If you aren’t paying attention while driving down Belle Chasse Highway, you just might miss O’Briens Grille due to it’s location next door to Mudbug’s Storage and behind the Drive Side Daiquiri Shop. It would certainly be a shame, because I’ve had two recent opportunities to eat there and was blown away. This is definitely one book you should not judge by it’s cover.
You’d never know from the tall, skinny building, the location and even the casual sounding name that you were entering a fine dining establishment. Featuring white linens, a professional wait staff that knew the ins and outs of the entire menu and chefs that have worked in some of the finest restaurants New Orleans has to offer, this is a gem on the West Bank.
We were welcomed by the owner when we entered and made to feel as if we were the only guests. That couldn’t be farther from the truth though, since at lunchtime there was not an empty seat in the house by noon. Despite the fact that it’s not a very large dining room, the noise level was never overwhelming, allowing the group I was with to hold a conversation with ease. The lighting is soft and warm, giving the feeling that you’ve stepped out of the rat race for a little while and allowing you to relax while enjoying your meal.
And the food….oh, the food….
We started our lunch with the Fried Green Tomatoes Napoleon appetizer ($9). Filled with shrimp remoulade and surrounded by a roasted red pepper puree, it was an excellent way to kick off our meal, and was so good that I ordered it again on my return trip for dinner.
I don’t usually eat very heavy foods at lunch, so we all stuck to salads. Not to worry, these were entree sized plates filled with deliciousness and just begging to be photographed.
On the left is the Steak and Spinach Salad made with shaved prime rib, sautéed Vidalia onions, feta cheese and roasted red peppers ($12) and on the right is the Cajun Cobb Salad, breaking tradition with the addition of crawfish tails and smoked gouda cheese ($13). I had the Cobb Salad and it was absolutely wonderful.
As we all tasted from each other’s plates, it became apparent that there was not a mediocre dish on the table. On my return trip last week for dinner I forgot my camera :(, but thoroughly enjoyed the filet (which was cooked perfectly) and the house Riesling was a reasonably priced wine to go along with it.
I can’t believe that O’Briens has been open for over a year and I’ve been missing out on it simply because of the location. Don’t make the same mistake!
O’Briens Grille is located at 2020 Belle Chasse Highway in Gretna. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (504) 391-7229.
Let us know if you loved it as much as we did…