If you can’t actually be in New Orleans, lunch at Acadiana is probably the next best thing. It’s Washington’s best Louisiana restaurant.
In recommending this starter, the server, who embodied a lot of New Orleans charm, told me to think of it as a soup version of Oysters Rockefeller. I understood what she meant when she listed the ingredients: oysters, bacon, spinach, cheese. And cream.
The Louisiana Seafood Gumbo at Acadiana is one of the great bargains of Restaurant Week.
While most places offer a special, limited RW menu, and some economize on portion size or ingredients, Acadiana offers its full standard menu of mains, with upcharges on only two items. This zesty Louisiana Seafood Gumbo, with jumbo lump crab, shrimp, crawfish, oysters, redfish, and Mahatma long-grain rice, normally costs $25.
RW three-course lunches cost $22, plus tax, tip, and drinks. My Presbyterian ancestors would have been proud of me.
Of course, the dish would have been no bargain at all if it was mediocre or bland.
It was superb.
The dessert was a letdown. It was a small, square tangerine tart, with pineapple, cream, and nuts. Unfortunately, it also contained coconut shavings, and coconuts are one of the few things—like beets and avocados—for which I’ve never developed a taste.
But I was too full to care.
After the soup and the gumbo, I was also in need of a long, long nap.