It’s taken me almost two weeks to actually sit down and spit out this review. Mostly because I didn’t think I could even put into words how satisfying brunch at Acadiana was.
As soon as I walked in the door, I was swept away by the swank. A three-piece jazz band filled the restaurant with its elegant sounds. There were gorgeous people in pretty Sunday dresses sitting around tables covered in white tablecloths. It’s the kind of ritzy, relaxed restaurant you’d find in New Orleans. Which is the point, really.
We were seated in the semi-private back room, around a big table for 10, under a crystal chandelier. The walls were a swamp scene, but painted as if that swamp were made of Van Gogh’s lilies. It was perfect.
Acadiana is in the same restaurant family as DC Coast and Ceiba, so expectations were high. We went for the Mardi Gras brunch, which is a three-course prix fixe loaded with Southern dishes, all for $29. For an additional $9, you can throw in the raw bar, which was small but looked mighty tempting: unlimited jumbo shrimp and oysters. I’m actually glad I passed on that. The three courses were plenty.
The waiter handled our large group as if we were the easiest table in the world (we’re definitely not). First thing on the table? Warm biscuits with a spread of candied jalapeno jam with a dollop of cream cheese at the bottom. We ordered more and more.
The drinks were supreme. Only a dollar a cocktail with the prix fixe. The Cajun bloody Marys were Acadiana’s own “secret” recipe. And the mimosas … where to begin? It’s hard to get the perfect balance. These were mimosas, with just the right amount of champagne, mixed with blood orange puree and freshly squeezed orange juice, with a wedge of orange on the glass. Acadiana aced it.
I’m not going to get into what everyone had. It was all gorgeous and lovely, and I heard no complaints, but I was too focused on my three courses to stray much during this brunch. The appetizer list was classic Louisiana: gumbo, turtle soup, fried green tomatoes. I opted for a trio of deviled eggs. One came with crabmeat ravigote cleverly perched on top, another with caviar, and the last went for my comfort bone with cheddar cheese bacon. Each a distinct taste.
For entrees, they had a selection of Benedicts. Do I want crawfish crabcakes, artichokes and spinach, or Canadian bacon with my poached eggs and hollandaise? Instead, I rebelled and went for the blackened tilapia. A wise choice. It was set on sweet corn pudding and collard greens with bacon, and topped with crawfish lemon Tabasco butter. Perfectly cooked and packed with flavor. I couldn’t finish it all (that sweet corn pudding is filling!).
I didn’t think I could possibly fit dessert, but I went for it. I passed on the gorgeous pecan tart and the bread pudding and had the French beignets. They were warm and light, and topped with powdered sugar. The dish came with a chicory coffee crème anglaise on the side, which made the dessert rich and sweet.
Besides the food, the atmosphere, the cocktails, and the service, there were other lovely touches that continued the wooing. We could have valeted our car right in front (love it), and if you have a four-legged brunch date, they’re welcome on the patio. Dogs even have their own menu, crafted by the chefs. How cute is that?
The Bitches say: A+. One of the best brunches I’ve had in the city. Perfect spot for a special brunch with family or out-of-town guests. (See all the photos on Flickr.)
901 New York Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001