Oysters Foch @ Antoine’s
The sauce is where the main action is, although the rest of the dish is pretty good, too. It’s a variation on hollandaise, which will come as a surprise to those who like it, because it doesn’t resemble hollandaise at all. It’s so dark that it looks as if it’s made out of chocolate. The flavors of tomato, sherry, and pepper come through, too. There’s nothing like it in any New Orleans restaurant (or any other restaurant anywhere, to my knowledge). The sauce goes over the top of cornmeal-coated fried oysters placed on foie-gras-slathered toast. It’s supposed to recall the horrible battles in World War I led by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, but the less you know about that, the better. It’s a fantastic and unique appetizer.
Antoine’s also uses this sauce (its name is Colbert, but it’s not like the French classic of the same name) on breaded trout or soft-shell crabs. That’s marvelous, too. In Antoine’s Hermes Bar, they serve an oysters Foch poor boy–something I’ll bet the waiters have been eating for fifty years at least.
Antoine’s. French Quarter: 713 St. Louis. 504-581-4422.
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