No one ever left New Orleans hungry. Since the dawn of the Delta, food has been more a part of local culture here than any other cosmopolitan city in America. It’s a matter of respect, because whatever comes out of the kitchen in New Orleans will be discussed from now until church on Sunday.
I’m dining with reps from the New Orleans Visitor's Bureau at a little place in Uptown called Brigtsen’s, inside a historic home tucked in a leafy neighborhood near Tulane. The shrimp remoulade with mirliton relish and blackened tuna with roasted red pepper sour cream are awesome. Chef Frank Brigtsen spent seven years with chef Paul Prudhomme who invented blackened cooking.
This night epitomizes why the Crescent City is great for bringing people together around a dinner table. First, we’re eating some of the best fine dining in the South, but we feel like we’re having supper over at a friend’s house. There’s lace on the windows, armoires against the walls, and Frank’s wife Marna drops by making sure our glasses of homemade tea are full.
Second, you’re in and out of there under $75 for a 3-course haute Creole meal with a couple of glasses of good bordeaux.
“We’re the best deal going, you do not have to spend a fortune to have a spectacular meal in New Orleans,” says Nikki Nicholson, vp of sales at the Bureau. “That way, you get to try a variety of different places, especially smaller family restaurants where you can dine like a local and have that authentic neighborhood experience."