500BestSquareMussels With Fennel And Pommes Frites @ Cafe Degas

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When Cafe Degas launched the now-lively restaurant cluster on Esplanade Avenue near City Park, mussels were rarely served in New Orleans restaurants. That changed suddenly in the late 1990s, when the French bistros began popping up around town and serving big bowls of the bivalves in their own juices, wine, and herbs. What may have persuaded locals to try mussels was the French and Belgian tradition of serving mussels with a pile of fresh-cut fries with them. (And aioli, a far better dipping sauce for fries than ketchup.) Many converts were made, particularly by Cafe Degas, which was waiting for all this to happen.

 

Cafe Degas. Mid-City: 3127 Esplanade Ave. 504-945-5635.

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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