It would be easy to overlook or perhaps take for granted a restaurant that’s been operating here for 30 years.
But that would be a mistake.
Drusilla Seafood, centrally located in the shopping center at Drusilla Lane and Jefferson Highway, doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels.
Large and spacious rooms and a relaxed ambience heightened by the sound of an indoor fountain’s softly splashing water provide the backdrop for a satisfying dining experience.
For appetizers, the Drusilla sampler ($10.95) and calamari ($8.95) were good selections.
The sampler dish served stuffed mushrooms, charbroiled oysters, shrimp Nelson (bacon-wrapped shrimp), blackened fish, fried crab fingers, onion rings and something delicious called The Matthew, which we learned was black drum fish with cheese sauce.
The different items — one or two of each selection — were a little lost in a bed of lettuce that we could have done without.
In general, presentation of the dishes here seems to be an afterthought and could easily be finessed to match the quality of the dishes.
The calamari was fried golden brown and served with a marinara sauce (a mayonnaise-based remoulade sauce, as opposed to the tomato sauce, is also available upon request). The dish won approval from the fans of squid at the table.
For entrées, we chose three from the menu and one off-the-menu special.
Our menu selections were: seafood eggplant casserole ($17.95); grilled chicken breast piccata ($15.95); and Cajun fried catfish filets, served with French fries and choice of salad or coleslaw ($14.95).
The seafood eggplant casserole was served in a metal pannikin and was a creamy blend of the two main items, toasted golden on top and nicely seasoned.
The grilled chicken breast piccata was a “wow” dish. Strange to say, but it was an interesting experience to taste a chicken dish that didn’t have a traditional chicken-dish “flavor.”
Instead, the tangy caper cream sauce turned the dish into something extraordinary.
The above two dishes came with a choice of baked or stuffed potato or baked sweet potato and a salad.
We found the sweet potato especially pleasing; it came served with tiny cups of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter so the diner could embellish at will.
The traditional south Louisiana meal of Cajun fried catfish fillets was good and the plate was piled high with a generous serving.
The off-the-menu item was grilled fish (a choice of redfish or salmon) topped with lump crabmeat, sundried tomatoes and artichoke cream sauce ($23.99). It was as good as it sounds. The diner went with the redfish.
For dessert, we couldn’t resist the bread pudding topped with rum sauce ($4.95).
The bread pudding wasn’t the neat round of moist pudding sometimes served, but instead a free-form, luxurious serving of golden bread topped with the rich sauce and raisins. Irresistible.
On Monday nights, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Drusilla Seafood also serves oysters chargrilled, raw or fried (85¢, 45¢ and 55¢ each, respectively), as well as all-you-can-eat fried catfish for $13.50 per person.