Categories: ReviewsTravel

Restaurant Review: Mardi Gras Fun at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tantalizing seafood and a fun, festive atmosphere are just the beginning at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill in New Orleans, LA. Whether you find yourself in the French Quarter of the Big Easy during the Mardi Gras festivities or any other time during the year, the Red Fish Grill is a must-see restaurant no matter how you spin it.

Bright, bold colors bedeck the walls of this casual seafood eatery and eclectic décor featuring fish and sea life themed works of art hang along the walls above the bar and all around the restaurant. Choices of seating accommodate a cozy table for two to a large group of friends vacationing together and everyone in between.

Tasty libations on the beverage menu get your meal started off on a fun and social note, with such great concoctions as specialty lemonades, Mojitos, and more. The bar begins serving at 11 a.m., just in time for the perfect lunch at a casual seafood restaurant on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. With lunch entrees at just $7 – $12, you can really enjoy your experience to the fullest, also sampling the savory soups, salads, and appetizers on the menu. (Dinner entrees at Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill range from $13 to $22, a great price for delicious New Orleans seafood!)   Whether you are in the mood for a classic New Orleans bite like the crusty, breaded Shrimp Po Boy or a more involved, yet just as cultural meal, such as the jambalaya (Pasta jambalaya here, with delightful bowtie pasta during our Mardi Gras luncheon), you’re sure to enjoy what the Red Fish Grill has to offer. If you visit the Red Fish Grill during the Carnival season, be prepared that the menu may be scaled back to accommodate the larger than normal crowds the city of New Orleans experiences during this time. Not to worry – the amended menu still offers something for everyone, from fish to sandwiches, salads, and more. Our group visited the Red Fish Grill on our friend’s recommendation. A Louisiana native, Brandy knew the restaurant received much acclaim in Louisiana as being a great seafood restaurant, but also that it had received an award for being the Best Seafood Restaurant four years in a row. The tempting Mardi Gras menu, while condensed from the standard lunch menu at Red Fish, still posed a number of perplexing decisions, with many enticing entrees available for lunch, not to mention soups, salads, and appetizers. I opted for a Louisiana treat of a soup of the day and sandwich, consisting of a delicious crab soup, which I will forever dream of as being the best I’ve ever had, and a Shrimp Po Boy, featuring golden battered, crispy shrimp on a crusty Leidenheimer po-boy loaf. I ordered my meal on recommendation by our Louisiana pals as being one classic New Orleans dish you couldn’t pass up on your vacation, and I was not disappointed. (I’m also quite sure the strong bread component of my meal helped me through the rest of our day of parades and traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.) My husband went for the full Monte in ordering the Jambalaya (with pasta instead of rice: cleverly dubbed “pastalaya”), which boasted “sautéed Gulf shrimp, roasted chicken, and Creole Country andouille sausage tossed in a rich tomato natural reduction sauce with spirali, Creole seasonings and topped with Parmesan cheese.” Thanks to a great first taste, jambalaya fast became his meal of choice for the remainder of our visit to the Big Easy. Although I must admit, he tried jambalaya in two or three other restaurants during our stay, none of which even compared to the dish he enjoyed at the Red Fish Grill. If I am ever fortunate enough to find myself in New Orleans again – whether on business or pleasure – I fully plan to visit Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill again, perhaps for dinner next time. From superb food to excellent service and a great atmosphere to share with your sweetheart or a group of friends, family, or colleagues, this restaurant will forever remain one of my favorite casual seafood dining experiences. I highly recommend visiting the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans if you ever find yourself in town.

About the Restaurant: The Red Fish Grill is located at 115 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130. For more information, call (504) 598-1200 or visit the Red Fish Grill online at www.Red Fishgrill.com.

Kathryn D'Imperio: