In my previous post about Houmas House (see HERE), I mentioned a few options for on-site restaurants, one of them being The Carriage House.
In a building attached to the Turtle Bar (old garconnierre), one can expect to find a lavish and decadent dining experience. Reservations are recommended, but not required to sit in for a lovely breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Carriage House. Try to keep your jaw from dropping when the hostess leads you from the foyer into the spacious dining hall. It’s hard to pick a place to start when describing this massive baronial style room. Everything from the marble floors to the empire furnishings to the intricate trim molding and stunning crystal chandelier screams opulence. It’s easy to feel underdressed in a place so grand and elegant. Tall windows that overlook the gardens behind the restaurant allow an abundance of natural light to filter through, bouncing off the polished dark-wood tables and porcelain dinnerware. Portraits and antiques dot the walls and mantel over two fireplaces. Large, gold-framed mirror hung over both fireplaces reflects back the room and all its beauty. An occupied bird cage is set up on one side of the room, occasionally chirping to finish off this picture of Victorian and Edwardian classical style.
Beyond the main dining hall, another room, smaller and more resembling a manly hunting lodge, catches any overflow of guests. This room, complete with the heads of hunted game on the wall and stuffed critters on the mantle is far more masculine, but just as refined and historical in its ambiance as the previous room. Both can accommodate large dinner parties or banquets (like weddings).
What I find best about The Carriage House Restaurant is that the menu is nothing overly extravagant. It’s not caviar and hundred-dollar entrees, which I was a little worried about when I visited for the first time. The menu, though it changed from one visit to the next, was down-to-earth and even features some common dishes like burgers, po-boys, grilled chicken, short ribs, and all the way up to steak. It seemed odd to be scarfing down a sandwich served on fine china, but that’s all in the charm of it. But even before the main meal comes out, they spoil with a basket of bready treats and butter, along with your favorite drink served in a goblet that makes one feel like royalty. And the desserts, such as their cheesecake, are rich and the perfect way to top off a fine meal. The wait staff have been courteous and friendly with every visit and the food has always hit the spot.
Both visits, I had a po-boy. The shrimp and seafood po-boys are incredibly filling and flavorful. The cooks don’t skimp on anything, even the fries. Thick and fried to perfection, I dipped them in whatever addictive sauce they put on the sandwiches… Now I wanna go back just for that! My husband tried the Eggplant Napoleon, just to be fancy. I snitched a bit of the jumbo-lump crab meat off the top of his dish and my mouth exploded from the saffron saucy goodness. I ate his leftovers after we got home. I couldn’t resist. Though their menu is small, it’s got a little bit of appeal for anyone looking for a good, flavorful meal. This was as of November of 2020, and their menu may change from season to season, so check out the Houmas House website in advance if you want to be sure of the options.
Though this place does not require reservations, during Covid restrictions, it’s recommended so they may maintain compliance with social distancing and occupancy levels. Out of respect for the ambiance and lovely trappings of the place, I’d also recommend wearing something nice or semi-casual to your meal. I walked in with mud on my boots after visiting a couple of plantations that day and felt incredibly bad for tracking dirt on their pristine floors. They seemed good-natured about it, but I personally regretted not cleaning up before going. Also, call ahead to confirm operating hours, as the Houmas House hours differ from that of the restaurants on site. They are closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day. If you want to bring a large group or book their dining hall for a special occasion, definitely reserve ahead of time.
Phone: (225) 473-9380