Crescent City Cafe is the recent re-do of the location that for years housed Don's Seafood restaurant and, most recently, Lagniappe. Owner Richard Tannenbaum was involved with the Atchafalaya River Cafes before they were purchased by Ninfa's. In his new restaurant, he's reintroduced and updated the old Atchafalaya menu. And as the name implies, he's added a few more outright New Orleans-y touches, both in the menu and in the restaurant's overall gestalt. The color scheme of yellow and purple, for instance, screams Mardi Gras, and all the waitstaff are decked in Mardi Gras beads. A raucous, parti-colored mural in the bar depicts a Mardi Gras scene. Ebullient southern Louisiana music is broadcast nonstop over the PA system.
In one of its best tips of the hat to the Big Easy, Crescent City serves a variation on a dessert made famous in that town: bread pudding. The Crescent City version is called Incredible Peach Bread Pudding, and it's laced heavily with canned cling peaches, cut square from the pan and then drowned in bourbon sauce. During a visit a couple of weeks ago, I was upset to learn that they were out of the wicked sounding treat. But a waiter managed to save the day in the end: as I was exiting the restaurant, he came bounding up with a care package containing one more serving of the dessert that some efficient kitchen staffer had located. Maybe my good luck was a heavenly reward for some Lenten-period temperance I'd observed. As I tucked the package under my arm, looking forward to my late night treat, I shared a wink with the jester in the bar's Mardi Gras mural. -- Kelley Blewster
Crescent City Cafe, 3009 Post Oak Boulevard, 621-5900.
Crescent City Cafe:
shrimp platter (Monday nights), $10.95 for two
peach bread pudding $3.95