Creme De La Creme

Dozen Best Broiled Fish

Most seafood in New Orleans is fried. The second most popular options was broiled–roasted in an oven with high heat coming from above. That has largely given way to grilling, which beginning in the 1980s became newly hip. However, some broiled fish dishes survive. Here are the best of them. We’re talking finfish exclusively, not shellfish, which is a whole ‘nother deal.

1. Brigtsen’s. Riverbend: 723 Dante. 504-861-7610. Chef Frank Brigtsen knows his fish, and also knows that one doesn’t need to fry everything. His un-fried seafood platter is a signature dish. But his menu almost always has a broiled fish. Both the fish and the preparation change daily.

2. Galatoire’s. French Quarter: 209 Bourbon. 504-525-2021. Galatoire’s shifted the broiling of fish mostly to its grill, but you can still ask for broiled. The broiled pompano may be the best seafood dish in this seafood-crazy town.

3. GW Fins. French Quarter: 808 Bienville. 504-581-3467. The menu is rewritten every day, but usually a dozen kinds of fish are available. At least one or two are broiled every day. They know how to do this well.

4. Gautreau’s. Uptown: 1728 Soniat St. 504-899-7397. Gautreau’s changing menu usually has a broiled fish. If Chef Sue Zemanick can get halibut, that’s it will be. I especially like it with a garlic crust.

5. Gallagher’s Grill. Covington: 509 S Tyler. 985-892-9992. Gallagher’s is largely a steakhouse, but the menu has more fish than most fish specialists do. Pat Gallagher often uses the steak broiler on fish, to great results. Even rarely-broiled fish like catfish come out well.

6. Rene Bistro. Warehouse District: 700 Tchoupitoulas. 504-613-2350. They always have a whole fish available here, available broiled or fried. And Chef Renew Bajeux somehow manages to maintain a supply of his signature fresh sardines.

7. Andrea’s. Metairie: 3100 19th St. 504-834-8583. Here’s another restaurant with a much larger than average supply of fresh fish species. It’s a point of pride with the chef that he will cook any fish any way you like, including broiled.

8. Arnaud’s. French Quarter: 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433. Pompano David is a mainstay on the menu here, a pretty fillet of the world’s best fish, coated with a spicy, herbal seasoning that stops short of being a crust.

9. Shogun. Metairie: 2325 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-7477. Black cod and Gulf mackerel are the two best fish that Japanese restaurants traditionally broil. Not many Japanese restaurants have either one, but Shogun does, and handles the job with aplomb.

10. Bon Ton Cafe. CBD: 401 Magazine. 504-524-3386. The most popular dishes here are variations on redfish Bon Ton. That’s a broiled drum fish (despite the name), topped with crabmeat and butter. Other variations are also good.

11. Fury’s. Metairie: 724 Martin Behrman Ave. 504-834-5646. Unlike most casual seafood places, Fury’s will broil any of its fish. Particularly good: flounder.

12. Jacques-Imo’s. Riverbend: 8324 Oak. 504-861-0886. Escolar is practically the signature fish here. They broil it and top it with shrimp.

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