By Kaci Yoder
Let’s be honest—steakhouses can be intimidating. White linens, thick menus full of pricey dishes, waiters dressed better than you. It’s enough to scare off some customers before they even make it through the door.
What we Louisiana folks really want from a dining experience is a warm welcome, a big table full of family and friends, and delicious, dynamic food. Nothing stuffy, nothing pretentious. We like something friendly and authentic.
So how do you split the difference between these two experiences? If you’re willing to make the trek downtown, you can find the answer at Stroubes Seafood & Steaks.
Maybe the first thing to impress you upon stepping inside will be the sheer height and depth of the restaurant, but spend time chatting with your server or bartender and you’ll find as much southern hospitality as any beloved hole-in-the-wall from back home.
Sitting down with chefs Mark Reilly and Ross Ford feels like catching up with old friends. They’re quick to point out that, though the sign out front declares Stroubes as a chophouse, they’ve expanded the fare beyond fine cuts of beef and pork. The proof is in their Restaurant Week menu, which ranges from a smoked salmon dip to pork tenderloin with apple and sweet potato hash to one heavenly lemonfish.
“We ran different parts of it [in] specials over the last month, and it all just really hit home… It’s the components of a few things we just couldn’t keep on the shelf,” Reilly said of the dish, which comes with bacon roasted Brussels sprouts and pureed cauliflower. “Restaurant Week is a week where you can get some fresh blood as far as clientele is concerned. You want to hook them with a sure thing.”
A fish that even many seafood-friendly locals may not have tried before, this lemonfish is seared to a perfect crisp on the outside and moist enough on the inside to flake with easy at the touch of a fork. Ford says the cauliflower puree and Brussels sprouts oven-roasted with bacon bring a “comforting” element to the dish. Though a worthy substitute for the traditional mashed potato, the cauliflower is velvety and light enough to act almost as a sauce binding the dish together. Altogether, it’s a deliciously no-frills dish with a straightforward presentation that doesn’t distract from its simple elegance.
“It’s simple. It’s not over complicated. Five ingredients. There’s not too much going on with it that you lose a flavor in there somewhere because there’s 13 things on the plate,” Ford said.
And that’s where this steak and seafood hotspot meets the heart of Louisiana cooking—honest, unpretentious dishes carried through on the strength of a few authentic flavors.
If you don’t mind splurging a bit on the $35 menu, Stroubes promises to make it worth your while.