Sunday, April 5, 2009

DINING DIVA REVIEW: Copeland's of New Orleans in Baton Rouge

During my last visit to my beloved in-laws in Baton Rouge, my husband took me to his favorite restaurant, which is Copeland's of New Orleans. The extensive menu of original New Orleans cuisine made it very difficult to choose a dish. This is my husband's favorite restaurant as he is a Baton Rouge native. Each dish is described in tantalizing detail making the choice of what to eat agonizing! On this visit I ordered the Eggplant Pirougue which I can only describe as EXQUISITE! Incredible slices of fried eggplant served with an au gratin sauce stacked over angel hair pasta with crab claws and shrimp mixed in with the pasta. I seldom have occasion to describe any dish as exquisite but this dish deserved it completely. It was totally unique, the presentation was lovely and the eggplant was perfectly cooked and seasoned and had a velvet butter texture surrounded by the crisp breading. The sauce was delicious and the shrimp and crab claws were ultra fresh and perfectly cooked as was the pasta. My husband had his longtime favorite, Ricochet Catfish with pecans and sesame with a Creole Meuniere sauce. The catfish was moist and flaky inside the crisp crust and the sauce is the perfect foil for the succulent fish. The service was crisp and professional but an error on the part of the kitchen wasn't caught by the waiter before it arrived on the table and it should have been--a small flaw but one that should not be present in a restaurant of this calibre--and should have been caught by the waiter. Other than being served the lunch portion of catfish when the dinner portion had been specifically requested, the service was good but not excellent but I assume the first team is dinner service, not the lunch crew, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. The error was swiftly corrected but the dish wasn't remade as it should have been--instead his original fish portion was allowed to get old and cold under a heat lamp while the missing piece of fish was cooked and added to it. Tea refills were swift as was water service. I don't normally have dessert with lunch but the bananas Foster cheesecake was too tempting and I was on vacation so I gave in to my sweet tooth and I'm glad I did! The bananas were perfectly sauteed in the butter and brown sugar and flamed with rum before being poured over the delicious creamy cheesecake--the dessert alone was worth the trip to Baton Rouge! I would make the trip again just for that cheesecake! I can't wait to go back to Louisiana to eat here again--and as delicious as the eggplant pierogue was, I want to try some of the other dishes on the menu!
Food: 4 stars
Service: 3 stars

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