Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grilling & Chilling at the Red Fish Grill

New Orleans is notorious for sweltering summers, so to beat the heat, Ralph Brennan’s casual seafood restaurant Red Fish Grill invites you to relax and enjoy their $25 Grilling & Chilling menu (excluding tax and gratuity).

The limited-edition special, which runs through the end of August, gives diners a three-course meal of tasty appetizers, fresh seafood and refreshing desserts.

“New Orleans is a city celebrated for our gastronomic gatherings,” Ralph Brennan, owner and operator of Red Fish Grill said. “In this spirit, Red Fish Grill is encouraging locals and visitors alike to visit the French Quarter and enjoy the benefits of grilling, while avoiding the heat and hassle of cleaning up the kitchen.”

Red Fish Grill retaining a focus on fresh, regional cuisine, the Grilling & Chilling menu features an assortment of local seafood specialties. The restaurant kitchen’s wood-burning grill results in enhanced flavor.

“Some of our most popular menu items are grilled dishes and this menu features a great blend of grilled items and local favorites,” said Red Fish Grill Executive Chef Gregg Collier. “Redfish, Gulf shrimp, P&J oysters—as you can see it’s our job to keep the menu hot and the customers cool.”

The limited-edition menu is available by request upon seating with advance reservation through June, July and August.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crab and Shrimp Cobb Salad Tested

We recieve many compliments about Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook, but this review was too good not to share. This book works for everyone, even the most novice cooks as Tippins' recipe test reveals...

"As a college student and definitely not a professional chef I try to find recipes that are easy but delicious. I am helping my mom cook dinner this summer and am trying to find a recipe that appeals to my health-conscious parents and my hungry, football-playing younger brother.

Last night for dinner I decided to make the Crab and Shrimp Cobb Salad with Remoulade Sauce from Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook. It looked delicious and healthy but the several pages of instructions seemed like a daunting undertaking. However, I was determined to create this dish and impress my family.

After reading all the steps and beginning my preparation I realized that the three pages of instruction were not because the recipe was difficult but instead were detailed steps to instill confidence in the chef that they were preparing the dish correctly. The oohs and aahhs from my family as I brought out the salad encouraged me to try more recipes from the Cookbook and my mom was so impressed she started taking pictures of the salad.

The Crab and Shrimp Cobb Salad was such a hit that I know I will look in the Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook for another recipe. In fact, I have already scoped out the crabmeat lasagna with crab-&-chanterelle butter sauce for the next time my mom needs help with dinner. "

- Submitted by Tippins June 10, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ciao Down Before Sundown!

Bacco is offering a special three-course tasting menu of customer favorites for $25 through August 31. The Ciao Down Before Sundown! menu will be featured nightly between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Known for redefining Italian cooking in New Orleans, Bacco has won over many a guest with its use of local and regional ingredients prepared using traditional Italian cooking methods.

“Bacco has always been focused on serving the freshest and finest ingredients,” Owner and Operator Ralph Brennan, said. “The result of combining the best of Creole and Italian cooking has spurred rave reviews of Bacco’s popular culinary creations, many of which are featured in the Ciao Down Before Sundown! menu.”

The menu offers guests a selection of prized customer favorites for each course, including Bacco’s signature Lobster Ravioli which Zagat guide said “will send you to heaven”.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gambit's "Growing Up Brennan"

Ian McNulty of Gambit continued his review of the cookbook in a blog post that not only shares his thoughts on the cookbook, but also shares some of Ralph's childhood memories.

"Though it was published in the elegant format of a coffee table book, this weighty volume is clearly intended to be used in the kitchen where its thorough advice on seafood selection, handling and preparation will be invaluable to those who weren’t necessarily brought up shucking oysters and catching redfish." - Ian McNulty

Growing up in the Midwest, I fished, but never had the opportunity to shuck an oyster so this is all new information to me. However, McNulty's reference to the books format did bring back some childhood memories. My mother had a stack of Southern photography coffee-table books in our living room. I used to spend hours looking through those books and dreaming about what it would be like to grow up in the South. Just the thought of climbing in the ancient Oak trees was enough to make me consider moving.

If you're going to be a child in the South it has to be pretty spectacular grow up in a culinary family. I think Ian is of the same mind, as he asked Ralph to share some childhood memories. What future foodie wouldn't want to grow up taking day trips with Ella and Adelaide Brennan?

These outings still seem to have an impact on Ralph. Many of his favorite desserts have familial ties and are adult takes on classic childhood sweets. While I sometimes still dream about growing up in the South, somehow I believe that tasting these treats is the next best thing.

Read Ian McNulty's full post on

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tie-Dye Traveler Reviews Red Fish Grill

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding Named 'Best in the Quarter'

I wrote before last week's New Orleans Food & Wine Experience that anytime is a good time to visit New Orleans for great food.

Reviewing travel and food blog year-round posts about New Orleans cuisine is proof that the cities culinary genius isn't seasonal.

It's my job to bring media into the restaurants to review the food. Since I am pretty impatient it can be hard waiting for reviews to print, but when you get a good one it's definately worth the wait.

That said, I love to come across bloggers unsolicited comments about the restaurants. It's always a treat to here a new perspective on the food, service and such. A great review validates our excitement about the restaurants and the service provided.

Recently Kat Robinson, writer for Tie-Dye Travels posted about her trip to New Orleans. She focused on nine great places to visit in the city and included Red Fish Grill in her list. Read Kat's post to see which eight other locations made the list. Take a minute to enjoy a typical Red Fish Grill meal with her... but save room for dessert!

"You’re doing yourself an injustice if you don’t save room for the Quarter’s best bread pudding -- the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding." - Kat Robinson

Bread pudding is a New Orleans classic dessert, so Ralph Brennan included two versions of this dessert in the cookbook. You can make Ralph Brennan's Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce (pg. 277) or Chocolate Bread Pudding with Two Chocolate Sauces & Almond Bark (pg. 280) at home. I promise you will be pleased with both.

Photos: Red Fish Grill sign and Double Chocolate Bread Pudding from Tie-Dye Traveler

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

At any given time of the year New Orleans is a fantastic place to enjoy great food and wine. That said, one of best times for foodies to flock to the Crescent City is just around the corner. The New Orleans Food and Wine Experience (NOWFE) is celebrating 17 years as one of the South's premier food events.

Suprisingly, this year will be my first year attending the event. However, as I've asked around and realize that I am not alone in this position. Many locals are too busy manning their own restaurants to make it to the official events. Sometimes it's tough to be a host.

However, Ralph and team are regulars and will be amoung the 75 Chefs, 175 wineries and 1,000 wines participating in the five-day event. Running from May 20 - 24th NOWFE brings in more than a half-million dollars to regional charitable organizations.

John DeMers of Delicious Mischief is a regular at the event and gives a great overview of the event on his blog and shares his perspective on NOWFE Ralph's cookbook.

"Each year, it seems, produces at least one dazzling new cookbook devoted to New Orleans cuisine. At this year’s edition of NOWFE, Ralph Brennan’s brand-new seafood magnum opus is expected to be all the buzz."

Thanks for the kind words John, and hope to see catch you at this year's NOWFE.

For those interested in attending event tickets are still available.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Super Chef Selects Cookbook

Super Chef is an online magazine that follows the careers, empires, trends, media, and brands of super chefs in America and abroad. So we were happy to see a review of the cookbook posted on the site.

Acclaimed writer Juliette Rossant, who has interviewed and profiled some of the most renound chefs of our time, reviewed the cookbook and answers the question, "How much influence does a restaurateur have on a restaurant's cuisine if he/she is not the executive chef?"

While Ralph isn't officially a chef, his staff have given him the title "Taster in Chief". And taste is what counts, right?