Five Yummy Stars for Cafe Sbisa in New Orleans
For our last night in New Orleans, we hoped to avoid the tourist traps and enjoy the best French-Creole food in town. As we often do, we asked our concierge where he takes his family for a special occasion - Cafe Sbisa on Decatur Street was his answer. Lucky for us he was able to secure us a reservation. It’s great working with a top-notch concierge.
This enchanting brasserie was established way back in 1899 and is the third oldest fine-dining establishment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. We stepped back in time as the gracious staff led us to our white cloth table in the lowly lit, peaceful jazzy atmosphere. We took in George Dureau's giant mural depicting French Quarter life, the beautiful staircase that winds up to a balcony level above, the exposed brick and mirrored walls, and an original hand-carved mahogany bar. What better place to try a Sazerac? It did not disappoint.
For starters, we highly recommend the Lousiana Blue Crab Cakes and the Gumbo Du Jour (tonight it was chicken and andouille sausage). It was no surprise to hear that Chef Alfred Singleton consistently wins all the gumbo competitions in town!
We had learned that the best fish to have in New Orleans are the Spotted Trout and the Snapper, so we ordered the house specialty Trout Eugene and the Snapper Du Jour.
The generous portion of Trout Eugene was served with rice and asparagus in a sinfully rich champagne cream sauce and topped with a heap of Gulf shrimp, crawfish tails, and jumbo lump crab meat. It was so fresh that I'm confident they were all swimming in the Gulf earlier that day.
The Snapper was equally fresh and well-prepared - we opted for blackened, served over asparagus spears and finished with a crazy out of this world good, tart lemon butter sauce.
We chose the 2016 Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre, Bordeaux which paired particularly well with the Snapper. This Loire Valley (Chavignol village) Sancerre is ripe and intense with good acidity. It stood up to the sauce without overpowering the fish.
Although we were too full, we sampled the famous Bread Pudding and Bourbon Sauce for dessert which we paired with a Sandeman's ten year Porto. What an enjoyable evening!
We give Cafe Sbisa five yummy stars and hope you get a chance to go there on your next trip to NOLA.