500BestSquareOysters Giovanni @ Cafe Giovanni

Chef Duke Locicero won a big cooking contest years ago with this dish, and it’s easy to see why. It starts out with money in the bank: fried oysters, crisp with cornmeal at the exterior, still bulging. A bunch of those are arrayed in a circle on a plate spread with a unique brown sauce. It tastes like nothing else I know: sweet, gingery, savory, a little peppery–hard to describe, but perfect with oysters. In that sauce three colorful fruit-flavored sauces get swirled in to make a stained-glass effect. My first impression was that this was too much fooling around, but the sauces actually add quite a nice flavor. It’s such a terrific dish that it’s hard to go to CafĂ© Giovanni without starting dinner off with these. At the very least, get an order to pass around the table.


Cafe Giovanni. French Quarter: 117 Decatur. 504-529-2154.

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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