Good old New Orleans cuisine up in Marquette, Michigan and I am not making it up. For all the years that we have been going up to Marquette, Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery has eluded us, they are on the main drag downtown, but they have small signage and the restaurant is located on the second floor of a building with an entrance on the street and another one in the back alley off of a municipal parking lot. They opened up in 2006 and pride themselves on making everything from scratch except for the ice cream. They also have their Voodoo Bar and a gift shop called Gris Gris where one can buy their in-house specialties like Andouille, Chaurice, Boudin and Tasso; as well as Mardi Gras Beads and Masks. Lagniappe is a Cajun word for “a little something extra” or “an unexpected nice surprise.”
We were very pleased and surprised with the restaurant. It had that old time French Quarter feel to it, and it is a good thing that we did not order any appetizers, as we could barely finish our entrée dishes. My Bride had the Seafood Risotto which featured a creamy Arborio rice simmered in wine and cheese mixed with shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat and fresh vegetables. Her dish was not overly spicy, but my choice had more zing to it. I had the Crawfish Etouffee, which I have not had since our last trip to New Orleans, and this is a dish of crawfish tail meat smothered in a heavy roux sauce of minced vegetables caramelized with Cajun spices, served over rice. We did try to save a little room for a shared dessert of Beignets that were described as being just like Café du Monde, but we both found them to be heavier and doughier than what is served at that famed institution, but we tried them, because our dinners were so excellent.
What to have with our dinner? I opted for something light with just a touch of floral and spice, because I knew that the dinner would be savory and on the rich side. I chose a bottle of Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie IGT 2016. This light straw-colored wine was just the ticket as far as I was concerned to go with the seafood and the creaminess of the sauces. This wine is only aged for ten days in Stainless Steel and is meant for quick and easy consumption and not for cellaring. The Delle Venezie IGT encompasses the three main areas noted for Pinot Grigio, namely Veneto, Friuli-Giulia and Trentino. We both thought it paired wonderfully and it was very easy to drink, maybe even easier than water. I guarantee that there will be future dinners at Lagniappe for us, and we don’t like to repeat restaurants if we can.