500BestSquareBarbecue Oysters @ Red Fish Grill

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The name is misleading. Doubly so, because not only do the oysters have zero barbecue aspect, but they’re also unlike that other misnamed local seafood classic, barbecue shrimp. What they actually resemble is Buffalo chicken wings, but with oysters instead of chicken. The oyster is fried, then topped with a hot-sauce-laced butter and blue cheese dressing. This dish actually made its first appearance at Mr. B’s, where they still serve it now and then. But when Ralph Brennan (who still co-managed B’s at the time) opened the Red Fish, he absconded with the barbecue oyster idea and made it a signature.

A waiter once told me, “If you work in a restaurant, after awhile you get sick of eating its food. But this is one dish none of us ever get tired of. We’re always picking at any extra ones that come out.” That is easy to understand. The things are irresistible, especially in that wonderful time of year (first five months) when oysters are very large and meaty.

Barbecue oysters at the Red Fish Grill.

Barbecue oysters at the Red Fish Grill.

Red Fish Grill. French Quarter: 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200 .

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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