Sheltered in the live oaks of an office complex near the intersection of Essen Lane and Perkins Road, Lasseigne’s is easy to pass up.
The location has been many restaurants. Long-time residents will remember it as the old Calendar’s. Newcomers may or may not remember the space as Frankie Marcello’s, a short-lived Italian and Creole restaurant.
Lasseigne’s menu contains the burgers and steaks you would expect from an “American grill,” but it’s also heavy on Southern and Gulf Coast staples. You think oysters, po-boys and crawfish.
Inside, the grill’s décor resembles nearly any traditional steakhouse, with dark wood wainscoting and muted colors aside from a few red, white and blue pieces of art and the large Louisiana-themed mural in a dining room.
Though the parking lot was full, thanks to the myriad of other businesses in the same building, Lasseigne’s wasn’t too crowded during a weekday lunch.
For starters, we tried the fried pickled okra ($6). Like many of the dishes at Lasseigne’s, this one takes a familiar Southern favorite and puts a twist on the recipe.
The okra was a hit and enough to feed our table of three. The dish had a little bite, and the batter wasn’t crumbling or over-salty.
At lunch, the restaurant offers salads, burgers and sandwiches. The entrées run a bit pricey, so we went with some other, eye-catching choices.
We tried the Lasseigne’s BLT ($10), the smoked gouda and crawfish grilled cheese ($13), and the soft-shell crab po-boy ($15).
The po-boy disappointed. Dressed with red and green romaine lettuce, red onions and remoulade sauce, most of the sandwich was decent. The French bread loaf tasted fresh, and the side of French fries was exactly what fries should be.
However, the fried soft-shell crab was chewy and tasted less than fresh. Considering that soft-shell crab season is a month or two away, maybe we shouldn’t have ordered it.
Maybe it shouldn’t be on the menu yet, either.
The other sandwiches were much better.
Lasseigne’s version of the BLT surpassed expectations. The bacon was cooked crispy, but not burnt. The greens and avocado were a fresh note, and the tomato confit provided a jammy hit of acid that helped to cut through the richness provided by the buttered bun and bacon. The thin, crunchy onion rings were a perfect accompaniment.
The smoked gouda and crawfish grilled cheese was rich and smoky. It’s a combination that my mind still can’t comprehend. The dish has all the reasons to be over-salty and just too much. But it’s a heavy, buttery delight.
We ordered it with a side of dirty risotto ($4, a la carte). Think dirty rice, but with risotto. It was different, cooked well and piping hot.
Did everything need to be that different? Probably not. But we appreciate the effort, and like the fact that Lasseigne’s is doing something new.
Each dish has something that will raise eyebrows. There is some refining here and there that should be considered, and there is a bit of over-effort with certain dishes.
But we prefer that to the same old fried jumble on a bun.
Kyle Peveto, Ellen Zielinski and Matthew Sigur contributed to this review.