The Brunch Bunch

May 02, 2017
Having the time for a lovely and leisurely brunch complete with all the trimmings is such a treat; perhaps some music, a special friend or two, and some of the best food with exceptional beverages prepared by artisans in a scenic location. Well look no further, we have the perfect options to feed the need for an exciting, epicurean experience.

Broussard’s, one of New Orleans’ four fine historic Grand Dames of Creole Cuisine, is the youngest of the quartet at 97 years old. One of the most revered restaurants in the French Quarter and citywide. The building, courtyard, and grounds went through a massive renovation several years ago when the property changed hands. The results have enhanced an already elegant setting and focused on the enchanting history of the establishment over the past century.

Beyond the vast improvements in the kitchen, Executive Chef Neal Swidler has revamped the menu. Adding many dishes and perking up some of the local favorites, you’ll be sure to find a meal to fill your appetite.

A top-honors graduate from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America(CIA) in Hyde Park, Swidler spent much of his 20-year culinary career at the executive level in New Orleans. He worked at Emeril’s, Emeril’s Delmonico, and Nola.

In addition to Broussard’s evening menus, Swidler developed an amazing menu for the restaurant’s Sunday jazz brunch. For Starters, Broussard’s Turtle Soup au Sherry with a shaved boiled egg and a hint of aged sherry is a truly unforgettable dish. He also serves a seasonally inspired Soup de Jour.

Crispy Shrimp Toast with pickled okra is another gem. A sweet potato biscuit with red chile glazed fried chicken and pineapple citrus slaw is also a good beginning. The Crab and Gulf Shrimp Seafood Cake is a winner with celery root Remoulade and jicama slaw.

Several salads are suggested as well. The Southern Cupboard features limestone Bibb lettuce, cucumber, haricots verts, Vidalia onion, buttermilk dressing, pimento cheese and cracked pepper croutons. A Lump Crab Ravigote salad is tossed with capers, herbs and champagne vinaigrette over chilled asparagus and Belgian endive.

Brunch Classics include dishes like Napoleon Benedict with house-made English muffins, Canadian bacon, soft poached eggs, asparagus and Hollandaise. The Crab and Shrimp Omelet Mornay adds wild mushrooms, smothered with a crab and Swiss Mornay sauce served with herb roasted new potatoes. Steak and Eggs Broussard features a filet mignon, 3-cheese scalloped potatoes, and eggs on the sunny side with bacon Marchand de Vin sauce.

The Caribbean Sunrise with poached eggs atop crispy croquettes, smoky black beans and citrus chile Hollandaise is another classic. Try the Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles with candied pecans, whipped sage butter and Creole spiced maple syrup. You can’t go wrong with the Raspberry Mascarpone Stuffed Pain Perdu, New Orleans-styled French toast with maple glazed bacon, fresh berries and roasted almonds.

The featured specialties are Broiled Black Drum Rosalie, New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp and Grits, Rich Man’s Po-Boy, Broussard Burger, and Pecan Crusted Grilled Pork Loin.

For reservations, call or go online.

Broussard’s, 819 Rue Conti, (504) 581-3866 Sunday Jazz Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.

Café Beignet (pronounced “Ben-yay”) serves breakfast all day, every day of the week, along with Cajun and Creole specialties. The original Café Beignet, located on Royal St., is a charming bistro in the heart of the French Quarter. It is a converted 1800s-era carriage house with a French café setting and an intriguing courtyard. It’s perfect for watching the world and the people around it.

After opening more than 27 years ago, the original Café Beignet now has two other French Quarter locations to encourage everyone to take a break. You can relax and go-with-the-flow by drinking a café au lait, iced coffee or a dozen more enticing libations.

The Bourbon Street café, located at Music Legends Park, presents live music daily until midnight or later. In addition to the many variations of coffee drinks, the café’s bar offers specialty cocktails. Try a Cajun Bloody Mary, Bayou Mojito, Hurricane, Marigny Triangle, Sazerac or Bayou Rita while you’re there.

The newest Café Beignet, located in the Jax Brewery on Decatur Street, features large, French windows and doors, mahogany paneling, majestic mirrors, bright lighting, and a signature Café Beignet arch.

The café seats 90 people, presents live jazz daily, a 48-foot long bar, and outdoor seating. The café will eventually offer a to-go window for walk-up customers desiring beignet and café au lait orders.

Along with beignets and café au lait, the cafe serves tempting renditions of breakfast favorites: Cajun Hash Brown made with home style potatoes, Andouille sausage, bell pepper and red onion, is served with scrambled eggs and French bread.

Omelets run the gamut here. There’s the ham and cheese, Andouille sausage and white cheddar, crawfish and tomatoes, Swiss cheese and bell pepper, western, or veggie and cheese omelets; all served with grits and French bread.

Other delights include Belgian waffles, pecan waffles or French toast; all served with fruit and maple syrup. The Southern breakfast includes scrambled eggs, bacon, grits and French bread. The Breakfast Sandwich is scrambled eggs, bacon and white cheddar served on a croissant or bagel.

A typical beignet order is 3 of the fluffy golden cakes that are a cross between a French pastry and a doughnut that come dusted with powdered sugar.

Cafe Beignet’s owners appreciate the fact that music and cuisine are the heartbeat of New Orleans. They offer customers a little jazz, a cup of café au lait, and some fresh beignets!

Reservations are not required.

Café Beignet, 334 Royal St., 311 Bourbon St., 600 Decatur St, at Toulouse. (504) 524-5530.

Bistreaux, located in the stylish Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter, presents customers with enjoyable experiences in dining, live music and libations. The comfortable surroundings and French décor setting lend even more style and substance to the captivating location. They serve breakfast, lunch, happy hours, dinner, and seasonal poolside service. Bistreaux also offers a Sunday Jazz Brunch from10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Executive Chef Matt Regan developed a creative menu for the Sunday brunch soiree, complete with a Bloody Mary Bar, Bottomless Mimosas and other delicious drinks to complement the occasion.

Award-winning Chef Regan has high culinary standards, partnering with local farmers, fishermen, and other suppliers to provide only the freshest ingredients to create dishes and specialties for Maison Dupuy’s diners.

Brunch is served on one of the French Quarter’s most gloriously appointed courtyards, along Maison Dupuy’s poolside, or indoors at Bistreaux if there’s inclement weather.

To begin, diners can order Chicken and Andouille Gumbo; one of the city’s most popular dishes. The Heirloom Tomato and Crab Salad with fresh mozzarella, pistou, herb mayo and jumbo lump crab is also featured. Try a Crispy Fried Oyster Salad with grilled romaine, buttermilk dressing, a 5-minute egg and chanterelle mushrooms.

Entrees run the gamut from egg-centric dishes to pasta, seafood, fried chicken and burgers. Huevos Rancheros, a favorite of many, is prepared with two sunny-side-up eggs over a warm tortilla with red beans, pepper jack cheese and pineapple Pico de Gallo.

Eggs Moreau are served poached with Hollandaise sauce, New Orleans’ famous Chisesi grilled ham, heirloom tomatoes, and a biscuit. Bistreaux’s Omelet includes bacon, eggs, fresh avocado, tomato, arugula and breakfast potatoes.

Seafood Linguini is a fruits de mer lover’s dream with shrimp, crab, cherry tomatoes, chanterelles, and crab cream. Another tasty dish is the Roasted Drum with more of those delish chanterelle mushrooms, which is paired with pink-eyed peas and bacon-thyme jus.

A favorite on the brunch menu is the Shrimp Sausage and Pepper Stew, which is served with jalapeno cheese grits.

Bistreaux’s cooked-to-order Brunch Burger includes onion and tomato jam, bacon, lettuce, tomato, white cheddar and a sunny side up egg. That’s a great burger!

Leaving the seafood and egg dishes, Bistreaux‘s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Thighs are served with a biscuit, whipped pepper jelly, cream cheese, and grilled peach glaze.

The French-themed restaurant at the charming Maison Dupuy hotel boasts the four core elements of a Bistreaux experience: food, drink, music and fun! Go get some!

The Bistreaux at Maison Dupuy, 1000 Toulouse, corner Burgundy St., (504)648-6153

Over the past 40 years, The Country Club of New Orleans has been a little known treasure outside of the Bywater neighborhood. Located just around the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, this historic building was constructed in I884 as an Italianate raised cottage. It had a weathered history before it became the Country Club in 1977.

The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was another bad patch. An extensive restoration followed and The Country Club is thriving now. Executive Chef Chris Barbato has created a delicious Jazz Brunch menu.

For starters, a scintillating array of delicious dishes makes it difficult to choose. Truffle Mac & Cheese with gouda, mascarpone, and white truffle; Crispy Gulf Oysters with pickled mustard seeds and fontina cream; or the Shrimp & Tomato Gazpacho with chargrilled creole tomato, tomatillos, lime, and Louisiana white shrimp.

In addition, a Crab Cake featuring griddled Louisiana Blue Crab with smoky tomato butter is served with a poached egg and creole mustard Hollandaise. The Boudin Boulettes are another delight served with crispy boudin, Creole mustard, and pepper jelly.

You can also find several salads are on the menu. Try the Strawberry Salad with local berries, goat cheese, roasted pecans, BBQ red onions, herbs, and lemon yogurt dressing. Another choice is a Chopped Salad with avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomato, bacon, blue cheese, red onion, and avocado ranch dressing.

The entrees represent a wide selection of dining favorites. The options cover the spectrum of delectable brunch fare, courtesy of Chef Barbato’s talents.

Try the Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel featuring lemon and dill cured Atlantic salmon with garnishes. “The Traditional” is always a great choice, with 2 eggs, bacon, heirloom grits and a buttermilk biscuit. The crispy “Fried Green Tomatoes” are topped with poached eggs, tomato butter, and Hollandaise.

Instead of a B.L.T, try The Country Club’s B.E.A.T. – bacon, fried eggs, arugula, avocado, and tomato served open face on toasted brioche.

The club’s Chicken and Waffles offers a crispy buttermilk fried chicken breast with sliced strawberries and syrup. The Beef Debris and Eggs entrée showcases braised beef with hash browns, poached eggs, and horseradish cream. Polenta and Eggs matches creamy Mascarpone polenta with poached eggs, kale, and roasted shitake mushrooms.

One of New Orleans’ favorites, BBQ Shrimp and Grits is popular, with rosemary BBQ, charred chilies, pickled garlic & heirloom grits. The Lemon Roasted Gulf Fish is a delightful entree, served with grilled Louisiana crawfish tails, mascarpone polenta, tasso, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and chili butter.

A traditional Mexican dish, Chilaquiles, a citrus grilled chicken is slow-simmered in chili-chipotle sauce with white corn tortilla, pepper-jack, poached eggs, and lime crema. The Club’s Black Angus Hamburger comes dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and aioli, served on brioche with fries.

A must on you bucket list of brunches, The Country Club has their famous Drag Queen Brunch every Saturday. “It’s a cabaret style show with men dressed as women acting exaggeratingly feminine while wearing exaggerated makeup to show different emotional effects. They do two shows on Saturday brunch and it’s a great way to show that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, except when it comes to food, service and our special brand of Bywater hospitality.”

Brunch is served a la carte Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations for Saturday’s “Drag” Brunch may come with restrictions. Call the restaurant in advance at (504) 945-0742 for reservations.

The Country Club, 634 Louisa St., New Orleans (504) 945-0742