#31 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries
3 Fleur
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Restaurant des Familles

Marrero To Lafitte: 7163 Barataria Blvd. 504-689-7834. Map.
Nice Casual.

New Orleans is in close proximity to many Ends Of The World. Restaurant des Familles is not quite that remote, but well down the road to a place that is: Barataria, the hangout of Jean Lafitte and his pirates. The surroundings of the restaurant are primordial enough that there are swamp tours nearby. Yet it’s close enough to town that if you have a visiting client or friend who wants to eyeball the unique Louisiana environment, it’s not too long a trip to come here. And eat some gumbo, oysters, crabmeat, and all the other comestibles for which our town is celebrated.


Lafitte and the communities around it abound in fishing camps and charter fishing boats. It makes sense that a restaurant should tap into the bounty. This is a good-looking restaurant whose windows gaze into the bayou. The menu ranges from the casual to the more elaborate, with a logical emphasis on seafood.

It’s a touch upscale from and much better looking than the typical seafood joint. Des Familles cooks the basics like boiled shrimp remoulade, gumbo, and seafood platters. On the other hand, it can get more ambitious, with interesting sauces and unique preparations. Also here: the only Sunday brunch worth talking about on the West Bank.

Restaurant des Familles is named for the bayou outside its windows. At one time in the dim past, that was the Mississippi River. Pat Morrow opened the restaurant in 1993. It was washed out by Hurricane Katrina, but dried out and reopened just in time to be flooded again by Hurricane Rita. It came back quickly after that, too. In 2009, Morrow sold the restaurant to Bryan Zar, one of her early employees. He began as a teenage busboy with no plans to stay in the business, but it grabbed him.

Alligator in mushroom sauce piquant.

Alligator in mushroom sauce piquant.

A large wall of glass that gives onto the lazy old bayou creates most of the atmosphere. Alligators have been known to appear in the winding backwater. The visual is almost laughably typical of South Louisiana. The dining room is spacious and airy. Sometimes there’s live music.


Alligator-stuffed mushrooms, alligator sauce piquant
Char-broiled oysters, garlic butter and parmesan
Oysters Rockefeller
Crab boulettes
Crabmeat Remick
Shrimp remoulade
Bayou stack (layers of shrimp, crabmeat, tomato, greens, red onion, egg)
White bean soup, tasso ham
Turtle soup
Seafood gumbo
Chicken & sausage gumbo

Soft-shell crab, fried, crawfish tails
Crawfish etoufee
Grilled redfish, alligator sauce piquant, crabmeat
Catfish almandine
Redfish Marcel (sautéed mushrooms, brown butter, crabmeat, grilled shrimp, dirty rice)
Broiled whole flounder, crabmeat dressing, dirty rice
Stuffed crab
Catfish Foster (artichoke bottoms, mushrooms, green onions white wine lemon butter
Fried seafood platters: oysters, soft-shell crabs, catfish, shrimp, or combinations
Shrimp Diane (spicy garlic-butter sauce, green onions, mushrooms)
Pork chop, white bean puree, grilled asparagus
Filet mignon
Cajun ribeye
Baby back ribs

Creme brûlée
Pecan cobbler, ice cream and caramel sauce
White chocolate bread pudding

Turtle soup

Turtle soup

Des Familles serves the best alligator dishes anywhere in the area. If you’ve never been this way before, check the map. The restaurant isn’t hard to find, but easy to zoom past.

Almost all the fish is farm-raised. Seems that in a place like this they could come up with more wild-caught fish.

Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color +3



  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • 8-25
  • Open Sunday lunch
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations recommended

6 Readers Commented

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  1. Eugene on April 19, 2014

    I used to eat there every week but have not eaten there in over 10 years. Went yesterday and have a seafood plate (1/2 and 1/2) Tasted great. It did not have the catfish aftertaste some have. Hot. We had the $33 platter and an order of onion rings for $44, total. The onion rings were great but had a little over battered, like when you wet them a bit too much and over do it in the flour. Still taste great.

    (Just did some math 1403 rest/365 days is 3.8 per day.)

  2. charlene turner on September 26, 2014

    I have eaten at Des Famillies several times and absolute love the chicken Andouille gumbo. I would love to try to make it at home Would you please share the recipe?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on September 27, 2014

      I don’t know the recipe, but I have no doubt that the restaurant will share it if you ask.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  3. John Patrick on February 19, 2015

    I love the people and the atmosphere at RDF. However, they really go overboard with the salt. JP

    Try asking them to back off on the salt? I do this all the time with great success.

  4. Walter on February 19, 2015

    I ate at Des Famillies last week end and had the crabmeat remick and the grilled redfish both were very good. I thought they had something called Bronzed Redfish I asked for it and the waitress checked and besides not being on the menu the cooks didn’t know what it was. I might have my restaurants mixed up but I thought it was here that it was once on the menu.

  5. Marilyn on July 31, 2017

    My husband and I celebrated my birthday with Sunday brunch yesterday. We really enjoyed the meal.