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Hal's on Old Ivy Restaurant Review: Hal Nowak has roots in New Orleans and he lends his namesake restaurant a decidedly Creole touch, with such dishes as Brabant potatoes, shrimp rémoulade, crawfish tails and gumbo. But steak is the main draw, and if it's offered, the bone-in filet is the cut of choice. Rack of lamb comes with a mint jelly-influenced wine sauce that sounds off-putting but in fact works quite well. Fresh fish prepared in any of several classic Creole styles, such as trout meunière or almandine, and soft-shell crabs when in season are among the best we’ve enjoyed. We also recommend the duck à l'orange. Desserts continue the theme, with such offerings as bread pudding. The extensive wine list skews to reds, in deference to the steakhouse genre, with good choices coming from a wide variety of regions. Hal's bar sees a gathering of regulars on any given night of the week, and still permits the smoking of cigarettes and cigars for those who so indulge. An expanded second level space holds two private rooms, an outdoor dining area and a bar, and is completely smoke-free.