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Review: Galatoire's Bistro, Baton Rouge

Posted by perle0 on 2006-01-23 02:13:56 (13000 views)

[Baton Rouge]
When the famous New Orleans restaurant, Galatoire's, announced shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck that it was opening a restaurant in Baton Rouge, much of New Orleans rose up in anguished protest. To be fair, several New Orleans-based businesses had just announced that they were moving to other, undamaged cities, abandoning the place that had allowed them to grow without a second glance. (Ruth's Chris Steak House, we're looking at you.) It was painful to think that a New Orleans icon like Galatoire's might be joining them.

Then the owners made it clear that they had been planning a Baton Rouge restaurant for some time, and that they were definitely going to re-open their French Quarter restaurant as soon as possible. (It's open now.) Tempers died down, and Baton Rouge inhabitants, both previous and post-Katrina, started simply looking forward to that highest form of ordinary entertainment for south Louisiana: a new restaurant to try.

First, full disclosure: I have never had the privilege of dining at Galatoire's in New Orleans. So I have no point of comparison. If anybody wants to buy me dinner there to properly educate me in the wonders of the original Galatoire's, you let me know.

To cut to the chase, my overall experience at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge was positive. I went with a group of friends, and we agreed that this was one of our better dinners, whether due to the location, or just because the special occasion made us appreciate our fun more. We stayed out longer than usual (and spent about double our usual as well).

The decor, we all agreed, was a bit spare, but nice and classy. The place was well-lit, something I'm always grateful for. I like to see what I'm eating. Tables were not to scrunched together, although there wasn't a lot of extra room. We had a reservation, and the table was ready at once.

The service was probably the high note of the evening. Glasses never went unfilled; we were allowed to linger at the table for an obscenely long time, since our table was not needed for other diners, and not once did we feel rushed or the least bit unwelcome to sit a bit longer. (We actually ordered dessert, ate it, and sat so long that one person who had passed on the dessert got enough appetite to order one about a half-hour later.) The waiter was friendly but not intrusive, joking with us good-naturedly when we gave him the opening but never pushing. I do not have the good fortune to experience such exemplary service often, and I give Galatoire's Bistro an A+ on that aspect.

The food was good, but we felt slightly disappointed by our entrees. There was absolutely nothing wrong with them; we were just expecting a lot from this restaurant, and felt that the main dishes just weren't quite what we were expecting. My dish, the Crabmeat Sardou, was rich and tasty, but somehow not the kind of dish that knocks you over with its wonderfulness. (Yes, I have experienced food like that once in a while; those restaurants are the ones I long to return to.) The salads were closer to what we had imagined, and got relatively high marks from all. The desserts were also quite good; my chocolate creme brulee was smooth, creamy, and chocolatey; it had more of a pudding consistency than the custardy consistency I look for in a creme brulee, but this was merely different, not disappointing. The crusty shell was a bit thin, but it had a good crispiness and set off the creamy underneath well.

Although Galatoire's Bistro is by no means a discount restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the reasonableness of the final bill. I had soup, one of the higher-priced entrees, a side dish, dessert, and two glasses of wine (2 bottles split 5 ways), and the my share of the bill was only around $70, including a generous tip. I had been planning for rather higher, but you'll get no complaints from me on that score.

All in all, I recommend Galatoire's Bistro for a pleasantly civilized dinner, with excellent service. If money is a factor, consider ordering one or two appetizers and a dessert; you'll have enough to eat, unless you're a lumberjack.

To call Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge, the number is (225) 753-4864.


President of Law League of LA
Posted by Edie Villarrubia on 2008-01-13 20:21:23
Please send me a complete menu lunch for about 25 to 30 guests and if you have a room we could have a meeting March 6, 2008

We would be there about 11:00 to 2:00 that
day. Let me know the price and selection of the menu for a group. What type if any deposit would be needed in advance?
MS.Edie Villarrubia
4524 Elmwood Parkway
Metairie, La 70003

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