In some places you eat to live... In New Orleans, we live to eat! Over breakfast we talk about lunch. At lunch we talk about dinner. At dinner we talk about breakfast and lunch, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
--From the BACCO website
If you live to eat, then perhaps you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten at Ralph Brennan’s BACCO in New Orleans! It’s one of life’s memorable restaurants, with all the style of the French Quarter and the flavor of fine dining.
While planning our Gulf Coast Thanksgiving, BACCO was one of the restaurants we checked out. We started with the Flash Fried Calamari Creole, served with crumbled feta cheese. The calamari was covered in a light breading, and each bite was paired with the feta for an unusual and delicious flavor experience—especially when accompanied by the tangy marinara sauce served on the side. Highly recommended as your appetizer, particularly if you are sharing.
And, if you aren’t, you might want to try the Corn & Crab Soup, made with fresh crabmeat, roasted corn, red peppers and sweet cream. It was a great showcase for the crab, with plenty of crabmeat and a great balance of flavors.
On to the entrée, we stuck with the House tried-and-true specialties, since nearly everyone in New Orleans recommended them—the BACCO Shrimp and the Maine Lobster & Gulf Shrimp Ravioli. The jumbo shrimp were straight out of the Louisiana Gulf, cooked with garlic, rosemary, Creole seasonings and Abita Amber beer, making for a rich sauce that can be soaked up with the toasted bread that comes on the side. And, yes, you can get them with the heads and tails on or off.
The Ravioli, the restaurant’s signature dish, came with a Champagne butter sauce and a generous sprinkling of red and black caviar (without the sticker shock – at $27, the price was less than a steak).
But, if you want a steak, as one of our tasters did, by all means go for the Grilled Black Angus Filet Mignon, served with fingerling potatoes, wilted greens, a veal demi-glace, and black Umbrian truffle butter. We passed it around the table to the tune of “oh, yum” as we enjoyed its melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Sides are, for the most part, ordered separately, giving you a chance to choose Sautéed Jumbo Lump Crabmeat—an unusual side for this Northerner, and enough delectable crab to satisfy cravings for a long time. We also tried the Sauté of Fresh Specialty Vegetables and exulted in the tastiness of the sugar snap peas, zucchini, onions, tomatoes and carrots.
For dessert, the classic is the Lemon Icebox Pie, a light way to end on a high note. But we also highly recommend the gingerbread and ice cream dessert for something entirely fresh and unusual.
BACCO is part of the family of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, along with Ralph’s on the Park and Red Fish Grill in New Orleans.
If BACCO is any indication, you can’t go wrong at any of them. Especially if you live to eat!