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Review: Brunch at Brennan's

Posted by perle0 on 2005-02-24 00:30:28 (3864 views)

[New Orleans]
Brennan's Rex Room

I've had brunch before, but I'd never eaten at Brennan's. Mike had eaten there, but not brunch. Our party was seated upstairs in the Rex Room (or Gold Room), a smallish dining room decorated with antique Mardi Gras Krewe of Rex posters and paraphenalia, signed by the Krewe members. It was a light, festive atmosphere, but still elegant. The sommelier placed us into the care of his own brother, Robert, as our waiter. The service was impeccable, and the company was delightful, open and welcoming for a couple of scruffy newcomers to the world of wine.

We went for a fairly traditional Brennan's brunch, to get the full impact of the meal that made brunch famous. The meal was accompanied by the red wines that we had brought for The Wine Show, and a German eiswein. (This was a special circumstance, however, and one would not normally bring one's own wine into a restaurant with as fantastic a wine cellar as Brennan's.) For appetizers, most of us chose either the turtle soup (lavishly laced with sherry) or the seafood gumbo. Both were delicious, and I finally understood the mystique of turtle soup. One person opted for strawberries in double cream, and though I didn't regret my own choice, I did find myself wanting to come back for a bowl of my own cream-swimming fruit the next day--it looked that appetizing.

For the main course, I chose a classic favorite, Eggs Sardou. This consists of two poached eggs, each seated atop an artichoke bottom, resting in a sea of lightly creamed spinach, all draped delicately with hollandaise sauce. (It's got to be light, because it has vegetables in it, right?)The other dishes looked similarly appetizing. Mike chose the Shrimp Sardou, a similar dish featuring fried shrimp instead of eggs. I was astonished at the quantity of shrimp in his dish; a like quantity of eggs would have required the help of an emu at least. (I'm not complaining; guess which one of us had room left for dessert?)

Mike and Michael Brewer, the sommelier, exchange a toastA bite of chocolate suicide cake proved unusually light for such a rich and delicious cake. But for most of us, dessert had to be that other Brennan's invention, Bananas Foster. Though bananas are not usually my favorite dessert item, the fame of the dish won out--that, and the brown sugar and ice cream that combined with the tableside-flambéd bananas to make a perfectly delicious combination, sweet, yet mellowed by the warm bananas and wholesome caramel tinges of the brown sugar. The last drops of the ice-wine made a nice counterpoint to the dessert offerings.

We staggered out of the restaurant after our morning of amazing wine, talk, and food. We had had a great time, met some wonderful people, and secured the promise of a later tour of the wine cellar (which we'll dutifully report on). Hopefully we introduced to a few people who will also become new friends in our online community, bound together by the fruit of the vine.

To find out why we were at Brennan's, and with whom, check out this article.


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