Brigtsen’s was one of the early modern Creole revolutionaries, and one of the first to convert a beautiful, 19th-century house into an upscale neighborhood restaurant way back in 1986. The perennial favorite still maintains a warm, romantic intimacy, with the hostess circulating amiably though the sweet little mural-decorated rooms. The service and cuisine—which shows homey, Cajun country roots—have been polished to consistent excellence. The “Shell Beach Diet,” their famously grand seafood platter, changes seasonally but includes five to six sauced, baked, or otherwise unfried seafood items. It’s an impressive extravagance for sharing or for a hungry, indecisive diner. Chef Brigtsen has a special touch with game and rabbit. His panéed sesame-crusted version in a tangy Creole mustard sauce, as well as his crispy, moist roast duck, are known far and wide; his pecan pie with its perfect, copious crust is also justifiably revered. A modest wine list satisfies, but could be expanded. Reserve well in advance during peak periods, and expect a comfortable, relaxed, thoroughly adult evening.