A few weeks ago we had Tenney Flynn and Gary Wollerman from GW Fins on the radio show to promote Tenney’s new book, “The Deep End Of Flavor.” It was very nice to see them again. I have been a fan of Tenney’s food since they arrived in town. Both were with Ruth’s Chris before starting Fins in 2000. At that time having a restaurant featuring seafood from all over, not just gulf fish, seemed radical. It has proven to be a sensational idea, one so obvious it’s a wonder no one had thought of t before.
After the show a few weeks ago, there was a book launch party at SoFab that got both of us, but particularly Mary Ann, really interested in eating there again. The food at the party reminded us just how great these two restaurateurs are. The lobster dumplings alone were enough to get us back, but MA has been talking about the unique BBQ shrimp in the Abita Amber sauce ever since.
When we did make it to the restaurant a few nights ago, she did not even get them, because there was too much else on the menu she preferred. It was great to have the signature biscuits again. These are small, fluffy drop biscuits served with honey butter. The restaurant is very generous with this popular item, and waiters are constantly coming through the dining room throughout the evening with a cookie sheet hot enough to require an oven mitt. The epitome of fresh-baked. These are dropped on your plate with tongs, as many as you like. This is their version of an amuse bouche. At a restaurant of this caliber, an amuse bouche is often presented, but the biscuits are a happy substitute.
The menu is enticing, and the Coolinary is a draw. Both of us resisted the Coolinary temptation and ordered from the menu. MA went for shrimp remoulade and a crab cake and a mushroom risotto. A small plates thing. And I had one large plate of parmesan-crusted sheepshead over asparagus with a generous topping of lump crabmeat with brown butter and crispy capers. This was a large plate of food and a great one.
The restaurant made a mistake with the order and delivered figs, walnuts and blue cheese instead of the mushrooms, so we used that as a dessert. MA loved her shrimp remoulade, though it was nothing like she imagined. Beautiful presentation. A pile of frisee with a light and tangy dressing in the middle, flanked by a few shrimp and very thin fried green tomatoes. This was drizzled with a light, white remoulade.
The crabcake was also beautifully presented with jicama slaw alongside it, and an eye-catching tamarind coulis splashed artfully on the plate. The crab cake was MA approved, meaning not a stuffing fried, but real lump crabmeat seared on both ends. Her mushroom risotto arrived late to the table because of the mix up. It was a little tighter than we’re used to but had a great flavor and was a nice portion for a side dish. Shaved parmesan on top. Very tasty.
The unexpected figs were a good blend of ingredients and made for a nice sweet finish. The walnuts were thickly candied and the blue cheese made for a perfect accompaniment to the figs.
I had a great Riesling with a nose MA loved, and the bill was only $86 for a meal like this. We left with our usual thought: why don’t we do this more often?
808 Bienville St New Orleans
Friday & Saturday till 10:30
Free validated parking 911 Iberville St