Metry, Or Metairie

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris February 01, 2024 13:46 in Dining Diary

With everyone in town for the French Quarter Fest last weekend, it seemed a good idea to stay as far away from town as possible. We decided to have a nice dinner at Austin’s in Metairie. Austin’s is the fine dining establishment in the Mr. Ed’s group that includes Mr. Ed’s and Mr. Ed’s Oysters, though Austin’s had been around long before its most famous cousins.

My sister lives in the neighborhood so we asked her to join us. We were a walk-in because when I called for a reservation last night they told me 8:30 was the earliest. My sister arrived first and called to say we were seated at a high top at the bar.

When we arrived the restaurant was empty and I asked about shifting things around so Tom could sit at a regular table. At this restaurant, they obliged right away.

The place looked great. It appeared to be newly renovated, though it didn’t seem to need it when we were there last. But that was ten years ago.

Austin’s is billed as a steak house but it is more just a fine dining restaurant. The menu is huge, and none of us got a steak. The steaks are more expensive than at our favorite steak places, like Crescent City and Keith's and there was so much else appealing on this menu that there was no beef on the table.

We ordered three apps: oysters for Tom, of course, a spicy shrimp app, and crawfish spring rolls, which looked more like egg rolls. These deep-fried rolls oozed cheese and were accompanied by a pepper jelly dipping sauce.

Tom’s oysters, called Oysters Fitzgerald, were large, plump, and fried, each served over a large dollop of creamed spinach. Each of these came in an individually-partitioned indention in a half-dozen oyster plate. There were bits of bacon on these and dollops of lemon/garlic aioli. They were very nice, and Tom was crazy about them.

To me, the best thing in this appetizer round was the spicy shrimp. These had plenty of bacon bits and were grilled, also oozing cheese. There was also jalapeno in these, and lemon butter with more smoky thick bacon. These were so very spicy it got us in the throat. The shrimp were grilled hard, which I like, and this was good.

For entrees, one of us got the Pecan Crusted Trout. Also on the table was Veal Piccata with angel hair Alfredo and asparagus. And I got the Mosca’s garlic chicken dish.

The Chicken a la Grande barely resembled the famous dish at Mosca’s. There, copious amounts of garlic and olive oil with Brabant potatoes make the flavor intense. This dish at Austin’s was a pile of chicken pieces amounting to half a chicken arranged on a plate just like the original dish. But here, the potatoes weren’t crispy like good Brabants, and everything sat in a large puddle of oil that wasn’t especially flavorful. There wasn’t a lot of garlic in any of this. But the chicken was good. It seemed that instead of being roasted it was deep-fried, But the meat was tender and good by itself.

Tom’s veal was thinly-pounded, paneed, and tender. The Alfredo sauce bled onto it from the nearby pasta. The Alfredo didn’t have any more flavor than my chicken dish. Both desperately needed salt. 

My sister’s trout was heavily crusted with pecans embedded in the batter. It looked really heavy to me, and there was a lot of it. The whole thing was covered with a thick Creole Meuniere Sauce. Under the fish was a mound of potatoes and haricots verts sauteed in butter. This too could have used a round of salt. The pecan-coated fish was nice. The trout itself was a little thick, as was the batter. But it was good enough.

All of this was perfectly fine but nothing more. Austin’s is a first-class dining restaurant in Metry. And at $155, I’d like a little more. Filippo, not far away, is polished Italian food in Metairie. There is definitely a difference.