Hailed by 225 Magazine as the “Best French Dining in Baton Rouge,” Galatoire’s Bistro presents an appearance of taste and elegance that matches the incredible food it serves. Guests enter under a black canopy surrounded by white brick walls, green shutters and black street lamps. Inside, everything gleams. Black leather furniture sits on black and white tiled floors. Tables are draped with white tablecloths and black napkins (perfect for those dressed up ladies wearing bright lipsticks). Heavily mirrored walls reflect the natural light from the windows as well as that of the brass chandeliers. The gold and tan wallpaper softens the room, as well as the large area rugs in browns with touches of red, green, gold and beige. The heavy crown moldings and soaring ceilings add richness to the dining room. New Orleans-style jazz plays unobtrusively in the background, and the room temperature is warm and cozy.
Outdoor patio dining and a bustling bar area are provided for more casual diners when the weather permits. It is certain to be packed when the LSU Tigers are playing a home football game in the fall.
The original Galatoire’s location was opened in 1905 on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Executive Chef Kelley McCann began his culinary career as a bus boy there and steadily worked his way up. At the age of 28, he has created a menu that most chefs would need many more years to perfect. It is impressive. Regional dishes and varieties of seafood are prepared with savory French sauces and ingredients.
A loaf of crusty French bread arrives promptly and a crystal carafe of water is waiting at your table. The service is attentive with servers constantly anticipating your next course with appropriate silverware, plates and glassware.
A fleur de lis adorns the china. In French, fleur means “flower” and lis means “lily.” The fleur de lis has been a symbol of the French monarchy for many years. Main course plates are placed with the fleur de lis always facing up.
Galatoire’s Bistro offers a special Bistro 1905 Lunch. The 1905 refers to the year the original Galatoire’s was opened and to the price of this 3-course lunch – $19.05. This is what my husband and I chose on a recent visit, and in reality we got to taste SIX different dishes by sharing and sampling.
For our first course, he chose the Salad Maison, and I chose the French Onion Soup.
For the main course, I got the Fried Gulf Fish Amandine, and he selected the Grilled Gulf Fish. As a result, black drum is now my new favorite fish. It is very mild, and the batter had body and crunch without being thick or heavy. The grilled mahi mahi was cooked perfectly — moist and flaky, well-done but not dry.
For dessert, we shared both the Caramel Cup Custard and the Bread Pudding. Oh my goodness, folks in Louisiana sure do know how to make bread pudding. What wonderful tastes to end our meal!
In order to have an exceptional experience such as we had, all of the jobs need to be done well by members of the restaurant staff. The greeters, receptionists, seaters, water glass fillers, plate clearers, servers, and of course, the chef and his crew worked in harmony. They are obviously well-trained and appear to enjoy their positions. We look forward to returning soon and trying even more of Chef McCann’s tempting menu.