Oysters reach their pinnacle of haute cuisine at Antoine’s, creators of oystersRockefeller. – Photo: Eugenia Uhl Oysters are, like New Orleanians, products of their environment. It may surprise some to learn that our esteemed local oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is biologically the same creature as those raised in Yankee territory. However, the warmer water and nutrient-rich […]
By Lisa TudorPhotographs by Skip BolenHair by Miranda St. Pierre for Paris Parker/AvedaMakeup by Theresa Camet for Bamboo ApothecaryTalent: Heather Tattersall and Robert LeBlancProduction Assistant: Teri TanenbaumPhotographed on location at Republic New Orleans Badgley Mischka chocolate jersey gown from Ballin’s; Mizuki glass and gold bead pendant on raw silk cord; Sheila Fajl ring and Rodo […]
St. Charles Avenue is proud to present its “Activists of the Year” for 2006—Barbara G. Bush and Dr. Stephen Hales—and “Unsung Hero” for 2006—Gregory Ben Johnson. The “Activists of the Year’ is a way to acknowledge citizens who through the years have volunteered their time and talent to organizations that benefit the New Orleans area. […]
Erica Normand, Sonia Normand and Dr. Robert Normand This late summer, the New Orleans Medical Mission Services Foundation hosted its annual fund-raiser, “Mission Possible” at Southport Hall. Enjoying the cocktails, food, raffle and live and silent auctions were local doctors and supporters of the group. The NOMMS is a not-for-profit organization that donates medical services […]
Event co-chair Jane Goldring, Dr. Roy Weiner and event co-chair Andree Herrington Friendly signs lined the iron gates in front of Magnolia Mansion on Aug. 27 asking, “How do you do?”; “Are you in Nawlins, darlin’?” and “How’s your mama and ‘em?” It was a humorous way to greet partygoers at “Pink Ribbon Fling VIII,” […]
Mark Romig and Janet Krane The Shops at Canal Place were buzzing with activity on the evening of Aug. 12 when the American Cancer Society held its annual “Hope Gala,” themed “Flower of the Lily.” During the event, the ACS presented its Spirit Awards to members of the community who have made significant contributions to […]
Lizette Terral, Karl Turner, Julia Bland The eighth annual “CHAIRish the Children” benefit for the Louisiana Children’s Museum took place on Aug. 26 and more than 500 people attended the festivities. The patron party commenced at 6:30 p.m., and a performance by the NOCCA Jazz Ensemble entertained guests, who were clad in summer chic attire. […]
Sen. David Vitter, Dr. Juan Gershanik, Wendy Vitter and Dr. Esteban Gershanik Celebration of Commitment and Courage” was the title of an event held Aug. 25 honoring the 800-plus medical and surgical residents of the four local training programs—Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, East Jefferson General Hospital, Ochsner Clinical Foundation and Tulane […]
Terry Mackin, Mason Granger and Emerson Coleman More than 200 people celebrated at the premiere party hosted by WDSU News Channel 6 on Aug. 14 for a documentary commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “Song for New Orleans” celebrated the soul of the city and reflected upon the city’s status as “The Birthplace of […]
Bill McFarlin, Wynton Marsalis and Dan Carlin Musician and New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis and some VIFs (very important friends) organized three days of functions to commemorate the spirit of the city and its future. Joining Marsalis as co-chairs were Bill McFarlin, executive director of the International Association of Jazz Educators, and Dan Carlin, chairman […]
Drs. Anthony Scalco, C. Edward Foti, Fortune Dugan and Anthony Scardino On Aug. 19, East Jefferson General Hospital held its 35th anniversary gala, “Jewels of Jefferson,” at the Hotel InterContinental. At the sold-out soirée, guests were escorted down a red carpet to the ballroom, where they socialized and sipped cocktails while the Joe Simon Trio […]
St. Charles Avenue executive editor Bev Church, Nancy Marsiglia, Peggy Laborde and Liz Sloss On Aug. 8, New Orleans Magazine celebrated its “Top Female Achievers” for 2006 with a luncheon at the Omni Royal Orleans. Starting at 11 a.m., more than 100 guests arrived and sipped champagne at the reception preceding the luncheon and awards […]
The front of Haase’s in 1926. The camelback is where the family lived. photo courtesy of Haase’s. Haase’s was opened in 1921 by Boris and Della Haase. Originally located on Prytania Street, it moved six months later to Oak Street, across from its current location. About a year later, Boris Haase bought a house on […]
1, 29 Dine out for Charity with Table One, benefit New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation (11/1) and New Orleans Fire Department (11/29), 872-9035 2-6 Words & Music, a Literary Feast, benefit for Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, 586-1609 3 Fore! Kids Golf Ball, benefit for Fore! Kids Foundation, 342-3000 3 Legacy Ball Gala, benefit for […]
1 Music and libations flowed freely at the Friends of City Park’s annual “Martini Madness” on Sept. 15. Denise Tebbe, Sue Guarisco and Andrea LeGrand were among those who enjoyed martinis from seven martini bars and food at this fund-raiser for the Friends of City Park. 2 Diann Sanborn, David Giffin and Nancy Plough were […]
Rand and Michael The setting of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art proved to be just the perfect spot for Rand Pearson Butcher and Michael Winston Rutledge to meet. It was during the “O What a Night Gala”—yes, a hectic evening with the museum packed with people, but a mutual friend thought to introduce them. […]
Michelle Kelsey, Kama Fischer and Phoebe Whealdon The horse set trotted up to Covington on Oct. 1 for “The Garden Party,” a fund-raiser that benefited the New Heights Therapy Center. This organization promotes the physical and emotional health of people with disabilities—and one of the programs includes therapeutic horseback riding. Hosted by David Fennelly and […]
A sampling of cheeses from the St. James Cheese Company. Great food is all about choices, and New Orleans will soon have a fantastic resource for fine cheeses at the St. James Cheese Company at 5004 Prytania St. Augmenting an already excellent neighborhood collection of restaurants, this specialty shop will provide the richness and depth […]
From a musical breakfast to a late night, full moon “Art for Arts’ Sake,” life in the city is non-stop. Citizens deeply concerned about the city, arts, education, business and their fellow citizens have been doing their best to keep up, keep moving and keep so many very important causes afloat.Some venues are large, but […]
Your guide to the dining, entertainment, lifestyle, culture and people of New Orleans from the trusted editors of New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Home, New Orleans Bride, and St. Charles Avenue.
Oysters reach their pinnacle of haute cuisine at Antoine’s, creators of oysters Rockefeller. - Photo: Eugenia Uhl
Oysters are, like New Orleanians, products of their environment. It may surprise some to learn that our esteemed local oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is biologically the same creature as those raised in Yankee territory. However, the warmer water and nutrient-rich estuaries of southeastern Louisiana make for a larger, plumper oyster that grows much faster than its northern kin. “We just have juicy, full-flavored oysters down here,” says chef Kevin Vizard of Vizard’s on the Avenue. “There is no better oyster for frying.”
Oysters are also a delicacy that spans the socioeconomic spectrum with ease. The oyster used in a blue-collar poor-boy is the same one, which ascends to the most rarified menus of the city. Oysters reach their pinnacle of haute cuisine at Antoine’s, creators of oysters Rockefeller. The proprietary recipe is so well guarded that it is the lesser, pale imitations made with common spinach that most people seem to associate with the dish, rather than the haunting, unquantifiable dressing of greens and herbs of the original.
The Charbroiled Oysters at Drago’s restaurant. - photo: Cheryl Gerber
Drago’s in Metairie lays claim to another signature preparation: charbroiled oysters. Served on the half-shell, the cooking reduces their liquor to a rich broth perfect for sopping up with French bread, and the dusting of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs provide just the right amount of sharpness and tang. Add the smokiness from the grill, and you have an addictive treat. Drago’s also offers an oyster spinach soup. Loaded up with a “medley of cheeses” to a point at which an inserted spoon almost stands quivering up on its own makes tackling the dish kind of like eating a bowl of dip. This is to say, it is heart-stoppingly delicious. If you can find a place to park and don’t mind a little waiting around, Drago’s is well worth the trip.
Back Uptown at Vizard’s on the Avenue, chef Vizard features a creative oyster appetizer. “We put fried oysters on top of a foie gras ‘bruschetta’ with an oyster demi-glace,” he explains. Vizard uses only P&J Oyster Company oysters in his restaurant. Founded in New Orleans in 1876, P&J maintains its own oyster beds and is stringent about the quality of its product. “With a company like that, you can be assured that you’ve got a good, safe oyster,” says Vizard. For a main course, he includes oysters in a supplementary role with his potato-crusted fish with apple-smoked bacon, oysters and thyme. Look for more oysters to grace the menu going into late fall as the weather cools.
P&J oysters play a big role at Pascal’s Manale as well. A local neighborhood institution, Manale first opened in 1913. Following an extensive renovation after Katrina, it reopened in early March. For their cooked oyster dishes, Manale offers up their combination pan roast along with oysters Bienville. “In the pan roast, a dressing with oysters, shrimp and crabmeat is laid atop a bed of poached oysters, baked, and served in a casserole dish,” says chef-owner Mark DeFelice. “In oysters Bienville, bacon, mushrooms and shrimp are cooked into a dressing then piped atop poached half-shell oysters and finished in the oven.”
However, most patrons enjoy oysters best raw and on the half-shell at the wonderful oyster bar. Many locals doubtless have fond memories of family meals at Manale, and scooting into the bar area with a fistful of quarters to play the table-top Pac-Man machine while surrounded by a crowd of adults, laughing and drinking in the standing-room only scene at the bar. The oyster bar remains a big draw, says DeFelice. “We have regulars who come in every Friday and Saturday just to have oysters.”
Down in the French Quarter at the Royal Sonesta, executive chef Joe Maynard guides Begue’s through its seasonal menu change. Like many others, he uses only Gulf oysters and buys from P&J. “I use Gulf oysters year round,” Maynard says. “That adage about ‘months with r’s…’ is a complete lie. Oysters are wonderful in April and March, and they are just as good as in June and July as any other time.”
Maynard features oysters in his signature appetizer oysters Begue’s. “It is fried oysters atop creamed leeks topped with shaved parmesan. The oysters are done with a parmesan-garlic crust, and we use Panko breadcrumbs,” he says.
One Restaurant and Lounge in the Riverbend also uses oysters in a great appetizer: their char-grilled oysters with Roquefort cheese and red-wine vinaigrette. The acidity of the vinaigrette does a lot to balance the dish, slicing through the richness of the cheese and tying it in nicely with the delicacy of the oyster.
In Metairie, chef Andrea, owner of Andrea’s restaurant, fell in love with New Orleans when he came here 30 years ago. “Not just the history,” he says, “but also the food. I was impressed with all the wonderful, fresh seafood.”
Andrea has incorporated oysters into his menu in myriad ways. His oysters en brochette showcases oysters wrapped with leeks and bacon, grilled and served with a white wine and lemon cream. “That is one of my guests’ favorite appetizers,” he says. Oysters Radosta is another pleaser. “I named it after one of my close friends and finest customers,” Andrea adds.
Business has been good for Andrea since the storm. “I was lucky because I never left the city. I stayed here in my building, took all the food out of the walk-in coolers and cleaned up the place. My friends came together to help me serve when I reopened on September 17 of last year. It’s very special to receive the support of the community; to hear them say that they appreciate what you have done.”
There are not many cities in the U.S. where a person can feel comfortable ordering fried oysters at a gas station like we can here at Danny and Clyde’s. It just goes to show that in New Orleans, great food infuses the fabric of our city like no place else.