8324 Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
The restaurant owner is Jacques Leonardi, who is also the owner of Crabby Jack's (I had no idea!). This place was featured on Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" so I was really looking forward to trying it.
I'm so glad I called and made a reservation (even though the earliest availability was 9PM!) cuz the place was packed! We had to go through the bar to get to the hostess stand. O.M.G. The number of people in the bar was INSANE! You cannot move at all. I almost wanted to
give up the reservation and leave... I get claustrophobic and that was not a good experience!
Luckily the dining area was in a completely different area. Whew. When we finally got to the hostess, we had to squeeze our way back to the front of the bar to go to the dining area. The restaurant decor was very colorful and eclectic. Lots of different art, pictures, drawings on the walls, very random.
We were given complimentary Cornbread after we ordered. I'm not usually a cornbread fan but this was really good. The crust had a nice crunch to it and the inside was pretty moist. I would've liked some chunks of corn in it though.
A friend of mine ordered Fried Green Tomatoes (with shrimp remoulade) $7.50~ appetizer. It was definitely different than the remoulade we had in our po-boy earlier in the day. It was actually whole shrimp..in the shell and everything. I liked the crust on the green tomato but I think it needed more seasoning. I find green tomatoes kind of flavorless so I think some sort of sauce is necessary for flavor.
I just got an appetizer because I was still really full. Fried Rabbit Tenderloin (with Creole Mustard Sauce) $7.50~ I've never had rabbit before so I really wanted to try it. I thought the presentation looked kinda funny... It was ok... The texture was very similar to white meat chicken...a little tough and dry. Although I could taste a hint of some other flavor that differentiated it from chicken. I thought the crust could've been crispier too. I didn't care for the dish too much...
Half way through the meal, Jacques himself strolls into the dining room. Cool! He made his rounds at every table, greeting and chatting with all the customers. He seemed really friendly and laid back. When he got around to our table we told him this was our first time there and if we could take a picture with him. He was a good sport and even got on top of our chairs and did a goofy pose. haha! :) Then he asked if we got their Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake $7.50~ (we didn't order it), so he gave it to us on the house since that was what they're famous for. It was the one featured on Food Network. It was definitely interesting...a savory cheesecake. Although I felt the texture was more along the lines of a quiche or bread pudding. I could see and taste the chunks of alligator sausage but didn't really get the shrimp. The sauce on top was kind of a creamy tomato-y sauce. I'm not sure if I really liked it that much but it was definitely something different to try.
Here are the entrees that other people ordered...
Each entree comes with house salad and choice of two sides. House salad is a spinach salad with a fried oyster and balsamic dressing. The salad was really good. Fresh and the dressing was tasty and not overpowering. The fried oyster on the side was pretty dang good as well.
One friend got the Cajun Bouillibaisse (oysters, shrimp, mussels, fresh fish) $19.50~ This was kind of like a seafood stew. There were lots of different kinds of seafood in there. I had a piece of shrimp...it was overcooked. :( The flavors were pretty nice though.
My bf ordered Grilled Mahi Mahi (with Pistachio sauce, asparagus, and shrimp); side of Corn Maque Choux and Mixed Greens) $18.50~ The fish was a nice thick piece of fish. It was cooked well, but I thought was lacking in seasoning a bit. The sauce wasn't really what I had imagined when I read the menu. What I really liked were the sides. The corn and greens were awesome! :)
Another friend ordered Blackened Redfish (with a crab shili hollandaise) $18.50~ I didn't get to try it but it looked pretty good.
One of my friends ordered Cowboy Ribeye with Onion Rings and Mashed Potatoes (22 oz. bone-in Ribeye) $36~ when he saw some guy in the table next to us with one. It looked really good. hahaha. I got to try one bite. The flavor was good I thought..but it wasn't as tender as I would like. And I didn't like the onion rings even though they looked good. The batter on the outside wasn't crispy...
OMG we were sooo full... I was at my max capacity and was starting to feel a little sick. haha. Needless to say we did not have any dessert. :P
Overall I was a little disappointed in the meal. I would definitey prefer Crabby Jacks out of the two. But I'm not sure if it's because I was already full to begin with...
There were some good parts and some not so good parts. But it was a nice surprise to meet Jacques thats for sure! All I can say is call ahead and make reservations!! Otherwise you'll be stuck waiting forever...
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~