Friday, August 17, 2012

Celebrating Family | Restaurant des Familles

Frank J. Ehret, Jr. - 95 years young!

August 6, 2012 was my dad’s 95th birthday! To celebrate, my brother, sister and brother-in-law, and I took him to dinner at Restaurant des Familles in Crown Point, LA.  This restaurant is personally connected to my family for several reasons: 1) the original owner, Pat Creppell Morrow, is a long-time family friend, 2) it’s close to my family’s Marrero “compound,” and 3) my dad’s lifetime battle to preserve the wetlands that now encompass the Jean Lafitte National & Historical Park is partly responsible for the restaurant’s existence along the banks of Bayou des Familles.

This was my first visit to the restaurant since the new owners took over in 2009. The dining room is the same – floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bayou. It’s a lovely setting.
The food was better than ever.  I had the softshell crab Foster (originally named in honor of Pat Morrow’s late dad, Foster Creppell). The large crab was perfectly fried and topped with sautéed artichoke hearts and mushrooms. It was delicious. Other entrees included the  ½ shrimp, ½ oyster platter which was over-flowing with golden fried shrimp and oysters. The rib-eye came with a loaded baked potato that was a huge hit. All entrees came with a green salad topped with house-made dressing. The servings are huge and the prices very reasonable.
Softshell crab Foster

Loaded baked potato

Tom Fitzmorris recently had his Eat Club here and had good things to report. And the Times-Picayune wrote about it here.

Restaurant des Familles is located at 7163 Barataria Boulevard, Crown Point, LA. It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; there’s a Sunday champagne brunch from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The phone number is 504.689.7834.

Restaurant des Familles on Urbanspoon


SoBou is the newest addition to the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants led by Ti Martin and Executive Chef Tory McPhail.  The chef de cuisine is Juan Carlos Gonzales, a native of Puerto Rico. “SoBou” apparently is an abbreviation for “South of Bourbon” – never mind that its location on Chartres Street is east of Bourbon Street. I guess in a directionally challenged city where you have to head east to go to the west bank, it just doesn’t matter. Plus, "EaBou" simply doesn’t work.
SoBou front dining room
SoBou back dining room
I had a chance to have lunch with a friend at SoBou recently. The menu is divided into sections including “Snacky Things,” “Soups & Salads,” “Small Bites,” “Not So Small Bites,” “Sides,” and “Sweets.”  And Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Two Bit Cocktails,” which include vodka or gin martini, pink gin, commander’s palace cha cha, pink elephants on parade are available with the purchase of an entrée. That’s right, 25 cent cocktails! Three’s the limit though – “because that’s enough.”

We chose to participate in the lunch COOLinary menu - $20 for two courses. I had the cochon de lait gumbo with a scoop of potato salad as my 1st course. The gumbo is thick and rich with a bit of a smoky barbecue flavor. While that may sound odd – it was delicious. For her 1st course, my friend chose the crispy oyster taco with compressed pineapple ceviche, mirliton & Cajun ghost pepper caviar. Even though the oysters weren’t exactly “crispy” because of the sauce – they were damn good! I’d go back just for the oyster tacos.
SoBou crispy oyster taco

SoBou cochon du lait gumbo with potato salad
As entrees with both ordered the SoBou burger – a 4 ounce patty on a small brioche bun topped with sautéed onions and pepper jack cheese. The burger had a good flavor but was difficult to eat – the onions on top of the cheese made for a slippery mess.
SoBou burger with pickled okra

My friend had 75 cents worth of pink elephants on parade, crafted by bar chef, Abigail Gullo. Let’s just say, she was seeing pink elephants when we left. :)
Pink elephant on parade
SoBou, located in the W Hotel French Quarter at 310 Rue Chartres, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. For more information call 504.552.4095.

SoBou (W Hotel) on Urbanspoon