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Le Bon Temps


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I lived in Louisiana for quite a few years and had been to Carmine's back when it was in Havertown, so I was pretty excited to check it out.

We had the salad with grapefruit sections, candied pecans, and goat cheese first. It is a sweet salad, but I like that sort of thing and enjoyed it.

One friend had the creole crabcake special and seemed pretty happy with it. Me and other friend had the crawfish etouffee and it was pretty darn good for this far from the bayous. I'd have that again any day.

The decor, however, is problematic, as my friend who does restaurant design for a living pointed out. Aside from the beautiful staircase, there's not really much ambience and parts of it are just sloppy and unfinished, like the budget ran out and they had to get cheap curtains (and one window was missing curtains altogether) and slap on a paint job. Friend said the whole space should be renovated, but that was obviously not in the cards. NOLA decor tends to be a bit casual, but once it was pointed out to me, I could see the shortcomings.

The service was pretty good, but there weren't many people there (although it was after 9pm when we rolled in) and we had the whole upper dining area pretty much to ourselves.

The drinks were fun: a sort of stawberry-pom-tini was good for the birthday girl (me) who wanted to go girlie; the boys had a martini with a spicy shrimp as the garnish and seemed happy with theirs too. I'd try the Sazerac next time, a classic NOLA cocktail made with rye.

Would recommend and go again. I hope it becomes a success and imagine LaBan will get there soonish. Will be interested to see his thoughts.

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