Broussard's is considered to be one of the world-famous grand dames restaurants of the French Quarter, hailed for its opulence, warm guest reception, and culinary mastery. Broussard's decided in 2020 during their 100 Year Anniversary that they would mark the occasion with a dinner series that highlighted the 10 decades that the restaurant has existed. Due to the COVID pandemic, however, Broussard's postponed the centennial event until 2021, the 101 Year Anniversary.
The final segment of the series was the 2010's Century Supper featuring Martell VSOP Blue Swift Cognac, which is aged in Bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years. This dinner was inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, which, Chef explained, saw a bump in popularity in America in the 2010s. It was also an ode to the current owners of Broussard's, the Ammari Brothers, who purchased the storied restaurant in 2013.
The first beverage of the evening was a Cognac Crusta, which included the cognac of the evening, Maraschino Luxardo Liqueur, Curacao, lemon juice, and Angostura Bitters. The glass was coated in sugar that stuck to your lips as you sipped, giving the drinking experience an interesting texture. The meal to complement it was a Mezze Platter with a variety of delectable dips and dippables. Crunchy Red Bean Falafel sat atop a ladle-full of Garlic Labneh. Nuts and peppers were the basis for the deep red/orange Louisiana Muhammara that was speared with house-baked pita bread. The showstopper on the plate was the large piece of Fried Cauliflower sitting in a light and delicious Meyer Lemon Tahini.
The mouth-watering main course was a massive helping of Jordanian-spiced braised Lamb Shank that was finely ground and mixed with Louisiana-raised popcorn rice. The lamb truly melted in your mouth, and the exotic spices filled your nose with hints of cardamom, ginger, cumin, and clove. Sitting on the lamb was a crispy Za'atar Salad. This dish was accompanied by the Broussard Smile cocktail, so named because drinking it will make you smile (especially if you have two). The Martell was blended with Triple Sec, lemon juice, ginger simple syrup, and Angostura Bitters for a more hearty, earthy flavor.
The final course was highly anticipated. A server made Café Brulot Diabolique for the whole room, which filled with a gorgeous smoky smell as she poured the flaming Martell over the cloved orange. The classic New Orleans drink was accompanied by a Creole Cream Cheese Ashta: flaky phyllo pastry filled with delicious cream cheese and topped with crushed toasted pistachios. The fantastic feature of this dish was the house-made Satsuma and Rose Water Honey. They gave everyone a tiny bottle of the honey to take home!
Chef Jimi Setchim and Area Manager Rebecca Shattman said that Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods were out of the traditional wheelhouse for the restaurant, but this was truly a triumph for them. While this dinner was the last in the Century Supper series, a new series will begin in 2022. Go to broussards.com to keep up with Broussard's plans for more appetizing special dinners.