Crescent City Steak House
1001 N. Broad Street (Mid City)
Maybe it's because I went to Brother Martin for high school with so many guys from Cabrini parish, but I knew what and where Crescent City Steak House was long before I knew/cared what Ruth's Chris was. Back in the day, Rodney Fertel was the guy who owned Dante's Pizza and ran for mayor of New Orleans on the platform of bringing a gorilla to Da Zoo--he even went around in a gorilla suit to drive the point home. That his ex-wife, Ruth Fertel, was getting into the steakhouse biz was neither here nor there. That's how good Crescent City is.
Located at the corner of N. Broad and St. Philip (1001 N. Broad), Crescent City is a Mid City institution. The restaurant, owned and operated by the Vojkovich family since 1934. The Crescent City is a limted-menu steakhouse. Keeping it simple has enabled the Vojkovichs to serve the best steaks in town.
It was three of us for dinner, me, Mrs. Yatpundit, and the kiddo, who is now big enough that waiters look to me when I order wine to see if they should bring two or three glasses. We started off with onion rings and some garlic bread. (Apologies to my readers and the restaurant as usual for the lighting on the interior photos, but family would simply kill me if I interrupted dinner with a flash. They barely tolerate the phone-cam pics as it is.)
The Crescent City serves a rib eye, filet, strip sirloin, t-bone, and "porterhouse for 3." Both wife and kiddo got the filet. Kiddo gets his medium, wife well. This is kiddo's steak; they did a butterfly-cut to wife's to properly cook it well done.
I had the strip sirloin (highly recommended), medium rare. All three steaks were served on hot plates with sizzling butter sauce. I don't know if the Crescent City can lay claim to inventing that butter sauce, but they certainly have perfected it.
I love going to a steakhouse with the family when I'm going to write about the place, because we all get our steaks cooked differently. It's a great way to gauge just how well a kitchen cooks. The Crescent City has a guide to how their steaks are cooked on the menu. So long as your expectations are focused and you know what you want, you'll get it.
For sides, wife and kiddo had brabant potatoes, and I had the au gratin potatoes (a platonic dish).
I deferred to Mrs. Yatpundit's tastes and ordered a merlot rather than a zinfandel.
We ordered two desserts to split between the three of us, a piece of the Krasna's Creole Cream Cheesecake, and a piece of the "Z Pie." The cheesecake was a good representation of the local variation, using "creole cream cheese" and the pie, a chocolate-cookie crust with vanilla ice cream, was yummy. Sadly, family began to demolish both desserts before I could get a photo of either one; you get a picture of my chicory coffee.
The atmosphere at Crescent City is old-school NOLA--tile floors, functional decor. Nothing fancy whatsoever, the place is all about the steaks.
One of my favorite things about Crescent City are the curtained booths along the wall. This photo is a bit of an optical illusion, though. The booth is in between two mirrors, so look center to see it. In high school and college, the booths were a Big Deal for a date, and they're still fun for a bit of privacy.
Service at the Crescent City is polite and efficient, just like New Orleanians like it.
Crescent City Steakhouse is where you go when you want a steak. It's not where you go when you want a steak but your wife wants rack of lamb or a pork chop. When everyone agrees that it's a steak night, though, it just doesn't get any better.