by Ian McNulty
The drinks have been flowing for about a week now at Brisbi’s Lakefront Restaurant & Bar, and from its elevated, westerly-facing deck people have been toasting boaters as they return to port after day on Lake Pontchartrain. On Wednesday evening, the kitchen at this new waterfront restaurant will get rolling with regular service.
Brisbi’s is one of two new restaurants along Lakeshore Drive. Finishing touches are underway at the second, Blue Crab Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which is just a short walk up the canal. Blue Crab manager Kent Burgess expects his restaurant to open within the next few weeks.
Both restaurants are elevated on piers, with steps leading to the docks and plenty of windows to take in the lakefront views. At Brisbi’s, there’s a stand-up oyster bar overlooking the harbor and garage doors that can open to connect the dining room to the covered deck outside.
Brisbi’s chef is David DeFelice, a member of the same family that runs Pascal’s Manale Restaurant. His menu for the new restaurant is a mix of traditional New Orleans dishes, like seafood stuffed mushrooms, BBQ shrimp, fried seafood platters and Gulf fish with crabmeat, along with some not-so-traditional choices, such as fish tacos, seared scallops with red pepper pesto, shrimp and andouille ravioli and “stuffed po-boys.”
“Those are directly linked to the po-boys they do at Pascal’s Manale,” says DeFelice. “We hollow out the loaf, but don’t slice it open, and then fill it.”
In addition to BBQ shrimp and Buffalo oyster versions, DeFelice has devised stuffed po-boys with chicken Bordelaise, shrimp diavolo and frutti di mare, which he describes as being “like pasta dishes without the pasta, just poured into the bread.”
There’s a full bar, and a cocktail list from Daniel Victory, proprietor of the CBD “gastro lounge” Victory.
The restaurant serves dinner Wednesday through Monday, lunch Thursday through Monday and brunch on Sunday.
Brisbi's Lakefront Restaurant & Bar
7400 Lakeshore Dr., (504) 304-4125