Creole Restaurant in New Orleans - Commanders Palace Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Commander's Palace HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
New Orleans
Open: Lunch Mon - Fri, dinner daily
Price: Expensive

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 504 899 8221
Address: 1403 Washington Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130
Country: United States
Food Style: Creole

Commanders Palace is a restaurant that made us change our mind about Creole food in New Orleans. This restaurant is very special. It is large, it is expensive, it is the restaurant of choice of the rich and famous, but despite this it actually serves really good food!
It is a testimony to all involved in the running of Commanders Palace that they have not given in to the temptation to serve mediocre food in magnificent surroundings. On the contrary, despite the massive size of the restaurant, each dish appears to be prepared with skill and attention to detail that puts smaller restaurants to shame.
Many of the Creole restaurants in New Orleans are trapped by their own success, serving up the same recipes people enjoyed in the 1930s, whereas tastes and dietary choices have moved on. Commanders Palace, on the other hand, manages to serve many of the traditional favourites while seamlessly providing modern choices to diners seeking an alternative.
Whether you go here for breakfast or brunch or lunch or dinner you will be greeted with warmth (as though they are pleased that you have selected their restaurant) and civility. You will then begin the grand march through the lower floor dining room, then perhaps upstairs to one of the many smaller rooms or the large glass enclosed room out the back.
While striving for the cutting edge with the food, they haven't by any means abandoned tradition. Gentlemen must wear a jacket (and mustn't take it off during the evening). The waiters are also dinner-suited for the occasion.
While you peruse the long and interesting wine list a bowl of somewhat strange garlic and cheese toast will be delivered to your table.
When you get to the menu you see why people flock here. Despite being a grand restaurant by anyone's standards, the management here certainly deliver food at very reasonable prices. At dinner, there is a deal where you can have an appetizer, entrée (main course) and dessert from a restricted menu for the price of the main course. This varies from the low to high $30 range, and hence represents excellent value.
You might start with the famous turtle soup (don't panic they are farmed specially) or a stunning ragout of wild mushrooms in a light truffle-scented broth. Here are two extremes of the old and the new.
For main course, don't miss the gulf fish sitting on a perfect stew of red and white beans in a delicate garlic broth-like sauce.
If you only get to go here once then you must try the bread pudding soufflé. Order it at the start of the meal because it is cooked to order. It comes to the table raised high above the bowl; the waiter presents it with a flourish and then, almost with passion, thrusts spoonfuls of whiskey sauce into the centre of the dessert. Light, airy and full of flavour this is a great way to end the meal. We have tried it twice and it has been stunning both times.
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