It has been a long time since we dined at Arnaud's. The last time was with MA’s stockbroker and a special client of his who kept trying to Fist bump me all night, which Mary Ann found hilarious.
That was the kind of evening where everyone got everything and I’m glad I wasn’t paying. Tonight I was, so MA didn’t feel compelled to keep up with the crowd, something she hates to do. We started with a drink for me. The waitress talked me into a Brooklyn, a slight variation on the Manhattan, but allowed me to sing the song anyway.
I followed this with my favorite Oysters Arnaud, which consists of one each of the other baked oyster dishes. They are Rockefeller and Bienville of course, Oysters Kathryn, which has artichokes, Oysters Suzette, which is Bacon and Pimento, green onion and bell peppers, and Ohan (the late great Archie Casbarian’s father,) which is a Creole dish of eggplant and andouille.
I love the turtle soup here, and MA loves the chicken gumbo, but we passed on both tonight. And she passed on the crab cakes she loves, and what a dear friend calls the ‘Arnaud’s Happy Meal”: shrimp remoulade, Amandine, and Bread Pudding Fitzmorris.
So what did we eat? She ate a large amount of the delicious bread here, which is very odd for her. And I ate both of the chef’s starters, (amuse bouche) because it was Tuna Crudo and a fried plantain with a slice of avocado.
After considering the cornish game hen which is always great, and a steak, equally good, I settled on the quail with seafood boudin, this time with a blackberry sauce. It’s usually blueberry. I love quail, even though it is tedious to eat. This was perfection, and the blackberry sauce was an outstanding switch. MA was very enthusiastic about the seafood boudin cake which was served in the center. I had to agree this was absolutely delicious. A very welcome twist on the original.
MA’s entree was creamed spinach. I don’t ask questions. She also got the Crabmeat Prentiss, which is a small ramekin of crabmeat au gratin accompanied by four thin crostini. There wasn't much to this, she thought, and the cheese overpowered the delicate crabmeat. I would agree. This was disappointing, but the price was too good to complain.
We finished with, what else? Bread Pudding Fitzmorris. I always order it to keep it on the menu. Mary Ann was anxious to leave so she checked to make sure my name was on it before ordering. She took a bite and agreed it was the best version of that she has tasted. Light, airy, with a great vanilla flavor and just a hint of cinnamon.
This is such a great restaurant. Every bit the Grande Dame with a personality all its own. The look is very classy, the service top notch, the food so polished. It is always a treat to eat here. Another great meal tonight.
813 Bienville St. New Orleans
Dinner nightly 6pm
Sunday Brunch 10-2