NEW ORLEANS – With the American Heart Association recommending people eat fish twice a week — the chefs across the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group have been casting their fishing poles far and wide to bring diners the very best bounty from our rivers, lakes, and seas. The author of Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook, Brennan is no stranger to the sea – following the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he testified before Congress to the detrimental impacts on the Gulf’s seafood industry. With World Oceans Day [June 8] on the horizon, Ralph Brennan continues to advocate for sustainable, local sourcing of seafood in each of his restaurants.
In the general classification of “seafood,” the Crustacean family is always a popular favorite. At Red Fish Grill, you can break out of your shell with the Louisiana Crawfish Cakes & Eggs with Sweet Potato Hash and Smoked Chipotle Hollandaise. Another French Quarter favorite and the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award Finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant” – Brennan’s – serves sumptuous Shrimp Quenelles begins with fresh Gulf Shrimp being made into light and airy Quenelles poached to perfection, floating on a peppery New Orleans-Style Barbecue Sauce, and topped with candied Lemon Confit and Garlic. And, at Ralph’s on the Park, led by Executive Chef Knut Mjelde – flavorful renditions include the Shrimp Skully featuring Tempura Shrimp, Skully’s Crystal & Pepper Jelly Reduction, Crispy Smoked Almonds, and Green Onions.
Every morning, just like clockwork, a delivery of precious cargo arrives at the door of Red Fish Grill. Sack after glorious sack, each containing over 100 Gulf Coast Oysters. Under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Chris Vazquez, the standout seafood destination has served nearly 4.5 million of these meaty mollusks since 1997, many in the form of the signature BBQ Oysters — named a Most Memorable Meal by Forbes and USA Today. Or, delight in the mouth-watering Gulf Oysters on the Half-Shell, sourced straight from the Gulf. A creamy labor of love, Brennan’s beloved Oysters J’aime with Creole Tomato Gravy, and Cornbread Crumble perfectly spotlights this briny bivalve. At Ralph’s on the Park, the Seared Scallops take center stage – with Butternut Squash with Warm Spices, Roasted Garlic, Local Petite Field Greens, and a Shallot Vinaigrette.
When it comes to fish with fins, the flavors and textures abound. The restaurant’s namesake, Redfish shows up swimmingly at Red Fish Grill — a Wood Grilled Redfish with Louisiana Crawfish, served with Tasso Ham & Roasted Mushroom Pontalba Potatoes and Lemon Butter Sauce. At Brennan’s, Executive Chef Ryan Hacker is always on dock to highlight the bounty of the Gulf, like the Pan Roasted Gulf Fish with Glazed New Potatoes & Green Beans, Pickled Calamondin, and Sauerkraut Powder. And, Ralph’s on the Park continues to “reel” in the praise for its Brown Butter Glazed Fish, with Baby Green Beans with Vidalia Onion, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Brown Butter Glaçage, andAlmond Butter.
With all of this fish to choose from, it’s no wonder that the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that fish consumption has increased in recent years, with the average person eating over 16 pounds of fish per year. And, considering the fact that fish is well-documented “brain food,” it would follow suit that we are all getting smarter about protecting our fisheries – and, RBRG makes it a priority to focus on sustainability.
Brennan’s | 417 Royal Street, NOLA | @BrennansNola
Ralph’s on the Park | 900 City Park Avenue, NOLA | @RalphsOnThePark
Red Fish Grill | 115 Bourbon Street, NOLA | @RedFishGrill