Ralph's on the Park News
Times Picayune Dining Fall Guide 2010: Ralph's on the Park
Ralph's on the Park
900 City Park Ave., 504.488.1000
Ralph Brennan's crown jewel restaurant overlooking City Park has tried on a handful of culinary identities in its nearly seven-year existence. What began as a stage for farm-to-table titan Gerard Maras morphed into a venue for more traditional New Orleans cooking, which worked well in this sun-dappled dining room that appears perpetually primed to host an engagement party for daddy's favorite little girl. The kitchen is now the domain of Chip Flanagan, a risk-taker who has honed a distinctive style that defies easy description. The menu runs from shrimp teriyaki tempura in chile-garlic creme fraiche to barbecue shrimp that is everything you could ask for from barbecue shrimp, only with wild mushrooms added. A September special that brought housemade spaetzle dotted with crumbles of housemade sausage in a slick of brown butter left me eager to return soon. Flanagan's food is high-risk, high-reward, and it's found in one of the city's most attractive settings.