Austin's Restaurant (5101 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 888-5533; www.austinsno.com) melds an old-school steakhouse's reverence for tradition with a family-owned business' personality, and this is one reason for its longevity, says owner Ed McIntyre.
"We are proud to celebrate a decade of excellence focusing on growth, great food and family togetherness," McIntyre says. The anniversary is a milestone for the restaurant and the family: McIntyre's son Austin grew up with the restaurant bearing his name. In that way, he takes after his father. Ed began working in his parents' restaurants as a busboy at age 6 and now has more than 40 years of restaurant experience.
"I run all of the Mr. Ed's restaurants around town," McIntyre says. "We started out in 1989 with a Mr. Ed's Deli, and now there are six restaurants total."
Over the past decade, Austin's has appeared consistently on lists of the best steakhouses in the New Orleans area. Although many patrons come for the prime beef cuts of filet and rib-eye, the seafood attracts customers, too. "The redfish papillote is incredibly popular," McIntyre says. Appearing regularly as a menu special, the redfish papillote is a traditional method of cooking fish in a bag along with shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat, caramelized onions and lobster butter. Its dramatic presentation and succulent aroma often turn heads at neighboring tables.
The restaurant serves dinner every night except Sunday. Friday and Saturday nights feature a pianist. The restaurant hosts private banquets and luncheons. There is no reservation minimum for dinner banquets, and the restaurant will open for lunch with a minimum reservation of 25 diners. The freshly painted purple walls make the three dining rooms pop, complementing the starched, white tablecloths. In total, the three rooms seat 200 guests.
Austin's is part of the larger Mr. Ed's restaurant empire built over the decades, the newest of which is Mr. Ed's Oyster Bar and Fish House in the French Quarter. The McIntyres honored tradition by including an old-fashioned stand-up oyster bar similar to the one in its Metairie location. Soon, he'll honor his own restaurant tradition as well. In addition to Austin's 10-year anniversary, this year marks the 25th anniversary of McIntyre's first restaurant opening. "We're excited to be celebrating the entire restaurant family's 25th anniversary as well," McIntyre says.