Local Gourmet Cuisine at Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

Local Gourmet Cuisine at Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

Local Gourmet Cuisine at Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

Local Gourmet Cuisine at Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

Article by Jeannette and Dan Dudek, Photos Courtesy of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

While planning our getaway to New Orleans we decided to find an upscale restaurant that specialized in serving local gourmet cuisine, one outside the touristy French Quarter.

After some basic investigation we quickly had a short list of about a dozen fine restaurants. Our criteria for selecting the one for our special dining experience specified that the restaurant had to have consistent rave reviews, serve unique dishes based on local cuisine, be housed in a historic building and be within a 10-minute drive of the French Quarter.

Ralph’s on the Park clearly stood out as the restaurant we had been seeking. Located in Mid-City New Orleans, adjacent to the historic City Park, this uniquely marvelous restaurant is housed in a building that dates back to 1860. Ralph Brennan of the Brennan restaurateur family opened the restaurant in 2003 (Ralph is also part owner of the famous Brennan family’s Commander’s Palace restaurant in New Orleans).

Main Dining Room at Ralph's on the Park in New Orleans

Main Dining Room at Ralph’s on the Park in New Orleans

The main dining room has an angled design that affords everyone a great view of City Park. Wrought iron chandeliers adorn the historic room with its beautiful wooden floors providing the appropriate setting for your meal. The pleasant atmosphere and ambiance provides a noticeable special effect as all guests appeared to be enjoying their dining experience.

Ralph's on the Park Crab Cakes

Ralph’s on the Park Crab Cakes

Our experience at Ralph’s on the Park started with a warm southern welcome from Adam Rahn, the Assistant General Manager. We had ample time to view the menu and extensive wine list, including the 14 whites and 11 reds that were offered by the glass. During our study a delightful warm fresh loaf of bread and complimentary bruschetta (topped with pork pate and adorned with bread and butter pickles) were served.

Jeannette chose the Chilled Lobster Salad with Louisiana citrus and earl grey vinaigrette tarragon, avocado, arugula, Meyer lemon and ruby red grapefruit. This unique combination of ingredients provided a delightful and fresh taste.

Dan had a tough choice as the appetizer list consisted of many appealing items. He chose the Fried Smoked Oysters based on the recommendation of Brian, our waiter. Being from Baltimore, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, Dan knows when oysters are prepared correctly and the set of ½ dozen large oysters were absolutely prepared to perfection!

As a native of New Orleans Executive Chef Chip Flanagan believes in developing dishes that are based on “Globally Inspired Local Cuisine”. He also appears to have somewhat of an eccentric, if not flamboyant, approach to his creations.

Note: You can view Chef Flanagan’s unique menus at the Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant’s website.

Ralph's on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

For our meal Jeannette chose the unique prepared BBQ Shrimp with New Orleans BBQ broth, nola blonde ale, assorted wild mushrooms and brown buttered baguette.

Dan hit the jackpot with his selection of a unique Surf-n-Turf dish of Rib-Eye Wrapped Scallop with port wine sauce, foie gras, cauliflower puree and roasted heirloom tomatoes. The combination of perfectly prepared rib-eye steak engulfing a large succulent scallop provided one of the best meals he has every enjoyed!

To conclude the meal Jeannette had sorbet and Dan enjoyed a bananas foster bread pudding with a caramel rum sauce.

Shrimp and Crawfish Vol-au-Vents with Crawfish Cardinale Sauce at Ralph's on the Park

Shrimp and Crawfish Vol-au-Vents with Crawfish Cardinale Sauce at Ralph’s on the Park

After dinner we toured the complete 9,500 square foot restaurant, including the bar area. The bar area seats 30 and is tastefully decorated. Local pianist Joe Crown plays the piano there four nights a week and during Sunday brunch.

Painting Depicting the Ralph's on the Park Building when it was a Brothel

Painting Depicting the Ralph’s on the Park Building when it was a Brothel

While dining we very much enjoyed viewing the several murals of Tony Green, a local artist. The above painting depicts the restaurant’s building when it was a brothel, and the famous true event that occurred. While the men were enjoying a night with their mistresses the wives told the police to raid the establishment. However the wives entered the building before the police arrived to confront their husbands. When the police arrived they only arrested women in the building who did not have the appropriate permit for conducting legal prostitution. The result was that many prominent women of the city were hauled off to jail and charged with prostitution without a permit!

After such a fabulous dining experience at Ralph’s on the Park, we certainly agree with this statement that we read on the restaurant’s website:

“Discerning publications from Bon Appétit to Wine Spectator have cited the famed cuisine, noble, cellar, and exquisite service of Ralph’s on the Park.”

If You Go:
Ralph’s on the Park
900 City Park Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
504-488-1000

For more details read Wikipedia’s information about Ralph Brennan.

Read more articles from Jeanette and Dan’s New Orleans trip:

 

Note: Jeannette and Dan were hosted by Ralph’s on the Park for dinner, but all opinions and reviews are based on their own experience.

3 Responses to Local Gourmet Cuisine at Ralph’s on the Park Restaurant in New Orleans

  1. I’ve been to New Orleans several times but have never visited Ralph’s on the Park. It looks like a very nice place and the dishes look amazing!

    Scrappy Geek 03/26/2014 at 10:46 am
    • Ralph’s on the Park should be a great addition to your next visit 🙂

      Viv 03/26/2014 at 8:52 pm
  2. Oh wow! I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans I think I would feel right at home there. That restaurant is awe inspiring.

Leave a Reply

CONNECT WITH US