We had a very aggressive dining schedule on our most recent trip to New Orleans last month, the finale being dinner at Galatoire’s on our last night in the city.
209 Bourbon Street
New Orleans , LA 70130
Galtoire’s is a legendary restaurant, right on Bourbon street, surrounded by strip clubs, bars and even sharing a wall with a sex shop. It’s odd to step from the raucousness of Bourbon Street into a restaurant which has seen over 100 years of history, elegance and tradition, and still manages to be unpretentious and a hell of a lot of fun. Jean Galatoire opened the restaurants doors in 1905, and it has remained in the family ever since, they’re on their fourth generation of family ownership. In November of 2005 the family also opened Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge. Richard at Appetites gives a good comparison of the two restaurants here.
After all of my trips to New Orleans over the years, I finally made it to Galatoire’s, and it was well worth the wait.
In addition to wonderfully prepared French Creole Cuisine, the highlight of a visit to Galatoire’s will most likely be your waiter, probably one of the most knowledgeable in the city. Our waiter was Tony, an excellent waiter, friendly, jovial, and just one hell of a nice guy.
The Souffle Potatoes are a lost art, except in the old line Creole restaurants of New Orleans, those being Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, and Galatoire’s. They were easily my favorite part of the whole meal, out of sheer respect for the stalwart adherence to tradition and quality. Not to mention they are just a delicious and addicting appetizer. Little edible zeppelins as crispy as a potato chip with a perfect Bearnaise Sauce for dipping.
The Shrimp Remoulade was also fantastic, and my favorite Remoulade Sauce that I’ve had in the city thus far. In my opinion a perfect balance of flavors. (Galatoire’s Shrimp Remoulade Recipe)
Next I selected a nice French White Burgundy for the meal, and Tony brought us a staple for any great dining experience in New Orleans, a loaf of New Orleans French Bread, soft in the center with a flaky crust that keeps the busboys busy with their crumbers.
The fish selections were Pompano, Flounder, and Cobia. My wife asked if the Flounder would be good Amandine style and Tony kind of swayed and suggested it broiled with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Lemon. As I told my wife, trust your waiter. Listen to him. As a matter of fact, many regulars of Galatoire’s will let their waiter order for them. It basically goes like this…What would you like today? Lunch please.
I ordered Pompano with Crabmeat Yvonne and had my first taste of true Meuniere butter, Galatoire’s style, I fell in love with it and it’s now part of my repertoire. The Pompano was everything it should be, buttery flesh that melts in your mouth. The Crabmeat Yvonne topping is sauteed Mushrooms, Artichoke bottoms, Jumbo Lump Crabmeat with Meuniere butter. It is named for the Granddaughter of Jean Galatoire and daughter of Justin Galatoire. She worked in the restaurant starting as cashier in 1938. She managed from 1964 until 1997 when she retired and she was president of the business from 1984 until her death in 2000.
Dessert was a creamy Creme Carmel which is a must at Galtoire’s…
…as is Cafe Brulot, flamed tableside. Brandy and Orange Liqeur are flamed in a Brulot bowl with Orange and lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves…
Tony ladles the flambe for flourish…
The flambe is extinguished with good strong Cafe Noir.
The finished product is ladled into coffee cups.
A perfect end to an extraordinary evening at Galatoire’s. Tony introduced us to one of the Galatoire family members who manages the restaurant, a delightful gentleman who thanked us for our patronage, and even took our picture in front of the restaurant.
By the way Galatoire’s also has a phenomenal Galatoire’s Cookbook that came out shortly before the storm, it’s a keeper. Great pics, recipes, and history.
Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!