[New Orleans] G W Fins

The restaurant’s major strength is seafood and almost all the interesting stuff on the menu is sea or river related.

One of the potentially interesting non-seafood items was a starter of pork belly. It comes as cubes of long cooked meat, which is melt in the mouth tender, whilst the skin is perfectly crisp. A sweet/sour counterpoint comes from same sized cubes of watermelon. The other starter was an elegant version of the local classic of shrimp remoulade. A salad of frisee sat on a disc of crisp bread. It was dressed, lightly and perfectly, with mayo and mustard. A few shrimps surrounded the salad and there was a scattering of diced red pepper.

For mains, scallops were perfectly cooked, with charring to top and bottom, with the inside still a tad translucent. They sat on a mushroom risotto. The balance of flavours and textures was spot-on.

The other plate featured blackened swordfish. It’s a fish I always think is better when it is fully cooked, and not left seared, as you often see with tuna. And fully cooked it was, although the blackening had a very light touch with none of the real spiciness I’d expected. To add to the protein, there were a couple of fried langoustine – served with what appeared to be their head still on. However, this just a clever bit of plating – the kitchen had separated the head and body and had shelled the body for eating. Accompaniments were simplicity itself – mashed potato and wilted spinach. A creamy seafood sauce set it all off,

We’d been in two minds whether to order dessert. So we did. First up, their take of the local dish of bread pudding. This incorporates white and dark chocolate and came with a little caramel sauce. Very rich – and a very generous serving. Equally rich and gooey was an ice cream cake – salted caramel ice-cream, topped with chocolate covered pretzel chunks. Delicious.

Service was as efficient as you’d expect at this level of restaurant. And it’s worthy of note that two weeks into our trip to America, this was only the second place to have sparkling water available (the other also in NOLA).

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold