Circuit Court New Orleans
Mr. B's Bistro
201 Royal Street.
New Orleans, LA
(at the corner of Iberville St. in the French Quarter)
B's is owned by the ubiquitous Brennan family of Brennan's and Commander's
Palace fame, and is operated by the Ralph and Cindy faction of said family.
The Brennans seem to own every third restaurant in New Orleans, which
is fine by me, since they almost always know how to please. Fresh ingredients,
a great wine list, and understated, efficient service are all hallmarks
of a Brennan restaurant. They seem to have opened restaurants featuring
every type of cuisine: steak (Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse), Italian (Bacco),
old-style New Orleans (Brennan's). Mr. B's is their casual, neo-bistro
the most interesting things about Mr. B's is that you can feel equally
comfortable in shorts as in a business suit. The atmosphere tends toward
the upscale, with white linen napkins and tablecloths, waiters in bow
ties, gleaming silverware. But there is a playfulness in the air, a familiarity
with the surroundings. Large floor to ceiling windows let you watch the
activity out on Royal Street. Have a cocktail or glass of wine at the
bar while you wait for your table.
appetizers pervade the menu, most notably the Gumbo Ya-Ya, Mr. B's version
of the venerable chicken andouille gumbo. The gumbo has a thick, dark,
Hershey's syrup consistency, with thick slices of spicy andouille sausage
and tender chicken. Resist the urge to add that dash of Tabasco -- you
don't need it. The pepper from the andouille will build on itself and
you will be wiping the sweat off your brow by the time you finish the
bowl. Another great starter is the flash fried oysters wrapped in bacon,
napped with a nice lemony butter sauce, an interesting variation on the
standard oyster preparation. Coconut shrimp is just ordinary, but the
sauce that comes with it is nice, with a sort of sweet and sour thing
is your first visit to Mr. B's the entree ordering is easy. Two words:
barbequed shrimp. Don't be fooled by the name, though. These shrimp have
about as much to do with barbeque sauce as the French had to do with winning
World War II. Huge -- and I mean huge -- heads-on shrimp, literally drowning
in a cross-your-eyes-rich butter and pepper sauce. The sauce couldn't
be simpler: butter, butter, more butter, some fresh cracked black pepper,
creole seasonings, and a just an afterthought of garlic. Oh my, is this
stuff good. I can hear my arteries clogging up just thinking about it.
Break off some of that crusty loaf of bread to dip in the bowl. Now that's
living, folks. Okay, if that sounds too intense for your taste, go for
the filet with blue cheese mashed potatoes. They'll cook it the way you
like it but remember, medium-rare means bloody but warm in the center.
I have seen steaks sent back that to me were a perfect medium-rare. Blue
cheese mashed potatoes may sound weird, but trust me, it's a great combination.
hungry? Just-got-kicked-off-the-island hungry? OK, indulge in the profiteroles
for dessert. Flaky golf ball-sized pastries filled with ice cream made
in-house, stacked up and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Say goodnight,
Get to Mr. B's. Don't live here? Charter a plane, steal a car, hire a
limo, just do it.
Magistrate Loupe at email@example.com