3 Fleur
Average check per person $35-$45
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Red Maple

Gretna: 1036 Lafayette. 504-367-0935. Map.
Nice Casual
AE DC MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
For about fifteen years and until very recently, the Red Maple was the only restaurant on the West Bank with anything like a white-tablecloth, formal, traditional style. During that same time, a renovation and the hiring of a series of excellent chefs improved the offerings enough to make it worth a trip across the river. For those who work around the Jefferson parish Courthouse, it’s almost indispensable. The restaurant runs several low-price dinner promotions during the week, but these are of less interest than the main menu.

WHAT’S GOOD
The steaks on which the Red Maple founded its cuisine are still good, and include the entire canon of steak cuts and cookery. But their seafood and other dishes are every bit as good, with some particularly outstanding work in the appetizer section. They do a particularly good job with oysters. The style is a shade dated by East Bank standards, but that doesn’t lessen its appeal.

BACKSTORY
REVISE The Red Maple opened in 1963, taking over the old family home of the owners, the Trauth family. Until the 1990s, it was primarily a steakhouse, but when Chef Randy Barlow began a stint in the kitchen, the restaurant diversified into all corners of Creole cooking. Expansion and renovation in the late 1990s also improved the restaurant greatly.

DINING ROOM
The main dining room, with its low ceilings, exposed beams, and hundred of hanging beer steins, looks decidedly Germanic. (It seems perfect for the holidays.) A newer, larger dining area, built from a former courtyard, is brighter and more spacious. A few smaller, less appealing dining rooms are scattered around the floor plan.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Eggplant with crabmeat meuniere sauce
Spinach Madeline
Lump crab cake
»Seafood stuffed mushrooms
»Crabmeat au gratin
Fried calamari
Alligator sausage
»Crabmeat Remick
Shrimp cocktail or remoulade
Fried oysters
Raw oysters on the half shell
»Char grilled oysters
Onion rings
»Fried artichoke hearts
Fried mushrooms
»Bacon wrapped shrimp
Seafood gumbo
Corn and crab bisque
»Turtle soup
Napoleon salad (tomatoes and greens, layered)
Grilled chicken salad
»Imperial salad (avocado, crabmeat)
Spinach salad
Chopped shrimp salad
»Blue cheese wedge
Entrees
Maple duck
»Lump crab au gratin
Stuffed catfish
»Redfish Pontchartrain
Porter house pork chop
Shrimp and crabmeat lafitte
Grilled ahi tuna
Grilled Atlantic salmon
Herb roasted airline chicken breast
»Seared baby white veal with crabmeat
Crawfish ravioli
Fried mirliton, shrimp, andouille, crabmeat, fried oysters bordelaise
Fried catfish platter
Fried shrimp, oyster
»Soft shell crab platter
Seafood platter
»Filet mignon
Ribeye
»Bread pudding

FOR BEST RESULTS
The lobster night and other such promotions sound like a good deal, but the food on the regular menu is much better. And the restaurant fills up for such deals. Coming here at lunch at noon might get you caught in a crowd.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It’s hard to figure out where the hostess stand is, and when you find it, the greeting (if you get one) could be a lot more welcoming. An overwhelming number of entrees are overloaded with rich sauces.

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
  • Service
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard dining
  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • 8-25
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Oyster bar
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations honored promptly

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
You enter an old, somewhat dark building through a small walled courtyard, and (if it’s lunchtime) join attorneys and politicians from the nearby Jefferson Parish seat for a repast of Creole eats. The Red Maple started its long life as a steakhouse, but its menu now includes all the basic local specialties and much seafood. Its bread pudding is one of the best around.

The Red Maple, a Gretna mainstay since the early 1960s, underwent a major facelift a coupple of years ago, resulting in a much handsomer restaurant without any loss of charm. Chef Randy Barlow, formerly of Kelsey’s, was here for a time, but was replaced by a former chef from Delmonico. So the food has moved up the scale a good bit, too, especially at dinner.


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