Commander's Palace (https://www.commanderspalace.com/) in the tony Garden District of New Orleans is an iconic New Orleans restaurant that has been around since 1893, and has a great reputation for its haute creole cuisine. It has been under the proprietorship of the renowned Brennan restaurant family of New Orleans for over four decades. It has won many awards.
I had a very pleasant lunch there on the recommendation of a friend. (Thank you, Peg!)
The meal started with four pieces of a nice garlic bread.
Then came a really delicious amuse-bouche. It was a sweet crackling morsel.
The first course I had was a set of small servings of three soups, called Soups 1-1-1, for $9.50. It consists of turtle soup, a gumbo, and the soup du jour. The gumbo had oysters, shrimp, and redfish. The soup du jour had tomato and smoked redfish. The turtle soup was served with a bit of sherry poured in.
I was a bit reluctant to try the turtle soup, but I'm glad I did. It was fantastic – one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever had! The soup du jour was also superb. I enjoyed the gumbo, but it was not quite to my taste - perhaps because of the combination of ingredients. I'd had two other gumbos the previous day - one at NOLA's and one that I made in a cooking class. I liked both of them more. Both had andouille sausage. NOLA's was the best.
The second course was New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp - five seared extra-large shrimp crusted with rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest over goat cheese grits, with charred chilies and New Orleans barbecue butter for $24. It was tasty.
A small loaf of French bread was included, but I did not try it because I was saving room for dessert.
The wine I chose was a 2016 Commander's Palace Pays d'Oc Merlot. I really enjoyed it. My 6-oz. glass was $10.50.
My incredible dessert was the Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé with cream sauce mixed in for $9.50. This dish is made in advance, so it has to be ordered at the same time one orders the other courses.
I accompanied the soufflé with the perfect drink - a snifter of Bailey's Irish Cream for $9.50.
I finished the meal with a decent cup of espresso for $3.50.
My server, Jeff, was one of those consummate professionals who does everything right, and who adds a pleasant note to the dining experience.
The atmosphere was vibrant, and all of the many diners appeared to be enjoying themselves. At one point, three singers walked around singing lively Christmas songs.
The dress code is upscale casual. (See the restaurant's web site for specifics.)
The restaurant is located at 1403 Washington Ave, an easy streetcar ride from the French Quarter. Reservations are essential. Phone 504-899-8221.
After finishing a meal there, you might consider checking out some of the beautiful old mansions on the nearby streets. Be careful when walking on the very uneven sidewalks.