The Gunn family, owners of Gourmet Pasture Beef, raises its cows the way cows should be raised: in fresh air and green pastures. On their Robertson County ranch, cattle are not only fed a diet of pure grass, but they never receive hormones or antibiotics either. When the cattle reach upwards of 1,000 pounds, they head to a local USDA facility for butchering and at least two weeks of dry-aging to ensure maximum flavor. And guests can taste this in the tender rib eyes, porterhouses, marbled sirloin steaks, roasts, and ribs delivered to their door or available for pickup at several locations. Because grass-fed beef cooks differently, their website also offers cooking tips and temperature guidelines to keep each cut its juiciest and to prevent guests from naturally assuming steak should be cooked with a flamethrower.
The pastry mavens at Tricia’s on the Square bake an assortment of treats from fresh ingredients. Cake bites deliver sweet morsels in dainty portions, eliminating the hazards of cake-induced delirium. Bakers with tiny hands incorporate timeless flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, and lemon into each tasty nibble. Moist strawberry cupcakes crowned with cream-cheese icing kiss taste buds with a delicate sweetness, and triple-chocolate cupcakes pack a decadent, cocoa-rich punch.
Taste of N'awlins's salivary-gland-sating menu spans the spectrum of traditional Cajun cuisine, with bayou-inspired starters, po' boys, seafood, and platters. Start with a succulent order of French Quarter crab cakes ($10.99) before moving on to the catfish-filet platter, which saunters onto the table with an entourage of slaw, white beans, hush puppies, and choice of potato ($9.50 for small, $11.99 for large). The roast-beef po' boy ($7.50 for 6", $9.25 for 12", and $5.50 for a bun), a juicy serving of roasted bovine sandwiched between halves of crusty French bread, will float tasters down a lazy meat-juice bayou while the slow-cooked gumbo ($3.25 for a cup, $5.99 for a bowl) balances spice, chicken, and sausage in a succulent pool of authentic Cajun roux. Diners diligently watching their figure can opt for the fresh garden salad with grilled shrimp ($10.99) and feel confident flashing those inner elbows this year on Bourbon Street.
Sunshine streams though skylights and tall windows to brighten up Brewster's Bar & Grille's wood, stone, and brick interior, where cooks grill hamburgers and prep pub fare. Plush black booths encircle tables topped with menu items such as corn-dog nuggets, rib-eye steak, and Alaskan salmon. Barkeeps fill glasses with 14 ontap brews and flat-screen TVs glow with sports games or latent poltergeists. During warmer months, the staff opens the patio, where diners can toss bags and horseshoes.
At Woody’s Steak House, chefs roast prime rib for four hours, carve the succulent cuts to order, and ladle them with house au jus. The sumptuous entree is one of the reasons Woody’s Steak House has remained a neighborhood bastion for more than 70 years. Other entrees reflect a similar attention to detail, from the aged-in-house filet mignon to the pecan-smoked ribs. Meaty morsels pair with an ample wine list and, on Wednesdays, the soft melodies of piano music and murmured reminders to chew 27 times before swallowing.
The tableside grill sizzles, searing flavorful slices of steak and moist squares of salmon. A chef keeps careful watch on his proteins, summoning pillars of flame to add extra heat, dicing meat with lightning dexterity, and corralling jumbo shrimp with a bullwhip to complete the culinary show. This is the scene at Kabuto Japanese Steak Seafood & Sushi, where food is as much spectacle as it is art.
Besides cooked-to-order hibachi specialties, the restaurant keeps a sushi bar stocked with fresh seafood. Here, experts hand-roll favorite maki, such as spicy tuna or california rolls, or draw on more inventive ingredients—wine sauce, mango, strawberry—for their house specialty rolls. But whether guests seek food that is flame-kissed or flame-free, each dish stands out against the decor's elegantly understated tableau.