3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Casamento’s

Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 4330 Magazine. 504-895-9761. Map.
Casual.
Cash only.
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Casamento’s is a specialist. While it cooks the full range of fried seafood, it’s primarily a place you go for oysters. They are of excellent intrinsic quality, and are fully satisfying whether you eat them raw, fried, or in a sandwich. The unique premises also endears the place to the hearts of New Orleans eaters.

WHAT’S GOOD
Casamento’s adheres rigorously to the Two Laws of Great Fried Seafood. First, the raw seafood is fresh and local. Second, it’s fried immediately before being served. They take this one step further by offering excellent fresh-cut French fries. All of this is as good as it gets. If you began with the superb raw oysters, you have had as fine a simple meals as can be had in New Orleans.

BACKSTORY
Second only to the Acme in age among New Orleans oyster bars, Casamento’s was founded in 1919. The third generation of the family is in charge now. They’re as noteworthy for their quirks as for the goodness of their food. For as long as anybody remembers, they’ve closed the entire summer every year. They are also doctrinaire about their hours, locking the doors on the dot.

DINING ROOM
The tiled walls and floor make it look like a kitchen, or an old-time barbershop, or perhaps even an extra-clean bathroom. Those tiles are genuine Newcomb pottery, made and installed before it was famous. Two rooms of all that, with the oyster bar in the front and the kitchen all the way in the back.

ONLINE MENU LOCATION

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Gumbo
»Oyster stew
»Oysters on half shell
»Fried crab claws
»Fried calamari
Lettuce and tomato salad
Grilled chicken salad
Grilled shrimp salad
Sandwiches
»Oyster loaf
»Shrimp loaf
»Catfish or trout loaf
»Soft shell crab loaf
Grilled cheese sandwich
Entrees
»Fried soft shell crab
»Fried oysters
»Fried shrimp
»Fried catfish or trout
»Seafood platter
Spaghetti and meatballs
Grilled or fried chicken tender dinner
Desserts
Cheesecake
German chocolate cake

FOR BEST RESULTS
Start with a dozen raw. This is a good place to have raw oysters for the first time. Know that the oyster loaf here is made with “pan bread,” a standard white loaf cut into large slabs, toasted, and buttered. Go somewhere else for spaghetti.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The cash-only policy is nothing but an inconvenience to customers and is long overdue to be rescinded. While gruffness of the staff is a long-running tradition, I liked the mellowness of right after the hurricane. It’s also time they opened five days for dinner.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency
  • Service-1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude -1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Historic
  • Oyster bar
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Although it’s not as consistent as it once was, Casamento’s–a big, long room covered with enough spanking-clean Art Nouveau tiles that it looks like a gigantic bathroom–is still a first-class vendor of oysters. They’re terrific in either raw or fried form; no small number of patrons start with the first and finish with the second. The oyster loaf here is not a poor boy but a sandwich made on thickly sliced, toasted, buttered “pan bread.”

Other local seafoods are also fried with the same deftness. No such thing as tepid, soggy, or greasy trout or soft-shell crabs here. The french fries are among the best in town–cut from fresh potatoes and fried to order. The Italian dishes are completely forgettable–red sauce piled atop white spaghetti.


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