Crab Louis ($13) is a pre-Prohibition favorite, although from San Francisco rather than New Orleans. Here it is a composed salad with Maine crabmeat, avocado, and vegetables, with a fine version of Thousand Island dressing. Salad Nicoise ($12) puts in raw ahi tuna where the French would use canned tuna and more garlic, but again it's a fun salad with a coddled egg, green beans, grape tomatoes, little squares of fried potato and — yes — Boston lettuce.
All dishes are intended as small plates and to be shared, but we get to entrée-like food with "cod cheeks en papillote" ($14). Nothing weird about cheeks — they're choice muscle meat, sweet and white, steamed up in paper with some fennel, grape tomatoes, and hot peppers. "Steak wellington" ($15) is a fair piece of meat, more done than it should be, wrapped in a batter shell rather than puff pastry, and I can't find the foie gras. So a regular steak frites would taste better all around. But lobster tagliatelle ($17) is a half-order of superb fresh ribbon pasta, plenty of chew, in a tomato sauce with chunks of lobster. If you want vegetables, the green-bean casserole ($12) has enough cheese sauce and mushrooms to help get them down. It's a hazard to nightclub clothing, but a comfort item between dances.
Half-baked cookies ($7) would be another potential threat to clothing, as they are really four quarter-baked disks of hot chocolate-chip-cookie dough.
Service at an early hour was excellent, and we ate at low seating around a low table in the room with the bar. The rooms with disco lighting and the holdover "bordello room" (you just have to see it) might not be so well suited for food and drink. Okay, they can't play those early '50s live albums, and traditional jazz wouldn't work either. There are some thoughts about live jazz, the best of all. ^
Robert Nadeau can be reached at email@example.com.