* Click here for rating key
Mandina's Restaurant Review: Mandina’s has been serving its brand of Creole Italian cooking in mid-city since the Great Depression. As always, the building is bright pink and neon still trims the awning. But the food standards seem to have risen in the last few years, although tomato sauce and frying oil remain the staples, along with enough seasonings to put a blush on your cheek. The turtle soup au sherry is definitive. Broiled trout is a top seller, and especially winning is trout amandine meunière. Spaghetti with meatballs and Italian-sausage po' boy sandwiches point to the Mandina family's roots. If you want to dine just like the locals, show up for the Friday special of Creole Eggplant (with shrimp, crab meat, ham and seasoning) served with pasta. On Thursday, explore the bruccialone (veal rolled with spinach, egg and seasonings). And remember these two words once they clear your entrée: Milkyway pie. The short wine list, about 20 labels, focuses on California options with a few Italian selections, and all are offered by the glass. Ports are available for after dinner.