You would think I’d post a picture of Oysters Rockefeller for an article entitled, “The Best Oysters Rockefeller in New Orleans.” Wrong again. Instead, here’s a picture of the Joan of Arc statue at the head of the French Market.
Now, I haven’t eaten Oysters Rockefeller everywhere I possibly could in New Orleans, but in the past three days I have eaten them twice in two different places. Here’s my review, sans pictures of the dishes themselves.
When you eat in the French Quarter, most of the menus look the same. This is no surprise. Most of the restaurants in the French Quarter serve the same things—“authentic New Orleans food.” If you want gumbo, crawfish etouffe or jambalaya, go to the French Quarter. That’s all we eat in N’Awlins, dontcha know? Well, that and shrimp po’ boys.
I listened to the following clip for ten hours recently and it reminded me of a day when I spent ten hours in the French Quarter. Maybe you’d like to give it a listen, too?
Three days ago, which was Fathers’ Day, Frau Schmitt and I went to the Royal House for oysters. Before I get into that, though, have I mentioned that the New Orleans Odditarium website is up and running? It is, and it looks great. It looks as good as this site does, in a slightly different way—and at the merest fraction of the cost, too.
Back on topic, I had wanted to go to Antoine’s for oysters, but they were closed. It turns out Antoine’s is closed on three holidays plus Christmas Day. Those three holidays are Memorial Day, Fathers’ Day, and Labor Day. I think that’s nice even though I was looking forward to being treated to a Fathers’ Day meal at Antoine’s. No worries. We ate at the Royal House on Sunday and at Antoine’s on Monday. Two, two, two meals for one holiday.
At the Royal House, Frau Scmitt and I both had a plate of three Oysters Rockefeller and three Oysters Royale. The Oysters Royale were nice with some kind of seafood stuffing baked on top of the oyster in the shell. The Oysters Rockefeller were good, too, with some kind of artichoke and spinach mixture baked on top of the oyster in the shell. Here’s a link to the Royal House menu so you can see for yourself what they say they’re serving. They oysters were good, but they weren’t the best Oysters Rockefeller in New Orleans.
The next day, Monday, I still had a hankering for oysters at Antoine’s. Antoine’s is the oldest family-operated restaurant in the United States. 176 years and still going strong. Every summer, a lot of New Orleans restaurants run a three-course lunch special: three courses for the amount that equals the year. This year, you can get a three course lunch at Antoine’s for $20.16. Frau Schmitt opted for the special, which was well worth $20.16. Me? I opted for three courses of cooked oysters on the shell.
My course #1: Six Oysters Thermidor, which were baked oysters with tomato sauce and bacon. The tomato sauce isn’t marinara. It’s a Creole concoction, very good and not what you’re thinking. No oregano. Delicious.
My course #2: Six Oysters Bienville, a New Orleans specialty that you can’t find everywhere. These were very good, too, but my favorite Oysters Bienville are at Pascal’s Manale. I don’t often get them when I go to Pascal’s Manale because I love the Pan Roast there, which is the oldest thing on Pascal’s Manale’s menu.
My dessert course: Six Oysters Rockefeller. I wouldn’t compare them to the Oysters Rockefeller at the Royal House. They are a world apart and I had saved the best for last. Man o’ man alive, those were some good Rockefellers. Here’s how Antoine’s described them, and they invented Oysters Rockefeller: “Louisiana Gulf Oysters baked on the half shell with the original Rockefeller sauce created by Antoine’s in 1889.” That doesn’t describe much does it? To call the topping sauce is a misnomer. They were good. They were better than good. These are the best Oysters Rockefeller in New Orleans.
If you are looking for the best Oysters Rockefeller in New Orleans, take a tip from a pro and head over to Antoine’s. They are pure vegetable and oyster goodness.
Now, turn off that Star Wars music, will ya? It’s driving me nuts. Let’s end today’s post with some real New Orleans brass band music. To whit:
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in New Orleans, consider La Belle Esplanade. We haven’t been ranked the #1 place to spend your vacation for 27 months in a row for no good reason. We go everywhere in this magical city we call home. We try everything. We have eaten at over 350 of the city’s 800 restaurants. We have taken as many tours as we can squeeze into our schedule and we know a lot about the history and the culture of this wonderful city we call home. Book early. We only have five suites and we tend to fill up early during the busier seasons.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated breakfast salon.
June 21, 2016.