Harbor Seafood. Kenner: 3203 Williams Blvd. 504-443-6454.

#22 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries

It stands to reason that a seafood restaurant allied with a retail fish and shellfish market will likely serve fresher, better seafood than a restaurant without such a connection. It also works for the retail side: fish that hasn’t sold in a day or two is still fresh enough to be cooked and served without any significant problems. It’s only been in recent years that this symbiosis has become common, But the Harbor has been at it for quite some time, accumulating enough plaudits for it to be the best place the eat seafood in Kenner.

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Hamantaschen
* Red Bean Edition

Hamantaschen

RecipeSquare-150x150Purim, a joyous Jewish holiday in late winter (today, beginning yesterday evening this year), recalls a story told in the Book of Esther. Hamantaschen, a fruit-filled triangular soft cookie, is supposed to resemble the hat worn by Haman in the story. But I’ve also heard that the three corners represent Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Whichever is the real story, they’re delicious fruit cookies, and you don’t need to be Jewish to like them. Read entire article.

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Seared Scallops @ Mr. B’s Bistro

500BestSquare Diver scallops brought in from the Northeast star in one of the few dishes at Mr. B’s that relies entirely on an exotic ingredient. In fact, it has hardly any New Orleans accent at all. This does not make me hesitate to order them. Consistently, the scallops are very large (scallops are among the few seafoods that get tastier as they get bigger), and seared over a very hot pan until crusty brown on top and bottom, but still bulging with juices. They usually send them out touched with white truffle oil and surrounded by arugula leaves. Read entire article.

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March 5 In Eating

AlmanacSquare Today is National Fish Mousse Day. While this may not immediately ring a bell with you, or seem a bit too rarefied, I will attempt to persuade you that a) making a fish mousse is easy and b) it’s as delicious as it is impressive. You make fish mousse by poaching fish (or shellfish–it also works with shrimp, crawfish, lobster, and other seafoods), then pureeing it in the food processor with some of the stock you poached it in. You blend this into beaten egg whites, and then fold in some whipped cream. (Some recipes call for gelatin; throw those out.) After it’s refrigerated, the mousse tightens up, and can be served as an appetizer. Or you can layer it between or atop a fish fillet and bake it. Or–well, there are a lot of uses. We’re not far away from Passover, when a variant of fish mousse–gefilte fish–will be served in almost every Jewish home. But that’s really a different taste. Read entire article.

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What Servers Have To Put Up With #5657303.

FoodFunniesSquare

What Servers Have To Put Up With #5657303.

This is why very few restaurant customers fine their future spouses among the waitstaff, and vice-versa.

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Diary 2|24, 25|2015: Cafe B. Cheesecake Factory. In The Rain.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 The usual impasse as to where we will dine begins, but I destroy it by suggesting that we try the Cheesecake Factory. It’s a national chain, highly esteemed by a lot of well-trained regular customers, as well as many business-minded restaurateurs. The managers of Lakeside Mall were certainly proud that they were able to woo the Cheesecake Factory to their complex. The CF is very choosy about its locations, always in the glitziest shopping areas. The Marys love the place, of course, and have been there a half-dozen times, or more. I have held to my fuzzy policy of waiting awhile before dining in a new restaurant, but I think I’ve waited long enough. More to come. . .

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Mandina’s. Mid-City: 3800 Canal. 504-482-9179.

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#23 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries

For at least two generations of New Orleanians, the joys of restaurant dining were introduced in restaurants a lot like Mandina’s. Or at Mandina’s itself. Until the gourmet bistro era began in the 1980s, restaurants like this were in every New Orleans neighborhood. By then Mandina’s had become not only a rarity but seemed to be every Orleanian’s idea of what a neighborhood restaurant should be. Then Katrina came though and reminded us how important restaurants like this are to our cherished dining practices. More to come. . .

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Pickled Okra

RecipeSquare-150x150 Sounds peculiar, but these thigns have a lot of uses, from sparking up a salad to looking good in a bloody mary or other cocktail. This is a canning routine, which I’ll assume you know how to execute. (If not, there are many references.)
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Merlin’s Crab Stack @ La Thai Cuisine

500BestSquare This sounds irresistible and insane at the same time. It works, because it’s basically all crabmeat, but in several forms. It starts with a soft-shell crab, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. Nothing too far out. But than here’s a crab cake underneath that. And a Thai-style chili glaze amplifies all the flavors. For crab fanatics with good taste. Read More. . .

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March 4 In Eating

AlmanacSquare Chef Gerard Maras was born today in 1952. Maras was the opening chef and tastemaker of Ralph’s on the Park and the now-gone Table One. But he first came to our attention as chef at Mr. B’s during its greatest years in the 1980s. Their matchless barbecue shrimp recipe is his. He’s not currently cheffing, exactly; and his wife run a farm raising gourmet vegetables and herbs near Franklinton. Maras was one of the first local chefs to encourage local growers to raise better produce, and we have him to thank for the improvements in that market. He occasionally teaches cooking classes at the New Orleans Cooking Experience. Read entire article.

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Where It All Began.

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Where It All Began.

And where it all ends. Unless a chicken crosses the road.

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Ignatius Eatery. Uptown: 3121 Magazine. 504-896-2225.

#24 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries

Whoever designed this restaurant has a great sense of the New Orleans restaurant past. Throughout Ignatius’s dining room are are references to eateries from the dim past. None in particular, but a fanciful hybrid of many of them. That’s charming, but for the kitchen to accomplish the same feat is remarkable. You find dishes whose origins range from a century ago to about 1979. That’s further enhanced by the most important and difficult accomplishment: everything comes out delicious. What with the neighborhood prices, it becomes one of the most likeable restaurants on Magazine Street. Which is saying something. keep reading. . . .

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Crawfish Cannelloni

RecipeSquare-150x150 Save this recipe for the part of the crawfish season when the fresh Louisiana crawfish are available. This is a very rich appetizer-style cannelloni that takes advantage of the big flavors you get when you make make a stock from the crawfish shells and use it to enrich the French-style sauce (they call it “sauce Nantua.”). Read entire article.

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Greek Salad @ Maple Street Cafe

500BestSquare The immediately apparent difference between this and all the other Greek salads in town is that it’s served in a bowl made by hollowing out a big round French bread load. (If you get the entree Greek salad; there’s also a side version, served conventionally.) My wife and I like this so much that were automatically split one of them on every visit. That’s if I can talk her out of a portion of the salad, which she loves. All the ingredients are here: olives, peperoncini, green onions, feta cheese, a smooth, light Greek dressing, fresh greens. A near-perfect light lunch. Read entire article.

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March 3 In Eating

AlmanacSquare It is National Deli Meats Day. Cured, smoked, and sliced deli meats range from the irresistible goodness of dry-cured hams, pastrami, salami, and deli-style roast beef to such unspeakable atrocities as luncheon meat and standard bologna. The gamut of goodness among hams alone goes from silky and mellow (prosciutto) to disgusting (ham roll). But things are looking up. Supermarket delis are adopting higher standards than. . . Read entire article.

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Science Versus Philosophy, In The Kitchen.

FoodFunniesSquare

Science Versus Philosophy, In The Kitchen.

This is why I had to change majors from Math to Drama when I started writing about food. The first is incomprehensible, and the other is all about fooling people.

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Emeril’s Is 25, And Celebrating With Nostalgic Menus.

EatingNowSquare-150x150 This summer marks a quarter-century of taking care of business at Emeril’s. Think back: it was hard to get a reservation, all the diners were locals, and Emeril himself was there. (Because he wasn’t a television personality yet.) To celebrate this milestone, Emeril’s flagship restaurant on Tchoupitoulas and Julia has a series of special menus, made of dishes that were popular when the restaurant first opened. The prices, unfortunately, do not revert to the back pages. Still, it’s interesting. Here’s what’s going on this week: More to come. . .

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Diary 2|23|2015: Habaneros, Torta, Pork Pibil, Germany.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 To those who came in late: molé is a dark-brown, thick sauce made with chile peppers, sesame, and bittersweet chocolate, and the signature dish of Puebla and Oaxaca. I think it’s second only to bearnaise as the world’s most delicious sauce. I will ask Omar Lugo–the owner of Habaneros, and a guest on the radio show tomorrow–what the holdback is.

We begin the meal with guacamole, chorizo with queso, just plain queso, and a bowl of chicken-tortilla soup. Then we split a Mexican dish none of us ever tired before–probably because it hits too close to home. More to come. . .

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New Orleans Food & Spirits. Bucktown: 210 Hammond Hwy. 504-828-2220.

#25 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries

The generic, forgettable name and the corny menu language (“gumbeaux”) disguise some very good neighborhood seafood restaurant. Overloaded platters of fried oysters, shrimp, catfish, and soft-shell crabs are all prepared to order, crisp and hot. And they grill as well as they fry. The three locations have aspects of a neighborhood cafe, with poor boys, beans, gumbo, and specials. More to come. . .

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Strawberry Shortcakes

RecipeSquare-150x150 A true shortcake is not the sponge cake that’s typically used for this famous old dessert, but something a lot like a drop biscuit. We make these all the time, and it’s an essential for our Easter parties. Read entire article.

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