4 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 FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Nathan’s

Slidell: 36440 Old Bayou Liberty Rd. 985-643-0443. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
A Creole bistro, a shade upscale, Nathan’s is defined to a large extent by its location: a second-story aerie overlooking Bayou Bonfouca. The menu is dominated by seafood, and has enough original, ambitious dishes to attract adventuresome diners. At the same time, most of the menu is pretty down-to-earth, making it appropriate for family lunches and dinners too. Despite the chef’s history at Galatoire’s, his cooking shows only a little influence from that restaurant’s style.

WHAT’S GOOD
The seafood and all the rest of the groceries here are fine and fresh, and are rendered with skill and imagination–but not so much as to scare off the uninitiated diner. You can get a fried seafood platter here as well as the horseradish-crusted red snapper. The range is surprisingly broad, with a strong pasta section and well-tuned entree salads. Without getting fussy (Slidellians don’t like fussy), everything comes out beautifully plated. There’s even a decent wine list.

BACKSTORY
Nathan’s is the work of chef-owner Ross Eirich, who for a few years before Katrina was the executive chef at Galatoire’s. He’s a thoroughly local food guy, the son of the owner of the Cypress Cove Marina Grill down in Plaquemines Parish, and a graduate of Delgado’s Culinary Arts Program. He opened Nathan’s in 2008. The restaurant is named for Ross’s oldest son.

DINING ROOM
The restaurant is on high stilts right next to the Slidell Marina on Bayou Bonfouca, the channel leading to Lake Pontchartrain. Large windows take full advantage of that view. A gallery along the bayou side of the restaurant holds tables for outdoor dining or cocktailing. The dining room staff delivers good but very basic service. The maitre d’ is a good singer, and sometimes breaks out into an operatic tune.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Seared tuna with orange ginger sauce.
Crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms.
Crab cakes with macque choux.
Smoked, fried oysters with barbecue honey butter.
Spinach-artichoke dip.
Seared duck breast with orange duck demi-glace.
Chicken and sausage gumbo.
Cobb salad.
Shrimp remoulade salad.
Lasagna bolognese.
Smoked shrimp pasta.
Seafood manicotti.
Fried seafood platters.
Seafood-stuffed eggplant.
Fish amandine.
Broiled stuffed redfish.
Christopher’s snapper (with horseradish crust).
Oysters three ways.
Bacon-wrapped pork loin.
Filet mignon or ribeye steaks.
Blackened fish taco (lunch).
Bread pudding.

FOR BEST RESULTS
For most menus like this, my advice would usually be to stay with the simple dishes. Here, it’s the exact opposite. Chef Ross is easily capable of cooking complex dishes impressively.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The dining room could use some softening of its hard lines. The sauce for the shrimp remoulade needs retuning.

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 +2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color +3

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • 25-75
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations honored promptly

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Nathan’s is one of the very few white-tablecloth restaurants in Slidell, which given its size, affluence, and distance from New Orleans ought to have far more of them. The restaurant’s well-hidden location is just offbeat enough to make Slidellians feel that it’s homey.


2 Readers Commented

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  1. Melanie Lewis on June 5, 2014

    the last 2 times my family went to Nathan’s the service was terrible! We waited over an hour for our main course. The food was great but it took to long. Are they doing that to serve more alcoholic beverages? My family will not return and I cannot recommend them because of the poor service. One time could be a fluke, but twice is too much. Melanie

  2. Trace on September 23, 2014

    I had the seared ahi tuna salad with orange ginger vinegarette dressing last week and it was wonderful. The service was spot on as well. I hope Melanie above will go back.

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