500BestSquareChar-Broiled Oysters @ Drago’s

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It’s a simple dish. That fact kept fancy restaurants from offering it until the it became such a phenomenon that almost every restaurant with a local theme had to add it to the menu. Shucking oysters is the first step, and most chefs don’t want any part of that. So it fell to the city’s great oyster specialist to create and serve them, by the hundreds of sacks per week, to people willing to wait quite some time for them. Are they really as good as all that? Yes. Why? Because the oysters are so good. Which also explains why other restaurants never quite get it up to Drago’s standard.

In the unlikely case that you never had them before, Drago’s char-broiled oysters are shucked fresh, blasted by fire and steam on an open grill, basted with a lot of garlic-herb butter, dusted with Parmigiano cheese, and left on the grill till the juices bubble. Simple, yes. But so good that you can eat dozens of them and still want more.

There’s a reason we chose Drago’s today as the source of one of our 500 Best Restaurant Dishes, even though char-broiled oysters Drago’s style is so widely known that not much more can be said.

Recently, Drago’s in Metairie opened a new dining room, one that can hold about 150 more people and doubling the size of the place. What did they need that for? Anyone who has ever dined at Drago’s knows the answer to this: the wait for a table was so long as to become a deterrent. I have little doubt that the restaurant will remain busy, but the turnover should be much quicker, a very welcome improvement.

The restaurant’s slogan makes a big but true statement: “the best single bite of food in New Orleans.” Yup, I’d go along with that.

Drago’s. CBD: 2 Poydras. 504-584-3911.

||Metairie: 3232 N Arnoult Rd. 504-888-9254. 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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