500BestSquareGrilled Pompano Meuniere @ Galatoire’s

Pompano is, to my palate, the best-tasting fish in our waters. Or, for that matter, the world. I’ve never had better. It’s a fatty fish, and has a more pronounced flavor than most–although it’s not what I’d call oily. Its flavor is so fine that it requires only minimal attention from the chef. Pompano reaches its peak when grilled whole. What Galatoire’s does with the fish is very close to that. They take off the tail and most–but not all–of the head. They pull the bones out and serve a half-fish, with its skin still intact. The sauce is their brown butter. If it needs anything further, it’s just a squirt of lemon juice.

Grilled pompano with brown butter.

Grilled pompano with brown butter.

The waiters will try to get you to have it served with crabmeat, but that gilds the lily in my opinion. Like almost all fish, pompano comes and goes in its season–which is too complicated to figure out. It’s something you need to check on with the waiter before ordering; when they’re running small, save that hunger for another day. That will be a very good day indeed.

Galatoire’s. French Quarter: 209 Bourbon. 504-525-2021.

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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