Brigsten's or Dick and Jenny's?
My husband and I are split between the two. We have been to neither place and I want Brigsten's because of the rave chow hound reviews. He wants Dick and Jenny's because he understands it is more casual and he isn't a real foodie kinda guy.
We are going to a show at Tipitina's Uptown after dinner. The Radiator's 30th Anniversary Friday night.
My goal is to get a real foodie meal that has been touted here on the board...his goal is to just get a good meal before the show.
Brigtsens without a doubt. It is not necessarily "fine dining" or exotic ingredients, or even stuffy (during Jazzfest they had no problem with us coming in sandals and tshirts, ready to go to the night shows), it is just amazingly delicious, honest, comfort/southern style food. Have your husband order the duck and watch his reaction.
ABSOLUTELY Brigtsen's! The food at Dick & Jenny's is, in my opinion, sub-par compared to other similar restaurants. You pretty much can't go wrong with anything on the menu at Brigtsen's. And mikek is right about the atmosphere. Service is always excellent (I've been several times and have never had anything go wrong), and the food is amazing. I would add that it's great comfort food, but a little on the gourmet side. You don't have to be crazy about food to appreciate the meals there.
Another thing I'd like to share about service at Brigtsen's that I think trumps almost any restaurant I have dined at in New Orleans in the past five years... When I was a student and had returned in January post-Katrina, a few friends and I went to Brigtsen's for dinner. We were dying for some seriously good New Orleans food, having spent the past five months in other parts of the country. The decision to go was rather last-minute, so we didn't really dress up or make an effort to look nice (I guess we really were on a mission!). All night we received hugs and pats on the back and very kind words from the staff, and it was clear that they appreciated their customers as much as we appreciated them. It was so heartwarming and wonderful, and the food literally soothed our aching hearts. I make it a point to dine at Brigtsen's when guests come into town, and when I go out for a special occasion. This restaurant truly deserves its accolades and praise.
I love D&J's, and it is clearly a local's place. They do not take reservations, but I look on this as a plus, since the people watching is really fun. The prices are in the low $20's for entrees, and IMHO, the menu is better than almost anywhere else in town.
I have only been to Brightsen's once, and was disappointed.
Compared to the dining, that I grew up with in NOLA, Brigtsen's is decidely "casual," but it is casually elegant. I consider it on the near-side of fine-dining, but decidedly GREAT dining. It is in no way "stuffy." Now, I always wear my blazer, I am usually overdressed, when dining there - same for Cochon and many other great NOLA restaurants. I'm just old-school, and cannot get over it.
I have not dined at Dick-n-Jenny's, so I cannot make a comparison between the two. However, I have had so many memorable meals at Brigtsen's, and so have the hundreds of folk, who I have sent there, that I cannot imagine it taking second-fiddle to any spot in the Deep South, let alone NOLA.
In many ways, it is less inventive, than places like Restaurant August, but it is just about great food. Invention takes a backseat.
In the many years, that I have dined there, the only complaint (albeit minor), has been with the wine list. I'd love to have 3 days with Chef Frank, and re-work the wine list. It is good, but needs to be great, to match the fare from the kitchen. However, he probably lost what he was working up with, with Katrina, so I'll give it another year, before I demand to sit down with him and do an overhaul.
Were it me, I'd do Brigtsen's and try to work DnJ's in someplace else. Remember, it is all about the food!
Enjoy, and be sure to report in, with your choice and the results of the evening.
Something to consider:
Brigtsen's and Dick & Jenny's both are among my favorite NOLA restaurants. Brigtsen's, however, clearly is a step or two above D&J's. That said, I don't know if I'd be up for a show at Tip's after a meal at Brigtsen's. I'm usually too stuffed for what almost certainly would be a late night of drinking and dancing.
Blumie that is exactly what my husband said.
Maybe coffee with the bread pudding after dinner, yes?
Because you all have come through for me and Brigsten's it is!!!
Thanks Bill for the great reply, and to everyone else. What a fantastic group you all have here amongst the chowhounds.
I promise to report back!
I was told that Dick and Jenny's was recently taken over by one of the employees--can't remember his exact position--one of the cooks? Regardless, I've been told from several different sources that the food isn't nearly as good now.
Not my experience, but that's the word on the street.
I'll try to find out more specifics, but everyone I've spoken to says the food isn't the same.
Can not comment on D&J but every trip for jfood to NOLA includes a stop w Chef Frank. In fact last trip jfood had a less than satisfying meal at K-Pauls and M&M Jfood went over to Brigtsen's for some real food after paying at K-Pauls.