Bon Ton Cafe

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

Bon Ton Cafe is the place to know the joy of crawfish etouffe, especially in May, the peak of the season when crawdads are plumpest. You can have etouffe as a main course or as one part of a monomaniacal meal of bisque, etouffe, Newburg, jambalaya and an omelet, each of which is made with crawfish. Or you can start dinner with an appetizer of fried crawfish tails. They look like little fried shrimp, but taste like shrimp’s richer relatives.

Dinner begins with the delivery of a loaf of hot French bread tightly wrapped in a white napkin. When the napkin is unfurled, the bread’s aroma swirls around the table. Then comes soup – either peppery okra gumbo made with shrimp and crab or turtle soup into which the waitress pours a shot of sherry. Other than crawfish in any form, the great entrée is redfish Bon Ton, which is a thick filet sauteed until just faintly crisp, served under a heap of fresh crabmeat and three gigantic fried onion rings. For dessert, you want bread pudding, which is a dense, warm square of sweetness studded with raisins and drenched with whiskey sauce.

A big, square, brick-walled room with red-checked tablecloths, Bon Ton is soothingly old-fashioned. Service by a staff of uniformed professionals is gracious and Dixie-sweet. The place is crowded with locals at lunch, but mostly groups of tourists and celebrants at supper. Either time, and whether you are a regular customer or a first-timer, Bon Ton feels like Creole home.

What To Eat

Red Fish Bon Ton

DISH
crawfish

DISH
gumbo

DISH
Shrimp Etouffee

DISH
Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

DISH
Fried Crawfish Tails, Alzinau2019s Special Sauce

DISH
Eggplant, Shrimp and Crabmeat Etouffee

DISH
Creamed Cauliflower

DISH
Squash Gratin

DISH
Pecan Crunch Ice Cream

DISH
Rum Ramsey

DISH

Bon Ton Cafe Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Bon Ton Cafe?

2 Responses to “Bon Ton Cafe”

Foster Blair

February 9th, 2011

More of a special occasion dinner as this is hardly a Roadfood stop; it’s more of a downtown, high-end meal, like Galatoire’s, with similar prices but without the “scene.”

Reply

Andrew Mook

March 19th, 2007

I’ve never been so disappointed by a N.O. restaurant. While I’d visited N.O. several times and had dozens of meals, I hadn’t eaten at the Bon Ton Cafe before despite its reputation. Now I don’t know what to say; tell me this is a post-Katrina aberration, like they couldn’t find a chef.

My expectations were dashed. Strangely, our waitress warned us off some choices. The food arrived lukewarm after a long wait. It was also unspiced and resting in a pool of grease. Even the “famous” bread pudding was soggy, lackluster and generally tasteless.

I didn’t want to write such a review. We’ve had many fine to nearly heavenly meals in N.O. This must not be “normal.” All that reputation and pricing as a fine dining experience shouldn’t produce this worst meal we’ve ever had in N.O. Ambiance, presentation and service was certainly OK. Relatively speaking, the food was a disaster.

Reply

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