Mention the name “Brennan” to residents of New Orleans, and you get immediate recognition and appreciation for the culinary accomplishments of the Brennan family. Their contributions to the dining scene in the Big Easy, a city synonymous with great food, are vast. Patriarch Owen Brennan opened Brennan’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street in 1946. By the 1970’s, Commander’s Palace was in Brennan family hands, from which both Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme were launched as renowned chefs. Among the family’s very popular current restaurants are Mr. B’s Bistro, Palace Cafe, Red Fish Grill, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House and Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. All have loyal followers and coveted reservations.
Recently, my husband and I had a wonderful evening at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse with great friends. It was raining as we approached, so a huge asset quickly materialized — the garage and valet parking adjacent to the building.
Once inside, we were greeted by a friendly staff and directed to our table. On the way, we passed several double doorways leading to two of the six private dining rooms and the large bar.
We looked around to be sure our dress met the code, which is upscale casual. My husband wore a sport coat and collared shirt. Our friend wore a casual knit shirt. Both were fine. Our expectations were high. After all, Travel and Leisure, The Daily Meal, and USA Today had posted stellar reviews. White tablecloths and gleaming crystal and silverware awaited our arrival.
The idea of Turtle Soup proved to be irresistible to three of us, but one of our friends selected the wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing and crispy fried onions. I asked what kind of turtle was used in the soup, and the server said it was a red snapping turtle, but that I’d also taste pieces of beef and veal. It was surprisingly thick with rich layers of flavor.
For entrees, I, of course, wanted to try a steak with au gratin potatoes. After all, we WERE in a world famous steakhouse. My companions chose a fish dish, black drum over potatoes and kale. My steak was as mouthwatering as I expected it to be. Those folks know how to cook a steak!
Desserts chosen at our table were Bananas Foster Bread Pudding and Praline Chocolate Mousse topped with sweet cream and house made pralines. Bananas Foster, by the way, is a dessert first created in 1951 at the original Brennan’s Restaurant.
Our evening was perfect. The dinner was wonderful. The service was impeccable. Every wish was anticipated and fulfilled. Do yourself a favor and plan a meal at one of the restaurants owned by the Brennans. I can personally vouch for Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse and Palace Cafe (their white chocolate bread pudding is worth every calorie). The others are on my Bucket List for future visits.