The menu can be confusing, but the dishes are delicious at Provisions on Perkins

Provisions on Perkins seemed to appear out of nowhere. Taking over the former Galatoire’s Bistro building in September 2018, this latest resident at the Acadian Village shopping center made some interesting renovations, and I was curious to explore it further.

Inside, the interior was surprising. The beautiful tilework that marked the walls of Galatoire’s were replaced with bold design choices that could not have been more different. The dining rooms had a mix of deep blue, cream and fuchsia walls with graffiti-style art and jarring, contrasting light fixtures. The spaces felt disjointed to me, but I did like the colorful pink lounge located behind the main bar and the enclosed patio offering more room for seating.

The menu takes a little while to acclimate to, as it’s organized in a confusing way with no clear titles for different sections. Names of individual items were either straightforward—like “Chicken Sandwich” or “Classic Steak”—or baffling with monikers like “Crock,” “Crispy” and “Spa Cuisine.” There also seemed to be a wide variety of culinary inspirations, such as Mexican, Korean, Italian and Southern.

Once we located starters on the menu, the Deviled Eggs sounded like an appealing option. These jewels were stuffed with a creamy salmon mousse that offered subtle smoke. With toppings of capers, red onions and dill, all we needed were bagels to complete this interpretation of a deli standard.

We were zeroing in on the crawfish cornbread (“Skillet”) appetizer, but our server steered us toward the Flatbread of the Day with bacon, arugula, Brie, mozzarella, green apples and a delightful drizzle of honey. I found the dough rather thick for a flatbread and the Brie a bit overwhelming, but the sweet and salty apple-honey-bacon combo along with the bitter greens made this an impressive starter.

The Deviled Eggs offers a smoky salmon mousse and all the fixings of a deli favorite

On left: The “Low-n-Slow” short ribs entree is glazed in a root beer reduction.

On right: Though it’s a side, the Roasted Cauliflower could feed a whole table.

The “Low-n-Slow” short ribs entree was glazed with a root beer reduction. This was an outstandingly tender, slightly sweet and moist Flintstonian portion of short ribs. A substitute of roasted potatoes replaced the grits, per recommendation. My friend also ordered a side salad, but it came with cornbread croutons that were so crumbly and dry it took a full glass of water to wash them down.

One aptly named entree, “Grilled Fish,” presented redfish with a Creole rub alongside sautéed veggies. The fish was moist but slightly overcooked. An adequate serving of simple vegetables completed my friend’s light meal.

“Seared” Big Island tuna salad included mango, avocado and macadamia nuts with a chili dressing, a sweet and spicy mustard dressing and a briny ponzu. Creamy avocados and sweet, tart mangos were beautifully coupled with the delicate rare tuna. All the components were noticeably fresh and brought together by the three different but complementary dressings.

“Pork” Tchoupitoulas featured a chop richly flavored by blackberry bacon jam. An accompaniment of braised purple cabbage was too sweet to foil the sugary chop yet addictive nonetheless. Overall the entire entree was a winner.

Roasted Cauliflower was listed as a side dish, but it could have been a meal itself. An entire head of cauliflower was perfectly prepared and startlingly good with a generous slather of whipped goat cheese and a sprinkling of parsley on top.

With the exception of the elephantine short ribs and the “side” dish of cauliflower, the portions at Provisions on Perkins were very reasonable.

The Chocolate Mud Pie from Provisions on Perkins

On left: Server Nicholas Ordes brings out the “Seared” Big Island tuna salad.

On right: A full spread of dishes from Provisions

As desserts go, the Crumble Cobbler with mixed berries was at first bite mild and fruity but turned into a sugar bomb the more we dug in.

Alternatively, the Classic Cheesecake was my preference of a less dense, more sour than sweet dessert, and it was a refreshing surprise especially since the flavor of the day was Turtle. Though we found the pools of caramel and chocolate sauces unneeded, this was the favorite of all the desserts.

Definitively delectable, too, was the Chocolate Mud Pie, described appropriately as a “four-layer decadence.” Looks were deceiving as it appeared at first to be a chocolate onslaught, yet it was airy and light.

Since the menu organization and interior seemed all over the place, we assumed the food would follow suit. Yet we were gratified by the quality and flavors. If you can get past those surprises when you first sit down, you’re actually in for a culinary treat.

The basics: The former Galatoire’s Bistro space has been drastically reimagined for Provisions on Perkins, with a menu and interior design that run the gamut of influences.

What’s a must: The Deviled Eggs appetizer with a smoky salmon mousse, the mammoth portion of short ribs in the “Low-n-Slow” entree, the equally large side dish of Roasted Cauliflower, and the surprisingly airy Chocolate Mud Pie dessert.

Eat at Provisions
3535 Perkins Road

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday brunch, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years.

This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.