Broussard’s first opened its doors in 1920, when an eminent local chef, Joseph Broussard, married Rosalie Borrello, and the couple moved into the Borrello family mansion (built in 1834) on Conti Street where the restaurant now stands. Up until their death one month apart from each other in 1966, the Broussards resided in the apartment above the restaurant. The couple worked ceaselessly to create and maintain the five-star, family-run restaurant that continues to this day. At his restaurant, Broussard combined the excitement of local Creole cuisine with classic French dishes inspired by his formal Parisian culinary training. The result was a dynamic menu set to the most exacting standards.
As one of New Orleans’ most important landmarks, Broussard’s has always provided unsurpassed cuisine in an atmosphere of understated elegance and historical significance. Joe Broussard had a penchant for all things Napoleonic. The bee, which was the Emperor’s personal emblem, serves as the restaurant’s logo. Indeed, Broussard’s devotion to Napoleon was so intense that whenever a guest ordered a Brandy Napoleon, the lights were dimmed, a bell, was rung, and the waiters would gather around a statue of (whom else) Napoleon and engage in a lively rendition of La Marseillaise, France’s revolutionary rallying anthem. While guests today are spared this bit of excess, they can nevertheless delight in the lovely imperial décor.
In addition to providing the food and ambiance, Broussard’s has also served as a vibrant cultural assembly place where famous guests have gathered and an array of exciting events have taken place. Hollywood celebrities, politicians, dignitaries, Mardi Gras Royalty and literary figures such as Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner have all played a role in the history of Broussard’s.
Longtime steward Joseph Segretto was a driving force behind the renovation in the 1970s when he took over from the Broussard family. Evelyn and Gunther Preuss, most recent owners, graciously maintained the Grand Dame of the French Quarter for decades. In 2013, the Ammari Family are honored to continue their devotion to excellence and be the next generation to care for this significant piece of culinary history for decades to come.
The current edifice is a charming pastiche of various structures. In addition to serving as the Borrello mansion, Broussard’s includes portions of what used to be the Jefferson Academy, a distinguished preparatory school of the 1800’s; the historic Hermann-Grima house built in 1834; and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Broussard’s commitment to uphold the highest standards in the art of fine dining has led to international recognition, including multiple DiRōNA awards, which define Broussard’s as one of the most respected restaurants in the dining community. Broussard’s has also been awarded the equally prestigious Ivy Award and was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News’ Fine Dining Hall of Fame and countless others.
Careful restoration of the centuries old building brings Broussard’s into the 21st Century with a makeover that is both European and Creole in style and features a timeless design that perfectly complements the historic significance of the property. The renovation infused glamour and refinement of the past with an elegant sense of modernity.