Last Updated on Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:55
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
One of the pivotal establishments in the lively restaurant and club row in the Marigny, Snug Harbor excels as both a casual restaurant and a live music club. The two parts are separate, and you can enjoy one without the other. The restaurant's history as an outpost of the hamburger and steak specialist Port of Call keeps those items front and center. But seafood has always loomed at least as large on the menu, and is in fact the better side of it.
WHY IT'S GOOD
The seafood is fresh and local, and frying plays a subsidiary role in its preparation. Grilling is the kitchen's method of choice, with as much Creole seasoning as you'd like. This is one of the few restaurants outside the K-Paul's orbit that blackens fish acceptably. The hamburgers have always been good, and the steaks are more than decent, even if not the equal of those in the top steakhouses. (They are, however, nearly as expensive.)
"The Snug" began in the early 1980s as a branch of the Port of Call, but split off in 1992. After that, it evolved from a casual restaurant with live music into a full-fledged jazz club with an attached dining room.
Every part of Snug Harbor lives up to the name. When the place is busy--as it often is--it's hard to move around in the brick-walled dining room, and you may feel a little jammed at the tables. But the hum of the place feels good, and you go there as much to socialize as to eat.
ESSENTIAL MENU [*=Recommended]
Chicken, shrimp and sausage gumbo.
Fish Marigny (with shrimp in a cream sauce).
Blackened tuna (or any other fish they may have).
Fried oysters or fish.
Sirloin strip steak.
Fried or grilled chicken breast.
Fried oyster, shrimp, or fish sandwich.
FOR BEST RESULTS
If you buy tickets for the music shows, they'll allow you to get a reservation for the dining room. Go along with their suggestion that you sit down to dinner two hours before the show; there is a reason for it. The reason is that service moves at the pace agreeable to people who want to hang out for the evening. Don't come here for a quick meal.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They used to have a great seafood salad here that I wish they'd bring back. The gumbo is just passable.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +1
- Wine and Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +2
- Live music every night
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday dinner
- Open most holidays
- Open after 10 p.m.
- Unusually large servings
- Reservations accepted