Thursday, September 12, 2013

Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro (Vacation Post #2)

Here it is, as promised, Vacation Post #2. This is a restaurant review of a place called Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro, which we ate at in New Orleans the night before the cruise. I think with this review I’m going to break it down into a few different sections so I can cover each little bit of the experience we had.

The Restaurant
With just about any establishment in New Orleans, you can’t judge a book by its cover. The buildings are old and just not fancy looking like someone from any other region of the country might be used to seeing when they pull up to a nice restaurant. Copeland’s was no different. My only real complaint was that the entrance was on the side, almost hidden even, with very little signs directing you as to such. However, it was interesting to see valet service and a door man like you would see at some of the fanciest restaurants around the country. In fact, the interior of the restaurant actually felt less like a bistro and more like a fancy restaurant. The décor was nice, with candles for accent lighting, and it was quite a bit nicer than what we had imagined it would be like.

The Food
My wife ordered the Crescent City Chicken Wrap with a side of Sweet Potato Fries and I had the Crawfish Ravioli. Of course when you’re in a place called Cheesecake Bistro you’ve got to try the cheesecake as well so for dessert we had the Bananas Foster Cheesecake.

My wife’s Crescent City Chicken Wrap was breaded chicken, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, ginger honey, and mayonnaise in a flour tortilla. It was a really good size wrap, as you can see from the picture, with a lot of sweet potato fries. I was able to get a few bites of her food and what I tried was really delicious. The sweet potato fries were my favorite part and I probably would have eaten them all if she had let me. Overall she said she really enjoyed what she ordered and what I tasted was definitely better than I had initially expected.

My dish, the Crawfish Ravioli, was toasted ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and then topped with crawfish tails in a spicy cream sauce. I had been looking forward to this all week and was not disappointed. The ravioli were cooked perfectly and the amount of crawfish and sauce was perfect for the amount of ravioli. My only complaint about the dish was that there just wasn’t enough on the plate. I’m not saying that just because it was so good, there really just wasn’t enough on the plate. I was actually still hungry when I finished. Personally I think the dish could have used a vegetable like asparagus which would have complimented the dish perfectly or they could have offered baguettes and butter prior to the meal which I think would have made everything more filling. Overall I really enjoyed the dish and I’m actually looking forward to making this myself sometime.

For dessert my wife and I shared the Bananas Foster Cheesecake. I really can’t describe how good it was. Just look at that picture and however good you think it looks, multiply that by 100. It was absolutely amazing. They actually ship their cheesecakes too and after tasting it I’m seriously thinking about ordering one.

The Service
Unfortunately this was the most disappointing aspect of the experience. When we entered the restaurant and were told there was a 45 minute wait to be seated, we didn’t think twice about it and waited. It’s quite common for a popular restaurant to be busy after all. However, it was very interesting to see about a third of the restaurant was empty when we did finally get seated. Maybe they were short staffed that night, we just found it interesting and a little confusing. We didn’t have many complaints about our waitress except that she was a bit of a scatter brain. She asked us if we wanted to see the dessert menu which we said yes to, then she comes back 5 minutes later and asked if we had decided what we wanted for dessert even though she had never given us the menu. My wife and I also sat with empty glasses for well over 10 minutes despite our waitress walking by the table multiple times. We also heard at least 2 other tables around us complaining about the service and both of those tables actually had the manager called to them. Our service wasn’t bad enough to need to talk to the manager but it was very disappointing. Overall, between the waitress and the girls working the front desk, the service just wasn’t very warm and inviting. It was not at all like what we’re used to getting back home in the Midwest.

On a 5 star scale, I give the restaurant 4 stars, the food 5 stars, and the service 2 stars. The experience overall was a good one and I do believe that the next time we’re in New Orleans we’ll certainly consider eating there again. The food was good enough to make up for the lackluster service. Copeland’s also has 3 other locations in Louisiana and 1 location in Atlanta, Georgia and we definitely recommend you give them a try if you’re ever near one.

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