Metairie has not often been the home of neighborhood cafes for which New Orleans proper is celebrated. But there are a few such, and they have a way of being fun and good to find. Bistro Orleans is one of these. Taking over a space in a strip mall that has been home for a number of good to superb restaurants over the years, Bistro Orleans has that blend of seafood, sandwiches and Italian food which, with a few daily specials, adds up to the neighborhood flavor. [caption id="attachment_41578" align="alignnone" width="480"] Fried Des Allemands catfish platter. [/caption]
In 2012, Bistro Orleans began its life in a well-worn space hidden behind East Jefferson Hospital off the main traffic streams. In 2014 it moved to a much more agreeable spot on West Esplanade, just off Causeway Boulevard. That address resonates with memories of past restaurants there, notably the extinct five-star French restaurant Crozier's. For the last five or six years it was Chad's Bistro, whose fried seafood boats brought a good bit of attention.
Anyone who ever dined at the old Crozier's will recognize the layout and decor, with a big main dining room and a smaller one right behind it. Sets of walls with a cross-shaped footprint make the big room's tables more intimate. The oyster bar is the first thing you see. Behind it is the liquor bar, which almost seems to be in a different suite.
They run many good daily specials here, notably the involving oysters and the catfish.