Established in 1920, Broussard’s is an elegant setting for fine dining with a menu focused on elevating down home dishes through culinary refinement. There’s a pretty courtyard for intimate al fresco dining and a most magnificent bar for exploring an inspired range of cocktails that are as historic as they are tasty.
Despite being third in my list of 18 Eats (remember: I’m doing these in ABC order), Broussard’s was actually where I had my last meal in NOLA (aside from a bowl of fruit at my hotel before heading to the airport). A gem of fine Creole cuisine in a landmark French Quarter setting, it was as satisfying and appropriate place to end my New Orleans dining adventures.
But I must admit by the time I’d made it round to Broussard’s I was filling fairly stuffed. So I went with sampling a couple of appetisers and a choice cocktail for my order rather than a full-blown feast. A taste of the classic local dish, barbeque shrimp (with Anson Mills grits, farmhouse smoked Cheddar, candied pecans, and tomato jam), assured my palate I had hit the right spot for a rich authentic dining experience and that Executive Chef Neil Swidler’s menu had the makings of a showstopper. A red chili glazed fried chicken biscuit (with pepper jack cheese, pineapple citrus slaw and sweet potato biscuit) not only reassured my elated taste buds but also seemed to make all things right with the world for a moment or two.
Around the corner from the dining room is Broussard’s Empire Bar with Head Bartender Paul Gustings calling the shots to create an intriguing list of libations that pay loving homage to cocktail craft.
Maybe the best – and definitely the most interesting – cocktail I had in town was The Egyptian Campaign (Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaican Pure Pot Still Rum, Batavia Arrack Van Oosten, lemon juice, simple syrup, and acid phosphate). A real pucker-upper and tongue tingler, it was a sensationally tangy concoction and the first cocktail I’d ever (knowingly) had which incorporated acid phosphate. An early 20th century cocktail modifier and the key ingredient to soda fountain drinks of the past, acid phosphate used to be a fashionable flavouring for a wide variety of drinks, such as original recipe for Coca-Cola. It can still be found for sale online and in use at a few select bars around the world.
Reservations are recommended. Dress code is smart casual (but there’s no dress code for the bar where you can still order from the full dinner menu).
Service during my visit was especially polite and swift.
Broussard’s is located at 819 Conti Street, 70112. Find out more at broussards.com.
Save room for the next post! I’ll be back soon with more in my series about New Orleans in 18 Eats.