by Ronny Green
When Chef Matt calls and says he’s added some new flavor to the Bentley Room’s brunch and dinner menu … you’ve got to make room on your calendar for dinner reservations, and that’s exactly what I did.
The good vibes are always vibin’ in the Bentley Room’s dimly lit dining room providing an atmosphere of luxury right in the heart of Cenla. It doesn’t take long for the parade of plates to begin coming from the kitchen.
You know Chef Matt and his kitchen crew ain’t playing when the pecan pesto lamb chop lollipops are the first dish to touch the table. This was my first-time trying lamb and Chef Matt did not disappoint. I highly recommend adding the crab boil potato salad as a side, thank me later.
Follow the lamb chop lollipops with not one, not two but three scrumptious crab cakes topped with a seafood gumbo reduction and another Manhattan, and we are ascending to a higher culinary frequency.
After I readjust my napkin and take a sip of water to cleanse my palate, we dive right into more seafood deliciousness; hot crab claws served on top of a garlic buttered French bread loaf. Please don’t let the dijon truffle crème sauce just sit on the plate and look all dijon truffle buttery pretty, take those crab claws and the French bread and mop up all that dijon truffle butter goodness.
A quick detour to the lighter side of the menu brings us to the Caprese flatbread. Talk about flavor, the combination of marinated tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic, and truffle crème is truly divine.
Now let’s talk about this plate of Pastalaya. Served over linguine with a hearty portion of andouille sausage and blackened chicken smoothened in a gumbo reduction, this is one of those dishes that brings a hush over the table because everyone’s mouth is full.
Last, but most certainly not least, the pièce de résistance, Redfish Atchafalaya; blackened redfish that would make Chef Paul Prudomme proud resting on a Creole Andouille gumbo reduction.
Much like Barry Gordy and Motown of the 1960s, Chef Matt and his crew are in the kitchen dropping hit after hit. Chef Matt’s enthusiasm and “thinking outside of the bowl” approach to his recipes combined with the sophisticated atmosphere and rich history of the Hotel Bentley have elevated the Bentley Room to one of the state’s top-tier dining destinations.