New Orleans: Gulf Coast Oysters

I just returned from a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. I spent a previous trip to New Orleans discovering all the great places for beignets. Not intentionally, this trip seemed to have been focused on oysters. Not shrimp or crawfish, but oysters. Louisiana produces approximately a third of the country’s oysters.

With so many restaurants on my lists and only 72 hours, I had to figure out how to make the most of it. My visit to Drago’s Seafood Restaurant was straight to the bar to have their famous charbroiled oysters.

These oysters are cooked in a mixture of butter, garlic, pepper, and oregano. After being charbroiled, they are topped with Parmesan and Romano cheese as well as chopped parsley. I liked the smokiness and the flavor, but it was a bit too rich for me. However, it was nice to have rolls to soak up the delicious juices.

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As starters at Kenton’s and Peche Seafood, I enjoyed some of the raw variety. These oysters on the half shell were harvested from “Area 3”.

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The oysters at Kenton’s came with a wedge of lemon and a mignonette sauce. They were medium sized, meaty, and low in salinity.

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Although the oysters at Peche came from the same harvest area, I enjoyed the experience here better. The oyster shucker at Peche didn’t allow the oysters to lose its natural juices and they came out much cleaner. Peche also served the oysters with lemon and a mignonette sauce, but had an added “cocktail sauce for oysters.” Our waiter provided saltine crackers to compliment the oysters. It is common for oysters to be scooped out and eaten on top of the cracker.

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My favorite oysters I ate were from Cochon. They were offering wood fired oysters cooked with chili, garlic, and butter. The creaminess and the heat made these oysters sing.

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After this trip, I have a new fondness for Gulf Coast oysters!

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