Critic Tom Fitzmorris’ dining plans fell through and he ended up at “the very best of the local Creole bistros, Brigtsen’s,” where Marna Brigtsen manages the dining room like it is her own home and Chef Frank Brigtsen focuses on really good food, rather than “menu posturing” or “oddball ingredients.” Fitzmorris recommends that diners take the advice from their waiters regarding what’s good that day. If they’re interested in his advice, here it is: Try the shrimp remoulade with guacamole, mustard and cornmeal-crusted fried catfish, gumbo of the day, butternut squash and shrimp bisque, broiled Gulf fish with crabmeat parmesan crust, sesame-crusted panneed rabbit, veal or fish specials, filet mignon of beef with tasso marchand de vin sauce, unfried seafood platter (an assortment of five or six small seafood dishes), slow-roasted duck, banana (or other flavor) bread pudding, or double chocolate cake.
The best tables in the century-old cottage are the two or three by the front windows, but they’re hard to get. Reservations are usually necessary. [CITY BUSINESS]
Meanwhile, Helen Freund heads over to the Daily Beet, a “health-focused restaurant” that is “better suited to a quick lunch than a longer sit-down affair.” Owner Dylan Maisel (also behind JuiceNOLA at the St. Roch Market) grew up in upstate New York, where his parents ran a vegetarian restaurant. According to Freund, kale headlines at the cafe, “serving as the backbone for smoothies, breakfast bowls and salads.” She applauds the cafe’s toast game, finding that the thickly sliced semolina bread from Leo’s Bread thwarts what commonly becomes “soggy, thin-sliced bread sagging under the weight of its toppings.” Leo’s Bread has no problem standing up to hefty toppings. Dishes range from light and simple to more filling, like the Southwestern-inspired Supreme salad. [GAMBIT]
Freund also visited NOSH, a “swanky cocktail lounge from Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts” with “a globetrotting theme.” The menu spans Peruvian-stye ceviche to miniature, Southwestern-style, lobster tacos. Many of the dishes are small, but the flatbread can work as a meal for one person. Many dishes feel casual, but some more “elegant” dishes impress, like the bison burgers on brioche. These, two per order, also work as a one-person meal. “The thick bison patties were cooked a perfect medium rare and are topped with a thick slice of Tillamook cheddar cheese and soft, candy-like caramelized onions. The burgers are speared with a pretty roulade of fresh cucumber and pickled radish.”
Freund notes that the restaurant’s opening chef, Michael Farrell, has left NOSH and no successor has been named. Live music on the weekends. [GAMBIT]