New Orleans is a town that is loaded with restaurants ranging from very pricy fine dining to local joints loved by tourists and local residents alike. The prices of some of the higher end restaurants were frightening and others were booked on the night that we’d decided to splurge.
I’d done my research so I had a few options to choose from…places where I didn’t have to wear a sports coat! I’ve only ‘dressed up’ twice since I’ve retired…once for a wedding and once for a funeral.
I ‘borrowed’ this photo from the Internet… This is the Kingfish Kitchen and Cocktails in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It’s casual with a menu that's interesting and a little quirky.
Greg Sonnier is this restaurant's chef. He began his culinary career on Chartres Street in the French Quarter, cooking for Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. Sonnier, a James Beard-nominated chef, first won acclaim with ‘Gabrielle’, a restaurant he owned with his wife, Mary, in Mid-City, before it became a casualty of the post-Katrina levee failures. Kingfish is owned by Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, a company that operates several casual eateries and Big Easy Daiquiri bars in the heart of heavily tourist-trafficked areas of the French Quarter.
We were sitting near the front of the restaurant…and as you can tell from this photo, we’d decided to eat a bit early by New Orleans standards. The interior of Kingfish was very warm and inviting.
Contributors to TripAdvisor.com had rated Kingfish 264 Excellent or Very Good vs. 25 Poor or Terrible. It was very close to my informal ‘minimum’ 10:1 ratio that I like to use when researching possible places to dine…
The bar at Kingfish is very popular. We passed the restaurant on several occasions at night during our visit to New Orleans and the bar was always busy…great news for profit margins!
This restaurant and bar salutes the Huey P. Long Era. Huey Long whose nickname was the ‘Kingfish’ was a well-known, (famous or infamous), former Governor and US Senator from Louisiana. His fiery oratory and political posturing certainly made him stand out from the crowd back in the day. He was a populist who was fixated on the redistribution of wealth…and he became a virtual dictator in Louisiana. He was assassinated in September of 1935 by the son-in-law of a political enemy. Franklin Roosevelt described Long as, “along with General Douglas MacArthur, one of the two most dangerous men in America”.
He sure was an interesting character. To read more about “The Kingfish”, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huey_Long.
This is the Kingfish Kitchen and Bar’s signature drink…the “French 75”. It consists of Plymouth Gin, Lemon, Sugar and Avissi Prosecco champagne. After asking what drink was popular, the waitress served 3 of these to us. Big Mistake!! Always ask the price of ‘special drinks’! Can you believe that the French 75’s were $12.00 each! At least my Miller Lights were only $5.00 a piece…but Laurie and Dawn seemed to enjoy this cocktail very much!
This was one of the best appetizers that we ever had… It’s the Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno, Garlic cheese chorizo in a ‘Turbodog emulsion’. These 4 bites cost $9.00. However this was so good…and we were on vacation…that we requested a second order to share. (I mopped up the sauce from both!)
Note: I have learned that ‘Turbodog’ refers to Louisiana’s own Abita Turbodog dark brown ale.
This was Laurie’s entrée. It’s the Seafood Cassoulet…with sautéed shrimp, fish, crawfish and alligator sausage smothered in flageolets and finished with a cheese crust. ($21.00) Laurie really enjoyed this gastronomic creation!
Note: Flageolets are immature kidney beans that the French have been cultivating and incorporating in their cuisine since the 1800s.
Dawn Marie ordered the "Junky Chicken" Rotisserie. ($20.00) This consisted of Cajun marinade-injected chicken dusted with herbs de Provence, served with Applewood-smoked bacon bits, cebollitas and smashed potatoes. In this photo, the server is injecting the Cajun marinade.
Dawn opted for cheesy grits instead of the smashed potatoes…and she reported that they were excellent. She loved her chicken too!
Note: Another food lesson for me… Cebollitas are grilled green onions.
As for my dinner, I went with the Cedar Plank Gulf Fish. ($21.00) If I remember correctly, this was a Drum filet. It was cooked on a cedar plank and it was accompanied with a strawberry field salad tossed with charred Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The salad wasn’t anything special but it was healthy… The cedar planked Drum was excellent!
The food at Kingfish Kitchen was generally excellent. Service was competent although there were a couple of lapses of attention. If it weren’t for the exorbitant cost of our alcoholic beverages and if there’d been just one more bite on each of our appetizer plates, this restaurant would have earned 5 stars in our book…
The Kingfish Kitchen and Bar is located at 337 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Phone: 504-598-5005. Website: http://www.cocktailbarneworleans.com/sip.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by to check out our dinner ‘menu!’
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave