +2
- Good view
- Good for business meetings
- Medium private room
- Open Sunday dinner
- Open Monday dinner
- Unusually large servings
- Good for children
- Reservations accepted
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