Creme De La Creme

Dozen Best Dishes With Fresh Corn

A chef once slipped an extra dish in the middle of one of our Eat Club dinners. It was a warm salad of lobster and corn. “Wow!” said one of the attendees. Yeah, lobster, everyone else thought. “I love corn!” she added. We all agreed. Fresh corn is always welcome. It’s on my mind this time of year, because every emblem of Thanksgiving includes corn somewhere. Here’s a list of the dozen best dishes that include corn in a major role.

1. Baru Bistro & Tapas. Uptown: 3700 Magazine. 504-895-2225. Mazorca is an unlikely appetizer combining corn with cheese and what they call “pink sauce,” atop shoestring potatoes. It’s so much better than it sounds that it tastes better still.

2. Red Fish Grill. French Quarter: 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200. Fried soft shell crab with corn macque choux, mirlitons, and shrimp. Corn and seafood are natural partners, and nowhere is that seen more convincingly than in this dish.

3. RioMar. Warehouse District: 800 S Peters. 504-525-3474. Oyster salad with grilled corn, and Serrano ham. Each item plays beautifully with the other two.

4. Atchafalaya. Uptown: 901 Louisiana Ave. 504-891-9626. Mango pork tenderloin, corn pudding, and bacon. The pudding is an underused idea, idea with the spicy-sweet pork.

5. Ralph’s On The Park. City Park Area: 900 City Park Ave. 504-488-1000. Crabmeat ravigote with corn and Israeli couscous, all served at the idea cool (not cold) temperature. The couscous amounts to tiny balls of pasta.

6. Vincent’s. Metairie: 4411 Chastant St. 504-885-2984. ||Riverbend: 7839 St Charles Ave. 504-866-9313. The best corn and crab bisque in town is here to represent the hundreds of other crab or shrimp and corn bisques on local menus. Vincent’s is served in a cut made of French bread, but it’s tops even served conventionally.

7. Zea. Harahan: 1655 Hickory Ave. 504-738-0799. Covington: 110 Lake Dr . 985-327-0520. ||Harvey: 1121 Manhattan Blvd.. 504-361-8293. ||Kenner: 1401 W Esplanade Ave.. 504-468-7733. ||Lee Circle Area: 1525 St. Charles Ave.. 504-520-8100. ||Metairie: 4450 Veterans Blvd. (Clearview Mall). 504-780-9090. Roasted corn grits is the best and most popular of Zea’s many side dishes. They’re rich, fresh-tasting, and worth going to the restaurant just for that.

8. Pupuseria Divino Corazon. Gretna: 2300 Belle Chasse Hwy. 504-368-5724. Tamal de elote con crema is really a dessert. It’s a tamale made not only with cornmeal but fresh sweet corn, with a sweetened sour cream sauce. Utterly unique and wonderful.

9. Santa Fe. Esplanade Ridge: 3201 Esplanade Ave. 504-948-0077. Crispy skin salmon, chorizo, roasted corn, and smoked tomato beurre blanc is a good representative of the newer dishes on the menu at Santa Fe in its second incarnation.

10. Blue Plate Cafe. Lee Circle Area: 1330 Prytania. 504-309-9500. The South Shore omelette has a decidedly Southwestern flavor, with chili con carne, corn, cheese, onions, and black beans on the side.

11. Hillbilly Barbecue. River Ridge: 2317 Hickory Ave. 504-738-1508. Corn salad. That’s it. Corn salad. Great side to a pulled pork platter.

12. Abita Barbecue. Abita Springs: 69399 LA Hwy 59. 985-892-0205. A case could be made that there is no better corn dish than corn on the cob with a lot of melted butter. Since the demise of the Texas Barbecue Company, Abita Barbecue moves into the top spot for a fresh, crunchy, buttery ear.


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