St. Martha's Brasserie d'Orleans
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Foods from St. Martha's Brasserie d'Orleans
2014 Mar 22
After a long absence, we returned here last night for dinner. We were just as satisfied with the food as we had been in the past, but we were also very happy to see that the service was much more prompt, despite the restaurant being packed with people on a Friday night (I don't even think there was a free seat at the bar).
We shared an order of fries to start, then the The Missus had the Bifteck d'agneau and I had the Choucroute. Both were excellent.
2013 May 15
We went there in late March. It wasn't very busy and we both ordered the standard breakfast. It took 45 minutes to arrive by which time we were knawing on the table legs. The food was okay but given that we live in the west end, I won't be trekking out there again. They did comp one free dessert for us to share.
2013 May 11
Had to try a place in Orleans serving up fresh local food. A few beers on tap. Beau's Lug Tread and St. Ambroise. I was curious what the third listing of seasonal was, it turned out to be Beau's Lug Tread. Our server recited the specials from a small sheet of paper she pulled from her apron and promptly asked the chef a few questions we had. Started with Pilons de poulet. Drums braised then roasted for crispness but they lacked the crispness. Some seasoning on the drums would be nice because the chipotle tomato dipping sauce was just ok. My bavette et frites consisting of lean flank steak pan fried just past medium rare and really needed some sort of seasoning again. Vegetables were beets a undercooked carrot and broccoli. The Belgium style fries were the high point of the meal even if a few were a tad undercooked. I did leave hungry since the dessert menu did not peak any interest. It was not overly busy when we were there and things were just starting to pick up when we left at 7:30. A small grill would really be an asset to a place like this adding a nice char flavor to the food but sadly space is an issue in the small kitchen. Sorry about the pic of the steak and frits. May be time to turn on the flash.
2013 Mar 23
: Yes to all of your questions (real homefries, good sausage, and focaccia).
2013 Mar 23
OMG that breakfast looks good. A couple of questions - are they real home fries or the deep fried kind? Those look like a farmer's or a country style sausage rather than the little breakfast ones, is that correct? And finally, did you say focaccia? If yes to my questions, it seems worthwhile to make the occassional trek to there from the west end. I love me a good breakfast!
2013 Mar 22
We finally tried the breakfast here, although it was delayed by one week. On the morning of Thursday March 14th, my wife was past her due date by 6 days. We were on our way back from an ultrasound and decided to stop in. After ordering, she went to the washroom while I sipped coffee...and then she came out and said: "My water broke!"
I felt a bit bad because our plates were pretty much ready but the staff sent us on our way wishing us luck (and looking about as surprised as I did!).
So, one week later, we came back with our new daughter for a 2nd attempt at breakfast. It was a different server this time but the same chef was there and he came out to congratulate us (bonus points for figuring out our baby was a girl despite her gender-neutral PJ!).
The breakfast was superb. $8 can buy you a crappy breakfast in many places around town. At St. Martha's, it gets you something that is definitely worthwhile. The eggs were excellent, the sausage and ham were a cut above what you get elsewhere, and I really appreciated the little coulis in which to dip the focacia.
2013 Jan 18
I stopped in for lunch yesterday and it was hopping. The service, while stretched, was very friendly. I decided on the bavette and frites and, while not much of a steak eater, I loved it. The steak was cooked medium rare to order and sliced perfectly. It had just the right amount of chew and an excellent jus. The frites were great as was the mayo that accompanied them (although I used the frites mostly to sop up the jus). To round it all out, the steak was served on top of some lovely roasted veggies including beets, a carrot, and a few (and personally completely unnecessary) brussell sprouts. This place has been consistently good for lunch and breakfast.
2012 Nov 17
In a few months I'll be making the move from Mechanicsville back to my hometown of Orleans. I'm happy about some things, mostly being close to family and friends, but I'm pretty terrified of the food scene in the east end. Every chain of family restaurants you can imagine, but not much at all worth eating.
St. Martha's should make things just a touch easier. Centrum is a graveyard of dead businesses on St. Joseph, one of the most horrible streets on the continent. From East Sides, to the Olive Garden, to Vieux Duluth, to the Cumberland Arms, the only restaurant that's lasted is Lexus, and that must be a front for something because in 29 years I've never met anyone who has stepped inside.
St. Martha's is something completely different. A tiny place, seating for maybe 30. They pull off the French brasserie look really well, and the cozy size amplifies conversations, making you believe you really are in a lively Paris pub. It's an atmosphere that fits really well in Orleans, with its well-to-do civil servants and significant francophone population.
On this Friday is was full at 8:00. We hadn't a reservation, and I was less than convinced by the hostess' guesstimate of a 30 minute wait. She offered the bar (with seats for about 9) and my wife and I were happy enough to plunk ourselves down. She promptly took our drink orders, Kichessipi 1855 for me, Cheval Blanc for herself, pricey enough at $6.50.
The place was hectic. White-shirts and red ties ran around the room, not quite panicking, but definitely not quite in complete control. The night was not going to plan... in fact it started to go a bit pear-shaped as two groups of four showed up after us with reservations and no tables close to ready. The hostess comp'd drinks for both groups, which seemed nice, and, to their credit, all the staff seemed confident enough that it would all work out.
We ordered, bavette et frites for me, the burger for my wife. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. We didn't mind, we had dumped our three week old off at the grandparents' so we were just happy to be there, but it was a bit disconcerting that nobody in the restaurant seemed to be eating. I kept looking at the open kitchen expecting to see the young chefs crying or, well, dead, but still, all the staff seemed happy and in control... despite the fact they clearly were not.
45 minutes later and I was offered a beer on the house. Again, very nice of them, but they seemed to be giving away a great deal of booze to the waiting room. Five minutes later and our food arrived. Everything was lovely. Nicely cooked, tender flank steak with firm brussel sprouts, beets, and parsnips. Absolutely glorious chips. Wife murdered her burger, quite enjoyed it.
By the time we were done things seem to have calmed down. Our bill came a bit too quickly, we were hoping for desert, but I was sympathetic for them just wanting the evening to end. To my shock the bartender/waiter told me he had taken a bit off due to our wait. Ended up being one free beer and 20% off the top. So basically a free main.
All in all, I really like this place. I know this seems like an odd review, I'm really not complaining. The chaos was all a bit charming... it wouldn't have been had the food stunk, but the excellent meal, the good beer, and the friendly staff all made it a nice experience. So I'd stay away if you're on a tight schedule, but if you appreciate family joints with above-average food this is a great spot. A welcome addition to the Orleans scene. Let's just hope they don't go broke giving away free drinks.
2012 Oct 28
This new restaurant is just across from the new Orléans Mayfair so my wife and I decided to have a date night with dinner and a movie. We both ordered the soup of the day (duck broth with squash and carrots) and the bavette & frites. Usually we'll try to cover more of the menu when visiting a restaurant for the first time but last night we both had a hankering for steak. We both loved it.
The only minor snag was that there was a bit of a delay between the soup and the main course. However, we were at the theatre in time to catch the previews so it really wasn't a big deal.
This is the sort of place that Orléans has been sorely lacking. I really hope it does well.
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