Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: Pelican Bay Restaurant, New Orleans

The Pelican Bay Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, is owned and operated by husband and wife Maurice and Tanzanika Ruffin. They are both native New Orleanians and attorneys with a little extra something on their plates. He is a fiction writer. She is une cuisinière who trained Le Cordon Bleu. And take it from me, they do restaurant well.

I took my cousin for her birthday. The food was excellent and so was the service. Tanzanika elevates some of great home cooking. Nothing tops natural talent. The food is excellent.

I had catch-of-the-day fish fried to a crispy golden brown, a green salad, fries, a Barq's root beer in the antique bottle, and I finished with pound cake. Fresh ingredients, expert seasoning (not overly-salted but flavorful!), and beautiful plating all make eating at Pelican Bay a treat. Next time I hope to try something from the bar and the pizza, which people keep telling me is delicious.

While there I also met Tanzanika's mother who helps out, and learned many of the dishes on the menu have ties to their family recipes. I must assume the macaroni and cheese is one of those. It's scrumptious, and I don't say that about just any mac 'n cheese, not greasy but delectably cheesy. Not a Stouffer's restaurant bake but the real Southern thing.

On a return visit for a night of poetry and music, I tried the wings and daquiris. Both are winners.

Finally, the prices are reasonable. I look forward to a third visit.

1701 Elysian Fields Avenue, (504) 940-1111.

You may also enjoy a feature about this restaurant at

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