Photo by Chuck Cook Photography


Photo by Chuck Cook
Chef Graham Laborde might not have been well-known to Houston before Bernadine’s opened, but his résumé includes Commander’s Palace and Stella in New Orleans. Thanks to that background, it’s possible to luxuriate in raw oysters, fresh seafood, cocktails and Southern comfort food for hours at Bernadine’s. On busy nights, flavors and service can flag, but most of the time, both are quite appealing. The Creole-style gumbo, full of peppery andouille, fresh Gulf oysters and duck, is quite succulent thanks to the smoked duck stock. Upscale takes on humble county riffs, like cochon de lait au presse (pressed suckling pig) with chard standing in for tougher greens and hot sauce-tinged farro swapped for the standard black-eyed peas, don’t stray too far from the classics. Brunch at Bernadine’s is very strong and everyone should check it out at least once. It may become their favorite weekend stop.