Dozen Best Dishes Dominated By Mushrooms
Different mushrooms have different seasons, but in spring–especially when it rains a lot–we get a lot of excellent wild mushrooms. Here are a dozen dishes in which mushrooms play a starring role. The original list started with 280 of them; part of the selection process was paying attention to uniqueness.
1. La Petite Grocery. Uptown: 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377. Roast chicken continues to rank high in this survey, with a sauce made not only with wild mushrooms but truffles. Some mushrooms also are involved with teh side of savory bread pudding.
2. Lilette. Uptown: 3637 Magazine. 504-895-1636. White truffle parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms, marrow and veal glace. No explanation necessary.
3. Fausto’s. Metairie: 530 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-7121. The best crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms around town are these. They look normal (lots of versions of this idea around town), but taste extravagantly better.
4. Bistro Daisy. Uptown: 5831 Magazine. 504-899-6987. The dish is a chicken, coated with “mushroom dust.” That’s made by grinding up dried porcini mushrooms and using it like a seasoning. Fantastic woodsy flavor.
5. Carmelo. Mandeville: 1901 US Hwy 190. 985-624-4844. The best dishes ar Carmelo all involved mushrooms. Malfadine (“badly-made pasta” sort of like misshapen gnocchi) come out with mushrooms and truffles in a cream sauce. They also make a pizza along similar lines.
6. Impastato’s. Metairie: 3400 16th St. 504-455-1545. My favorite dish here is fish, veal, or soft-shell crab Marianna, whose sauce is chunky with mushrooms and artichokes in a sherry butter. The sauce alone would make a good pasta dish.
7. Atchafalaya. Uptown: 901 Louisiana Ave. 504-891-9626. Here’s a sauce of shiitake mushroom in a creamy cognac sauce, there to abet a great roast chicken.
8. Juniper. Mandeville: 301 Lafitte. 985-624-5330. Veal T-bone with saffron polenta and wild mushroom demi-glace. Even though a veal steak is clearly the star visually, it’s the mushrooms that make this dish what it is.
9. Drago’s. CBD: 2 Poydras. 504-584-3911. Herradura shrimp really ought to be called portobello mushrooms with shrimp and oysters in a Herradura tequila butter sauce. But it’s a fine appetizer, so what else matters?
10. Antoine’s. French Quarter: 713 St Louis. 504-581-4422. Champignons sous cloche is not on the regular menu anymore, but you can still get it if you make arrangements in advance. Mushrooms, cream, butter, foie gras, all served over toast under a glass bell.
11. Dante’s Kitchen. Riverbend: 736 Dante. 504-861-3121. Roasted duck breast with pulled confit and wild mushrooms is a marvelous ensemble of flavors.
12. Trey Yuen. Mandeville: 600 Causeway Blvd. 985-626-4476. Moo shu vegetables is the classic moo shu pork recipe–including the thin pancakes in which you roll up the filling. But the meat is replaced mushrooms and more vegetables than usual. It’s my favorite moo shu dish.