Classic Meets Contemporary at These New Orleans Steakhouses
New Orleans has a penchant for fusion and a distinct originality that sets the Big Easy apart from any other city. It’s food scene is among the best in the world, a sentiment on full display at the city’s finest steakhouses. Here, it’s deliciously apparent that chefs can mix tradition with modernity in all kinds of exciting ways. In New Orleans, this of course means mixing traditional Cajun and Creole flavors with contemporary steakhouse flare. Here are some of the best steakhouses in town that put a distinct stamp on the local cuisine.
Besh Steak: John Besh is one of the most prominent and respected chefs in New Orleans for very good reason. He’s got a deft hand when it comes to mixing local classics with updated originals. Take his namesake Besh Steak, for instance. Here you’ll find some of the best steaks in the region, from rib-eye steak au poivre to a hulking cowboy steak with roasted sweet potato and bordelaise. But you’ll also find family recipes for seafood gumbo, barbecued shrimp, oyster stew, shrimp and crabmeat pies and Louisiana shrimp & grits wit green onion sausage, fontina cheese and red gravy.
ChopHouse: Even an old-school haunt like Chop House has some tricks up its sleeve. Like the seamless ability to mix NY strips and center-cut rib-eyes with Cajun-spiced Delmonico steaks and shrimp remoulade. The menu and format here skew pretty classic, focusing primarily on a few basic items and doing them really really well.
Dickie Brennan’s: One of the oldest and most esteemed restaurants in town, Dickie Brennan’s is not only still going strong, but they’re still drawing hordes of customers from near and far. The local legend boasts an impressive lineup of time-tested recipes and iconic tastes of the Crescent City. These include Gulf seafood salads bursting with shrimp, crawfish and crab, plump barbecued shrimp and grits and oysters with chipotle-Tabasco beurre blanc for starters. Follow this up with unique novelties like bone marrow escargot (snails with bone marrow butter, anyone?), petite filets, USDA Prime rib-eyes and impossibly tender roasted prime rib rubbed with honey and Creole seasoning before arriving at the table with horseradish cream.
Red Maple: For proof that it pays to venture beyond city limits, you need only try a meal at Red Maple. Located in nearby Gretna, the restaurant features comforting specialties like crabmeat au gratin, fried artichoke hearts, turtle soup and crawfish etouffee alongside burly beef entrees like an 14-oz. NY strip or an 8-oz. filet mignon. Customers can supplement their steaks with the likes of blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms, crabmeat or shrimp, and sides include sweet potato casserole, Lyonnaise potatoes, asparagus and creamed spinach.
Michael’s: Prime steaks and fresh local seafood are the bill of fare at this seasoned Slidell institution. Along with staples like filet au poivre and blackened rib-eye steaks, the restaurant gets crafty with local spins like Filet St. Charles (two filet medallions topped with Creole broiled tomatoes and draped with crawfish and mushrooms in a Cognac sauce), Filet Orleans (two filet medallions smothered in crabmeat and shallots in port-wine-sherry sauce) and Filet & Shrimp Anthony (two filet medallions with blackened shrimp in Creole shallot cream).
Crescent City Steaks: This famed haunt lays claim to the local tradition of grilling steaks in butter, something wholly unique to the city and especially to the steakhouse. Open since 1934, the restaurant features USDA Prime Beef in various preparations and cuts, including wrapping a filet in bacon, serving T-Bone steaks and even a gigantic porterhouse for three.