Porterhouse of LA’s large, front, paned windows, through which its elegant, warm, interior lighting shines, beckon diners inside where they find steaks and seafood served with a Louisiana flair.
Also inside are attractive groupings of unframed paintings by local artists hanging on caramel- and celadon-colored walls. Carpet, overhead lighting and wooden tables and chairs add warmth to the large dining room.
We were promptly welcomed on a recent Friday night by our waiter, Ethan, who gave us plenty of time to look over the extensive menu. Even the appetizer took some time to decide upon, and after narrowing it down to lightning onions (purple onion strips battered and fried) and Bourbon Street cheese balls, we settled on the latter.
The half-dozen cheese balls ($7.99) featured cream cheese, chives and bits of bacon rolled into balls, lightly battered and fried. The coating was crumbly and the inside so creamy these little delicious gems just melted in our mouths.
The house salads, which are included in most entrees, soon arrived, offering generous beds of mixed greens, purple onion slices, shredded Cheddar cheese and homemade croutons. Everything was quite fresh and the creamy ranch dressing tasted homemade as well.
Porterhouse’s specialties included a new one on us — Main Street gumbo casserole ($13.50). The large round pasta bowl held a chicken and sausage gumbo that had been mixed with rice and Cheddar cheese and baked. The light brown roux was nicely seasoned, not overly spicy, and there were plenty of sausage and chicken pieces throughout. Garnished around the rim with parsley, the casserole was much more filling than a traditional bowl of gumbo and a to-go box was needed. My side dish was a sweet potato, served piping hot and brimming with butter, and Ethan brought small containers of cinnamon and brown sugar to the table to also sprinkle on the potato. Quite good.
One can’t very well review Porterhouse without trying a steak, and a guest chose the Porterhouse special ($28), a 16-ounce porterhouse steak topped with Louisiana crab claws, sautéed mushrooms and chives, and served with a blend of hollandaise and béchamel sauces.
The steak was grilled to medium rare, as ordered, and packed a nice flavor, only enhanced by the toppings, especially the juicy crab claws.
The only dislike here was that the sauce, tasty but quite rich, was poured onto the plate on either side of the steak, and the guest would have preferred it in a separate dish. She was very disappointed in the twice baked potato ordered as her side dish. The potato had the usual components of bacon bits, butter, cheese, etc., but was so overly salted it could not be enjoyed, or even finished.
From the pasta selections, another guest picked the Fourchon bake ($18.99). Bits of crabmeat and small shrimp were tossed with seashell noodles, béchamel sauce, mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Quite flavorful, the dish was topped with a trio of lightly battered and fried tomato slices.
We also ordered the 12-ounce New York strip ($21), which had a good, mildly seasoned flavor and was cooked to medium as requested, and tender. The accompanying side dish here were plump, buttery asparagus spears.
The entrees also came with plump sourdough rolls, also a hit.
We can also recommend the desserts Death by Chocolate cake (what a way to go, $7), and the stuffed strawberries, filled with cream cheese and orange liqueur. Sinful.
Porterhouse also has soups, salads, sandwiches, a children’s menu and daily lunch specials.