A Brennan Evening: Palace Cafe

by Emily on June 11, 2010

When dining out in the city of New Orleans, it’s easy to find yourself patroning more than one restaurant in one evening.  With so many wonderful options to choose from, it’s fun to break up the night by having drinks and appetizers at one restaurant, and then finishing up the rest of the meal at another. Last week, after having oysters and wine here, we decided to grab a frozen Bourbon milk punch to-go and walk to another Brennan restaurant to have some more yummy food.

The locally renowned Brennan family owns some of the most popular restaurants in the city, including Bacco, Brennan’s, Commander’s Palace, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Mr. B’s, Ralph’s on the Park, Bourbon House, and Palace Cafe. With most of their restaurants peppered throughout the downtown area, it’s easy to walk from one to another and enjoy many of New Orleans’ signature dishes.

We chose Palace Cafe as our second Brennan experience of the night, and ordered up some more oysters, Crabmeat Cheesecake, Turtle Soup, and Roasted Duck.  The oysters were poached in a rosemary cream sauce, topped with herbed breadcrumbs and served in a skillet with french bread.  The oysters were plump and still maintained their own salty sea flavor, while the breadcrumbs soaked up the rosemary cream and created a nice contrast of flavors. I would definitely order this again.  The turtle soup was thick and had great flavor, but the fresh lemon and sherry were sort of lost once the hot soup got to the table. I would have preferred for them to have poured the sherry once the soup was served, which is what normally happens.  Then our waiter brought us the crabmeat cheesecake, which was probably the best thing we had.  The crab, cheese, mushrooms, and pecans all blended together to create a rich, creamy, and crunchy dish that left us cleaning the plate (make sure to save some French bread to soak up the sauce!). Our entree of choice was the duck breast with seared fois gras, citrus salad, and parsnip mashed potatoes.  Palace Cafe is known for their delicious duck dishes, and this one was no exception.  The duck had a nice peppered crust on the outside and the inside was beautifully pink and tender.  It paired well with everything else in the dish, especially the sweetness from the orange segments.  We were so full by this point, but our waiter talked us into the White Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert, and, naturally, we gave in.  I must admit, however, that this bread pudding was the one disappointing part of the meal.  Palace Cafe’s bread pudding had a custard-like texture that I didn’t particularly care for, and the white chocolate flavor threw me off.  I guess I just like the classic bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins.  Lesson learned.

When we were done, we stepped out onto Canal Street to discover cool air and a nice breeze, which we were thankful for as we took the short walk back to the car. It was a fabulous way to spend an early evening in the French Quarter, enjoying the fresh seafood and Creole dishes of family owned restaurants that make this city so very unique.

Beautiful main dining room

Oysters Pan Roast: Louisiana oysters poached in rosemary cream with herbed breadcrumbs

Turtle Soup with fresh lemon and sherry

Crabmeat Cheesecake baked in a pecan crust with wild mushrooms and a Creole Meuniere sauce

Peppercorn Roasted Duckling with Seared Hudson Valley Fois Gras, Parsnip Mashed Potatoes, and Citrus Confit Salad

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Ganache

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