After our tour at Hubig's and our lunch at Elizabeth's, we headed over to Palace Cafe in the Central Business District, on Canal Street, to have dessert with one of New Orleans's most successful restaurateurs.
The Brennan family is perhaps one of the most well known restaurant families in the United States, let alone the City of New Orleans.
It was at Brennan's and Commander's Palace, two of the city's most influential and legendary dining establishments, where Dickie Brennan, one of the younger members of the family learned the ropes and the restaurant business, under the tutelage of his father, Dick Brennan and renowned chef Paul Prudhomme. Today, Dickie Brennan owns and manages one of the largest and most successful restaurant organizations in New Orleans, even by post-Katrina standards. All of his restaurants, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Bourbon House, Palace Cafe and Mr. B's (of which he is a part owner with his cousins) have gotten critical acclaim and quickly became New Orleans institutions after they opened.
Dickie Brennan, New Orleans Restaurateur.
The spiral staircase at Palace Cafe.
Downstairs dining area.
Wrought iron balcony in the upstairs dining area.
My favorite cocktail in New Orleans – The Bloody Bull, currently found only at Palace Cafe. It's simply a Bloody Mary with a shot of Beef Bullion added, but its more than the sum of its parts.
The mise-en-place and table setup for Bananas Foster, a Brennan family invention and New Orleans classic dessert. Right now, Palace Cafe is probably the only place you can get a properly made, table side Bananas Foster, as both Brennan's and Commander's Palace are closed for repairs having been heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
First, brown sugar and butter (and a teaspoon of cinnamon) is heated and melted in a saute pan. Note the shot of dark rum on the side. Not shown is Banana Liqueur, which is also used in the dish. The Brennan Family recipe calls for equal parts dark rum and banana liqueur (1/4 cup each) when using four split bananas, so if its a half portion (as shown) use half the amount of booze.
The bananas are added and the caramelizing sugar/butter sauce is spooned over them. Then the Banana Liqueur is stirred in and heated for a few minutes
The liqueur/rum is added and flamed.
The finished dessert is spooned over ice cream.
Utter simplicity and yet still out of this world.
Palace Cafe's White Chocolate Bread Pudding, a delicious variation on the Brennan's and Commander's Palace classic.
Strawberry Shortcake, made with fresh Louisiana strawberries. Can't be beat.
Dickie Brennan, being a very down to earth guy, was quite happy to have his Hubig's Pie, freshly baked that morning.