The drinks are flowing and the grill is fired up at Brisbi's (7400 Lakeshore Drive, 504-304-4125; www.brisbisrestaurant.com), and from its elevated, west facing deck, people toast boaters returning to port after a day on Lake Pontchartrain.
Brisbi's is one of two new restau- rants on Lakeshore Drive. Finishing touches are underway at the second, Blue Crab Restaurant and Oyster Bar (7900 Lakeshore Drive, 504-284-2898; www.thebluecrabnola.com), which is a short walk up the canal. Blue Crab manager Kent Burgess says he 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 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 (1838 Napoleon Ave., 504-895-4877). His menu for Brisbi's is a mix of traditional New Orleans dishes, such as seafood-stuffed mushrooms, barbecue shrimp, fried seafood platters and Gulf fish with crabmeat, along with some not-so-traditional choices including 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," DeFelice says. "We hollow out the loaf but don't slice it open, and then fill it."
There's a full bar, and a cocktail list from Daniel Victory, proprietor of the CBD "gastro lounge" Victory (339 Baronne St., 504-522-8664; www.victorycocktails.com).
Brisbi's serves dinner Wednesday through Monday, lunch Thursday through Monday and brunch Sunday.