If you haven't been to the Lakefront in a while, it's time to pack a bib, because newcomers Blue Crab and Brisbi's are currently owning the long-lost dining scene overlooking West End Park.
This week, Ian McNulty reports that the Blue Crab (7900 Lakeshore Drive) is resurrecting "a once-vibrant lakefront restaurant culture" by elevating "classic seafood" with some modern twists. The fishing-camp style restaurant on 20-foot stilts has been open since late July from Jack Panno and Nick Asprodites (Sid-Mar's Kent Burgess helped open, but is apparently OUT now), and is attracting crowds with "dishes modeled directly on specialties from long-gone West End restaurants," and serene deck dining.
Meanwhile, Todd A. Price also reported last week on Blue Crab last week, as well as their neighbor/fellow hotspot/also 20 feet up in the air, Brisbi's Lakefront (7400 Lakeshore Dr.), which is also gaining popularity? erm, even Allen Toussaint has eaten here already. Chef David DeFelice's handle on familiar dishes "like crab cakes, fried seafood platters and BBQ shrimp" are to be expected, Price notes, as:
His great-grandfather was Frank Manale, founder of Pascal's Manale. His father, uncles and aunt run the Uptown Creole-Italian stalwart that invented BBQ shrimp. DeFelice learned everything he knows about cooking in that kitchen.
Other than Blue Crab and Brisbi's, don't expect a huge resurgence in the Lakefront restaurants as Todd A. Price also reports that the process to get water-front restaurants off-the-ground is extremely complicated (ie. bureaucracy fun time), and anyways, the plan for the area "is to create a green space, although that will have to wait a year or longer until the Municipal Yacht Harbor Management Corporation, which oversees the area, makes more progress on the harbor's reconstruction." The land where "most of the famous seafood restaurants were located" pre-Katrina (on the West End) is being used by the Corps. of Engineers "as a staging area for the construction of permanent pumps."
· The Blue Crab Elevates Classic Seafood, By 20 Feet To Be Exact [Advocate]
· The Blue Crab and Brisbi's Seek to revive Lakefront Dining [NOLA.com]
Blue Crab Restaurant & Oyster Bar [Photo: Facebook]