New Orleans-style dinner at Brian's in Lambertville
I'm finally getting around to reporting on the special New Orleans-style dinner at Brian's in Lambertville that my husband and I went to about a month ago. First, the food:
Savory beignet with crawfish, crab, and redfish
Shrimp and andouille cheesecake
Fried oysters with cornmeal crust
Seafood and andouille gumbo
Pecan and crab crusted catfish
Crawfish smothered chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes
Blackened pork with dirty rice
Raisin bread pudding with whiskey sauce
The star of the evening was the catfish, which was sublimely good. The fish was cooked perfectly. The pecan and crabmeat topping included crunchy cubes of fried potato and went perfectly with the fish. If they had this on their regular menu, I would definitely order it again. The shrimp/andouille cheesecake had a texture that was more like quiche than typical cheesecake, but was delicious. The gumbo and bread pudding were also excellent.
The blackened pork with dirty rice was good, if not remarkable. The smothered chicken could've been left off the menu entirely. It was a little dry, and whatever it had been "smothered" with had not infused it with any flavor--just tasted like a cooked chicken breast with mashed potatoes.
The savory beignets and fried oysters had both lost their crispness by the time they reached our table. The savory beignets were still tasty, with a flavor and texture that were more reminiscent of a crabcake than a beignet. The fried oysters, sadly, were engulfed in a cornmeal crust that was chewy and flavorless. In contrast, the sweet beignets for dessert came piping hot out of the fryer. They were good, but couldn't quite compare to the memory of eating beignets out of a paper bag from Cafe du Monde on a warm night in New Orleans!
Overall, we enjoyed the food but the entire dinner took almost 4 hours, with long, awkward pauses between courses. Service became noticeably more harried as the evening went on. Given this, I don't know if we'd sign up for another of their special events again. Having said that, if Brian decided to open a restaurant serving Cajun/Creole food in this area, he could probably handily put Marsha Brown's in New Hope out of business.