3 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Ristorante Filippo

Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 1917 Ridgelake. 504-835-4008. Map.
Casual
AE DC MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Those who like hidden, secret restaurants or Italian food with unique twists on classic flavors should have this little restaurant on their lists. It’s so unassuming that you expect far less than what the place actually delivers. A pleasant surprise, that.

WHAT’S GOOD
Although chef-owner Phil Gagliano claims that his recipes are classic Sicilian-New Orleans, in fact his food is quite distinctive. It relies more on herbs and olive oil and careful roasting than on red sauces and melted cheese. He leaves nothing tasty out, but balances all the elements to arrive at some beautiful flavors. Even elementary matters like the Italian salad and veal piccata come out unusually delicious.

BACKSTORY
Gagliano is one of the current generation of a family that gave us Frank’s, the venerable, lusty, yeasty Italian cafe and muffuletta specialist near the French Market. In 2001, he took over the former Napoli restaurant, and began the longest tenure of any of many cafes that tried to make a go of this funny building near the Galleria.

DINING ROOM
Even though the chef has done a lot of landscaping, nothing about the exterior suggests the intimate, casually elegant dining rooms inside. The rooms are small; the upstairs dining room is a shade less atmospheric. Tables in the bar are more comfortable than you might imagine. When an order of the bubbling, herbal oyster areganata enters the dining room, the aroma is irresistible.

ONLINE MENU LOCATION

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Fried eggplant medallions
»Fried calamari
»»Oysters al areganate
Shrimp scampi
»»Zuppa di Fillipo (seafood cream soup)
Zuppa di la casa
»Italian salad
Caesar salad
Caprese salad
Entrees
Most served with salad and pasta)

Shrimp Gagliano, butter, garlic, linguini
»Fettuccine Alfredo
Meatballs
Italian sausage
Eggplant Parmigiana
»»Pollo al spiedini (stuffed chicken breast on a skewer)
Grilled chicken, garlic butter
»Chicken Alfredo
Chicken or veal Marsala
»Chicken or veal piccata
Chicken or veal Parmigiana
»Veal Francesca (pan-sauteed, Alfredo sauce)
»Veal Sorrentina (sauteed veal, fried eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella)
Fresh grilled fish of the day
Ribeye steak
Filet mignon
»Grilled pork chop (frequent special)
»Bread pudding with whiskey sauce
»Tira mi su
Fresh berries with cream
»Cannoli

FOR BEST RESULTS
The menu will strike you as not especially promising, but when you get the waiter’s advice and learn of the specials the excitement mounts. The best way to get there place is from Galleria Boulevard. Take a right at that street’s end, go a block, and there it is.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Not enough seafood entrees. The veal needs to be sliced and pounded thinner.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • 25-75
  • Open Sunday dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations honored promptly

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The old canard that ends “location, location, and location” is as true in the restaurant game as it is for real estate. Ristorante Filippo has none of the three. On what was once the bank of the West Napoleon Avenue Canal, the place is visible from Causeway Boulevard. Figuring out how to get there is less obvious. People asking me about Filippo on the radio often say, “I’ve seen it for ten years but never went there.”

That is decidedly their loss. The quaint dining rooms are the first nice surprise, followed by a much bigger one. Owner-chef Phil Gagliano’s cooking shows the taste and polish you’d expect from the best Italian restaurants. He says it’s authentic Sicilian food, but I’d say it’s much more original than that.


2 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Patsy Schroth on January 31, 2014

    This is my very favorite Italian restaurant in the city! I tried it several times before I decided that I really loved several of their dishes. My absolute favorite is the Pollo Spiedini (stuffed chicken breasts, rolled in bread crumbs and paneed) served with pasta, covered with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic olive oil and fresh parmesan EXCELLENT! Though it is on the menu, they don’t often have it available. To be sure, call ahead with a reservation and request this dish they will make it for you and your group. Their chicken marsala, to die for as well as their pork chop. You will be so happy you went out of your way to find this lovely restaurant.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on January 31, 2014

      My review on this site says more or less what you do.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY?