This review is a few weeks past due as it has been about 2-3 weeks since I paid this visit to Drew’s. I was actually surprised to see that he didn’t have his own thread so I decided to start one so here we go.
We had 9:00pm reservations for 4 people on a Saturday night. Around 2pm we called to see if we could change that to 6 people as another couple wanted to join us as last minute. After originally being told “no”, literally told they could no longer accommodate us, a second phone call later in the day seemed to change their ability to accommodate us.
Walked in at 9pm and were immediately seated, while the place was busy it was not completely full, and it only decreased in attendance as our night continued. For those of you who don’t know Drew is a well know home grown Chef, who is most notable for beating Bobby Flay in a throw down cook-off of their respective voodoo shrimp recipes. All credit and respect goes to Drew as his voodoo shrimp are excellent as are the majority of his dishes, he is a master of Louisiana / Creole style cooking. Besides his voodoo shrimp, shrimp and grits, etouffe’ and jambalaya are generally staples on his menu.
This night had the table sharing app’s of voodoo shrimp, and escargot both of which were very good. (There was a bistro salad had as well which I didn’t try but there were no complaints either) For entree’ I had the pork belly special, which there is always a pork belly special, and again as most of his staple dishes this was very good. There were no complaints on any of the entree’s served.
While there were no complaints, there were no raves either. Now don’t get me wrong, Drew’s food remains very good, but for the first time both I, and the other couple who has dined at Drew’s several times as well agreed, there was no “wow” factor in anything served. This could be two fold: As I said we ordered many of Drew’s “staple” dishes, things we have had many times before, perhaps we’ve become use to them and are not as impressed as we once were, more than anything actually lacking in the dish(s) His menu is rather limited and although he add’s seasonal changes, there isn’t a lot new to try.
I strongly encourage anyone in the area to go-to and try Drew’s as his food is very good, but this is the first time it really didn’t have a "wow " factor. I’ve even cut back on how often we’ve gone to Drew’s because I was feeling a little bored with the menu for a long time, but even after the layoff I walked away satisfied, but not wow’d by the food.
The second observation which has been my standing complaint about Drew and Drew’s bistro, is being an excellent Chef does not automatically make you a good restaurateur. Since my first experience at Drew’s my observation has always been he needs a front of house manager. It’s my vague understanding his wife was running things, I"m not really sure what the story is, but as demonstrated with our request to add 2 people to our reservation being declined (and our reservation then being pretty much null and void) to seeing a restaurant that could have accommodated 6+ more people on our arrival, he need someone actually running the floor that knows something about the business.
While the service by the wait staff is always pleasant and personable it’s a free for all service with servers running everywhere with no true direction and no one making sure all the tables are being sought to in any standardized manner. Service is always described as “adequate” but never exceptional.
All in all I again urge anyone reading this not to take my criticisms as a reason not to give Drew’s a shot. It’s definitely worth a visit and perhaps with your inexperienced palate of his creations you will be as blown away as I once was.