The Birthday Party

Dine Like It's 1967 at Brennan's of Houston

What did the beloved restaurant serve 50 years ago? Taste and learn.

By Alice Levitt April 10, 2017

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Filet mignon Stanley, $52 for three courses.

Image: Alice Levitt

When we talk about food history, much of it is usually resigned to the abstract. Not a visit to Brennan's of Houston. Every day, the 50-year-old restaurant is a destination for edible living history, with its sherried turtled soup and bananas Foster. But this year, the restaurant is celebrating its 50th birthday by amping up old school offerings.

Beginning last month, the restaurant has been serving dishes served in the days of the restaurant's 1967 inception for 50 weeks to celebrate 50 years of exceptional dining. Brennan's kicked off its birthday party with a special dinner at which old-fashioned meals were served at their original price points. The most expensive item was the $6.25 Filet Mignon Stanley, a tender chunk of beef served with sautéed bananas and horseradish cream. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Before leaving his post as executive chef at the restaurant, Danny Trace told us that he and his team were choosing recipes directly from the 1961 Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook. However, to appeal to modern tastes, he was adding spices and other complexities not included in the plain Jane original instructions.

The prices below are unsurprisingly significantly higher, but include a choice of appetizer and dessert, too. Specials run for an entire week before cycling to the next set of seafood and beef. And if you want to try the Stanley for yourself, make your reservations now for the week of the 17th. These are the upcoming specials for the rest of April:

  • April 10-16: Crawfish Étouffée: $48; Filet Mignon Adelaide: $52
  • April 17-23:  Shrimp Creole: $48; Filet Mignon Stanley: $52
  • April 24-30: Shrimp Étouffée: $48; Filet Mignon Lyonnaise: $52
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