Casual elegance has drifted all the way from New Orleans and landed on King Street. The tables at Two-Nineteen are covered in white linen and and set with china. Antique rose-colored velvet cushions cover Queen Anne chairs. Silver, which looks real and well may be, and spotless crystal glasses complete the picture-perfect scene.
Waiters are dressed in black suits and ties, as are many of the customers, who appear to be Old Town natives (the ones who actually live in those expensive town houses).
The place is busy, busy, busy during weekends -- especially during the spring and fall months when guests want to dine on the candle-lit outdoor porch. Sunday brunch is not only fabulous but a good deal -- two can feast for $20. All meals include strawberries and cream; a glass of champagne, or a bowl of red snapper chowder; not to mention fresh bread so right-from-the-oven it melts the butter, and lots of good, hot coffee.
Specialties of the house include the New Orleans barbecued shrimp and the filet mignon topped with lump crab meat and cabernet wine sauce.
Try any dish made with fish and prepared New Orleans style. The waiters' favorite is the jumbo lump crab cake.
The food isn't the only bit of New Orleans that has come north. Above the restaurant is the Basin Street Lounge, home to the Sunday Afternoon Jazz Session (1 to 5).
-- Hope Katz Gibbs