Omg, omg, omg, O.M.G.!
So, Jerry and I recently went to check out a new restaurant in town (Natchitoches, Louisiana) called Mayeaux’s Steak & Seafood. It opened up last month, and I hope to going back VERY soon after the experience we had. This post has been in the works since January 12- I was going to post the day after our visit, but due to technical issues (crash!), it was delayed. Jerry was able to recover most of the photos, though, so… enjoy!!!
A bit of history… the owners, Clay and Jana Mayeaux, used to own two other restaurants, Papa’s (steaks) and Mama’s Oyster House. Both restaurants were fantastic- we’ve never had a bad experience at either one. Part of the reason for the success was not only the quality and preparation of the food, but friendly and efficient service as well. Plus, Clay was always on the premises, schmoozing with guests, going from table to table to ensure everyone was having a good time and enjoying their food.
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The Mayeauxs decided to retire after many successful years, and sold the businesses, but a short while later, got bored. I’d heard they were opening a new restaurant, but didn’t know they had opened yet until I saw our friend Kerry post about it on Facebook (he loved it).
Anywho, Clay wanted to do something with the sound system, so he called Jerry at work. Jerry has back problems, so he often asks me to accompany him in case he needs help moving or lifting anything. Well, he closes at 6:00, so we headed over to Mayeaux’s Steak & Seafood. As soon as we walked in, we noticed the décor was clean and sophisticated, classy yet not “snooty.” We were also overwhelmed by the BEST smells…
After determining what he needed to order for the sound system, Jerry decided, well to Hell with the pork chops we had in the fridge at home, and he asked if I wanted to eat there at the restaurant. Hell yeah! In other words, as far as disclosure, neither Clay nor his employees knew we’d be dining with them, because we didn’t even know ourselves.
The problem was deciding what we wanted. The menu had a very good variety (see menu at the bottom of this post), but wasn’t so overwhelming in regards to quantity of offerings- this is good because all too often, restaurants with huge menus are only mediocre. It’s too hard for the kitchen to keep up with all the choices. Rather, with the variety offered, EVERYTHING looked good. Actually, great.
Steak or fish? We knew Clay did both very well, and his new chef, Chris, is very talented. Here in town, no one really has quality fish. It’s all either catfish or tilapia, and usually friend in cornmeal. It’s rare to find good fish. At Mayeaux’s, there were quite a few options. While they had the catfish, shrimp, oysters, and crab that are so popular here, they also had red fish, salmon, halibut and my fave, Chilean sea bass. Omg.
Since we haven’t been able to get this kind of fish in town, Jerry ordered the Alaskan halibut, and I ordered the Chilean sea bass. The halibut is pan-seared, served with asparagus, and topped with a blended Cajun white sauce and lump crab meat. The Chilean sea bass is also pan-seared, served with asparagus, and topped with lump crab and caper sauce.
The crazy thing is, these entrees, in addition to the asparagus, come with a choice of potato. We opted to pay a small difference and try the grilled squash, though. Holy cow, I never knew it was possible to get excited over squash. This stuff was amazing, seared and garlicky, I’ll never think of squash the same. The asparagus was also grilled, cooked but still had a crisp firmness, and very tasty.
Our fish was done perfectly, flaky but moist, not overdone. The sauces were also perfect, as they enhanced the delicate flavor of the fish rather than overpowered. Jerry’s halibut was $18.00, and very flavorful yet mild at the same time, if that makes sense. It wasn’t fishy at all, and just tasted fresh. Same with mine.
It’s been a few months since I’ve had Chilean sea bass, and crazy as it may seem, but this was seriously the best I’ve ever had, anywhere. My dinner was priced at $17.00 for the meal (not a la carte!), and yes, it was better than dinners that we’ve dropped $300.00 or more on in Dallas, Houston, Shreveport, NOLA… Seriously.
We also tried several other items, including the Cane River Pirogue, squash casserole, and a sweet potato dessert. The Cane River Pirogue is “fresh French bread split and filled with a medley of Louisiana seafood and spices, covered with melted cheese.” Omg, you guys, this was the shizz. Think of toasted French bread with cheesy shrimp and crawfish. Holy cow. The bread was chewy but soft, and the seafood medley was scrumptious.
If you don’t like squash, you will change your mind if you try the squash casserole. Think about a stuffing-like dish, but with squash. I swear, even Jerry loved it, and he’s never been a fan of squash. Then, as were talking about how there was no way we could possibly eat anything more, Chris made a special dessert. It was a sweet potato dessert with a brown sugar glaze and bacon. You guys, this was the perfect blend of sweet and savory, every bite was like a party in our mouths!
As for the bar, they didn’t have any low-quality liquors or wines. Even the house wines were very good, and if you’ve been keeping up with this site, you know how much I love wine. And get this- the house wine is only like $8 or $10 per glass, and you get an 8 ounce pour. Yep, you get double the amount of wine you’d get elsewhere, for the same price. Did somebody say “wine?”
Now you know about the food, so for the service… When we first entered Mayeaux’s, the staff didn’t even know we were there to meet with the owner. They immediately greeted us at the door with a smile, very sincere smiles. We also noticed that they knew the menu. They were able to make suggestions and actually tell us about the dishes.
Our server was Haley, and she was very attentive. She didn’t disturb us when we had a mouthful of food, but she kept a watchful eye on her tables, and was always right there when we needed something. Clay himself was, again, back to his old habits of being personable and visiting with the guests, ensuring their happiness.
For Clay, quality and friendliness have always been a matter of pride. When we mentioned to him how much we’ve always appreciated his hospitality, he responded that when people patronize his business, he wants them to feel as comfortable as if they would be in his home. Believe me, this man really, truly cares about and appreciates every single one of his customers.
In closing, when we started this site, we made a commitment to always be truthful in our posts. We want to be as dependable and trustworthy as possible, so we pride ourselves in telling the negative as well as the positive. Well, the bad thing is that even with the extremely reasonable prices, we cannot afford to eat at this restaurant for every single meal, every single day. If we could, we would…lol! But seriously, though, we couldn’t find anything wrong with Mayeaux’s. There were no negatives. Not one single negative.
If you live in the area, or will be anywhere near Natchitoches, Louisiana, you do NOT want to miss out on Mayeaux’s Steak & Seafood. It’s located in the historic district at 512 Front Street, overlooking Cane River. They’re also on Facebook.
*Kitchen and food prep photos, as well as menu image, courtesy of Clay Mayeaux