The menu of Bullfish Bar + Kitchen made me feel like I was on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, rather than in the middle of the Capital City.
Chock-full of local food faves such as chargrilled oysters, crawfish and jumbo barbecue shrimp, the Cajun-Caribbean-style eatery is ideal for a seafood dinner anytime of the year.
But the team behind Bullfish recently launched a full lunch menu, and I was eager to try it.
Though you may drive past it a few times before you notice the restaurant adjoined to Staybridge Inn and Suites on Nicholson Drive just south of LSU, don’t let the inconspicuous location fool you—opened in summer 2016, Bullfish Bar + Kitchen is a hotbed of Louisiana-inspired cuisine.
The day of my visit was a wintry Tuesday afternoon. Weather forecasts predicted snow, so I ordered my meal to-go in order to avoid the roads later in the day. But a glance inside the restaurant as I was picking up my order confirmed that Bullfish’s relaxed, island-inspired digs would be a nice atmosphere for a sit-down meal that’s somewhere between casual and upscale.
The restaurant’s menu is well-rounded, blending Creole and island influences for mainstays like seafood, burgers, steak and po-boys. Standout options include the Mahi Mahi Acadienne, crawfish and shrimp queso, and Jamaican Jerk Burger with grilled pineapple, andouille relish and shrimp and crawfish queso, and desserts such as sea salt caramel gelato and guava cheesecake.
I ordered the Island Hopper sandwich upon the bartender’s recommendation. The sandwich, served pressed on French bread with pork, plantains, pepper jack and Cajun aioli, was different, flavorful and savory. The flavors of the plantains and pepper jack combined seamlessly with pork. While the pepper jack added spice, the plantains gave the sandwich a sweetness similar to pineapple but with more texture and starchiness. Even the side of fries were well-seasoned and thick-cut, my favorite.
As a Louisianian, you can never overestimate the power of a bowl of hot gumbo in cold weather. My cup of duck and andouille gumbo was easily the most comforting dish I ate that frigid day. The roux was thick and spicy but not too dark, either.
While the food is good, it’s not cheap. The total for my lunch cup of gumbo and sandwich was about $20. Still, the flavors and unique take on Louisiana-meets-Caribbean cuisine make it a great option for something different.
Bullfish Bar + Kitchen is at 4001 Nicholson Drive and open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 5-10 p.m. on Saturday.