NOLA Brasserie, Where the Big Easy Comes to the Big D

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Opening in a spot once occupied by the Dallas outpost of the New Orleans institution Brennan's, NOLA Brasserie brings the taste of the Crescent City back to downtown in a 1968 skyscraper re-purposed as a Westin Hotel. From a kitchen anchored on the southwest corner of the property, chef Robert Cormier dishes out authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine developed during his 33 years of cooking in the bayou country surrounding his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana.

“My grandmother only spoke French,” he explained with a distinct Cajun accent, his voice gravelly from years yelling in the 20-plus restaurants he has opened. “The recipes for corn and crab bisque and gumbo are family recipes from Helen’s Cajun, the first joint I worked at growing up. It’s all fresh, and a batch of gumbo can take near four hours to make.” 
With framed Louisiana-themed images clumped together along the walls, jazzy brass band tunes, a sizeable bar and a tin-styled ceiling, the place would be right at home in the Big Easy. The menu is adapted from the original Marigny Brasserie of New Orleans but with Cormier’s flair. All food is made from scratch and bought from South Louisiana; this includes tasso ham (southern Louisiana specialty), beans and andouille sausage for his red beans and rice. He prefers to pay more for Louisiana crawfish because he wants to support the state's farmers, including the likes of his family, who still raise mudbugs.  
A fresh crab and crawfish cake was slightly browned on one side for crispness, and a small dab of Cormier’s secret remoulade added zest. The gumbo had a rich, smoky flavor from the crab, shrimp and crawfish roux topped with rice and a crawfish fritter. Among the fresh seafood are the barbecued shrimp and grits, which, unlike most things barbecued in Texas, aren’t wood-smoked. The shrimp are sautéed then bathed in a semi-spicy sauce made of wine, butter, lemon and Worcestershire, then served over creamy rosemary grits. The Big Easy portion of the menu is where you’ll find New Orleans favorites such as a fried shrimp and fried green tomato po’boy partnered with slaw and remoulade sandwiched between French bread straight from Gambino’s Bakery in New Orleans. A hand-cut rib eye, Louisiana fried catfish, blackened red fish, inventive burgers and muffalata pizzas are also on the menu, and on Fridays he serves crawfish étouffée made from a recipe that's a century old.
Beignets are coming soon on a brunch menu that rolls out in May, along with a crab cake Benedict, spicy crawfish deviled eggs topped with fried oysters and sriracha aioli, endless mimosas and a massive $20 bloody mary. 

1201 Main St.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.