Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Gumbo's has always been a favorite for me only because I frequented the bar next door. When I was working downtown we would always head over to the Brown Bar and order off the Gumbo's appetizer menu. I'm very glad we had an opportunity to sample some of Chef Chad Jones' offerings that included some of the items I never got to order. And yes like his picture suggests he's a super nice guy that took the time to meet and greet all of us, always a pleasure to meet someone down to earth and all about his food. I'm just a blogger and not a critic, so I'm always grateful when the chef takes the time to meet with us "little people". I'm also thankful to the folks that put on these events for inviting me. It's fun and a great chance to see my blogger friends and really get to experience what the restaurant is about. Ok onto the food:
First up: Crab Cake with chipotle aioli and jicama slaw, I will say the number one thing that stood out to me was the smokey sweet flavors. If you order this appetizer do not ignore the sauce, it adds to the overall experience. I was speaking to another blogger and he's right it's so easy to get a lot of these dishes to the "average" level, it takes a special effort to make them memorable. In this case the smokey sweet really brought this crabcake to stand out from other crab cakes I've tasted. The jicama slaw was a great light complement to the whole dish. I would have called this my favorite but read on to the usurper.
Oysters rockefeller with cream spinach spiked with pernod, topped with fried oysters and grated parmesan cheese. Many of my fellow bloggers liked this dish. I don't think I got the same experience, definitely yummy and I enjoyed the food (I liked the presentation), but nothing stood out. It was an oyster on oyster bit of action.
Redfish Francine blackened, served over crawfish tails sauteed in creamy tarragon sauce. Ok umm. this was the best most yummiest thing I had to eat in a long long time. Blackened can sometimes mean overly salty or overly seasoned, which this was not, the fish was perfectly tender, and I was very grateful for such a generous portion for us to try. The tarragon sauce was light buttery but not heavy and complemented the redfish amazingly well. Chef Jones explained that the tarragon sauce is very popular and used in quite a few dishes. And talking with my blogger friends this dish is the test dish for chefs cooking cajun cuisine and it's also where many chefs make their signatured versions. If that is so, Chef Jones knocked this out of the park.
Tenderloin George blackened, topped with crabmeat bearnaise sauce, served over red wine reduction. I enjoyed this tasting, my fellows were a bit non-plussed by it. I think I could have used a knife. I believe that the tenderloin was perfectly cooked and the bearnaise sauce really a great contrast to the demiglace. Very good, but hard to handle with just a fork.
South Louisiana bread pudding served with whiskey sauce and vanilla ice cream. As I've always said, I'm not a dessert person, sweets are not generally something I like, but as always I take one for the team on these tastings. I really enjoyed this dessert, the bread pudding was very good, but mixed with the whiskey sauce swayed my no sweets mantra. The exterior had a bit of crunch to it and gave some texture to the warm bread pudding. Very delightful!
Thanks again to Chef Jones and Gumbo's for having us, I had a great time and I enjoyed the food.