500BestSquareOysters Al Areganata @ Ristorante Filippo

Baked oysters in the Italian style appear more than once on this list, representing different recipes. This is the most polished of them all. Phil Gagliano serves them sizzling in an au gratin dish, topped with the usual bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, herbs, and a bit of pancetta. The aroma of this is marvelous, and the taste even better. Be careful eating: this is a real mouth-searer when it first arrives. And it’s also one of the few baked oyster appetizers of which one can actually eat a half-dozen and then move on to an entree. Maybe even a salad.

Ristorante Filippo. Metairie: 1917 Ridgelake. 504-835-4008.

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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