Gabrielle is a family-run restaurant, with Chef Greg Sonnier in the kitchen and his daughter Gabie, the restaurant’s namesake, running the front of the house. Gabrielle has a relaxed feel and the small bar in the front of the dinning room is cozy and engaging. There’s plenty of familiar chatting that goes on between servers and diners. I arrived early and had a drink at the bar. I enjoyed listening to the Bartenders detailed story about the settling of a family friends estate.
When my party arrived, we were shown to a large table near the kitchen. We were warned when ordering, that there’s only one cook and things take time so diners are encouraged to order everything at once so the Chef can time it just right.
Chef Greg’s conception of New Orleans cooking is described as rustic, spice- and sauce-forward. His smoked quail gumbo is spectacular. The dark color and rich flavor is truly some of the best Gumbo I’ve ever had. The roast duck and spice-stained Gulf finfish are reason to dance and celebrate eating out. We ordered almost everything on the menu and between the six of us all we could say was, “Yum!” I especially enjoyed the Creole Tomato Salad they offered as a special the night we were there, and the rabbit was also a highlight. I felt like we were living the cliché, “When in Rome” except we were doing it New Orleans style. We started with a cognac Sazerac and finished with their lemon chess pie. Get on over there!
Dinner entree prices: $16-$32.
Standout dishes: Smoked quail gumbo ($12); barbecue shrimp pie ($14); ponce de lapin ($9); double-cut pork rib chop ($24); traiteur fish ($21); slow roasted duck ($28); chocolate pecan pie ($9)
2441 Orleans Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana Phone: (504) 603-2344
Reservations: Yes. Website: http://www.gabriellerestaurant.com
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10pm; Friday-Saturday 5:30-11pm
Dark: Sunday/ Monday