Billed as a restaurant "by locals for locals," this outstanding renovation of an 1860s-era City Park tavern blends comfortably upscale surroundings with historical imagery and a few modern design cues. Huge picture windows bring moss-draped oaks to a formal, white linen ambience that packs in well-turned business folk and inbound suburbanites. Three private upstairs dining rooms offer elegant settings for larger groups. As befits a Brennan's venture, service is efficient and polite.
The far-reaching menu is solid and local, if low on the flash factor: Expect exceptional variations of New Orleans classics (lump crab meat and tangy hot-sauce butter on fried green tomatoes) and signature seafood dishes (plump baked oysters with jalepeno cream and smoky bacon chunks). Meatless options include an outstanding starter of perfectly fried exotic mushrooms that mimic fried oysters in texture and taste. Flaky, tender baked drum is flawless, its flavors highlighted with subtle Bernaise and a crunchy-moist bread-crumb topping. Save room for the chocolaty, pudding-like Theobroma.