Dominique Macquet has come and gone from a restaurant or two in this town. There is a buzz about any place he has, because first, it will be a stunning space, and second, the food will be french food well-executed. The order of these two depends on how you rate a restaurant. Luckily, with this well-known chef, you get both.
He continues this streak with Bordeaux, a perfect name that exemplifies the cooking style, but also its street location. Clever. Bordeaux is on Magazine at Bordeaux. Unassuming but still glamorous, you could miss it if you’re not really looking for it. Truly tiny, it looks like an adorable cottage with a huge patio. The restaurant is mostly patio, with only three or four tables and a bar inside. There is also one large dining room-like back room with one communal table by the kitchen. But the patio screams charm, even in this heat. Fans help.
Dieters can rejoice - here is a menu for you. The focus is a custom-made rotisserie from France where meats come to the table sizzling with that glistening crust, juicy meat inside. And nearly everything comes with a salad. Not the kind we are used to. These appropriately-spelled salades are an airy pile of interesting greens, with just a coating of real French vinaigrette, with a few cheese crumbles sprinkled on top
At lunch, there is a rotisserie salad with an assortment of rotisserie meats amidst the greens. The salad dressing on this is tangy and light and the perfectly seasoned meats blend into a pleasing entree salad. Mary Ann was most impressed with the half hard-boiled egg on the salad. It had an unusual light and very pleasing texture she had never seen before. We also got a club sandwich which they allowed us to mess up by asking for it on a different bread. Still perfectly tasty, and the accompanying salad was more of the same irresistible vinaigrette. It seemed the table was full of wonderful salads. No wonder the French are so thin and stylish.
On the table the next time was a burger which was the least of the offerings The french fries were surprisingly ordinary. Not the first time we have seen this. What? Ordinary french fries in a French restaurant? What is the world coming to?
The chocolate molten cake was calling to us, and it was everything we had hoped. Deep dark chocolate and souffle-like in texture, the sauce inside oozed appropriately. This was great.
But it was the third visit just last weekend that sealed our opinion of Bordeaux. Mary Ann, who has become obsessive about generating content for this publication, realized on the way over to the restaurant how hot it would be, and how unhappy I would be about that. We went with another couple who arrived earlier and were already at a table sweating when we arrived. The place was overflowing with patrons, in various stages of sweating, with little or no concern about it.
There was a festive air about it all and an intense busyness. Bruno is the Maitre D' and my wife has been there often enough to know him. And for him to recognize her. He is cordial and helpful.
A perusal of the menu surprised and pleased Mary Ann, who got the impression from previous visits that the menu was rather limited. Not so tonight. Besides an attractive Coolinary, there were a lot of selections. Mary Ann wanted to try the rotisserie meats, but decided on a steak and frites when no one else got it. Our friends got the Coolinary. One had rotisserie chicken, the other fish with saffron rice. I got lamb from the rotisserie which could not have been better than it was. It was crusty on the outside and tender on the inside, with a lot of flavor and a very nice mayonnaise-based sauce. Our friends had appetizers of shrimp with a little slaw, which they loved. Mary Ann was originally disappointed to see her steak come in half-inch slices with grill marks, until she decided she loved it. There was another of those delicious french vinaigrette salades and some Dauphinoise potatoes. These cheesy squares of thinly-sliced potatoes were delicious. All of this accompanied by a very nice wine list from, where else? Bordeaux.
We got a trio of desserts for two, and these were perfect. The chocolate molten pleased the women, and the custards they left for the guys were great.
Dominique came over to show us his rotisserie. He was proud of it, and rightly so. Two rib roasts rotated on the spit, fat glistening in a way that looked extremely appetizing. He confided to MA that next time she should try the guinea fowl, which come from France as eggs and are hatched in North Carolina. Wrong audience for that. MA feels animals and our food are messed with too much already, but the guinea fowl is intriguing. Even she thought so.
This place is literally crammed with tiny tables in a tiny space. It is hard to move and sweltering hot. The fact that all four of us, including me, cared so little about these negatives says a lot about the food.
Welcome back, Dominique. Stay awhile this time, please.
4734 Magazine St New Orleans
Sunday Brunch 9:30am-3pm
Wednesday & Thursday Lunch 11am-2:30pm . Dinner 5:30pm-9:30pm
Friday Lunch 11am-3pm . Dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm
Saturday Brunch 9:30am-2:30pm . Dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm