Oysters Rockefeller @ Antoine’s

500BestSquareOysters Rockefeller @ Antoine’s

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This is Antoine’s most famous dish, which makes it one of the most revered and enjoyable creations in the entire New Orleans restaurant repertoire. It was created in the 1890s by Antoine Alciatore’s son Jules. It spread to French-inspired restaurants all over the world, and is still found in hundreds of restaurants. Almost every traditional New Orleans eatery serves oysters Rockefeller.

Antoine's three baked oyster dishes. From the top left: Rockefeller, Thermidor, and Bienville.

Antoine’s three baked oyster dishes. From the top left: Rockefeller, Thermidor, and Bienville.

The original recipe is made with a sauce made by finely chopping fennel, parsley, celery, and green onions. These are cooked down then mixed with a light roux, bread crumbs, and few other ingredients. There is no spinach in Antoine’s version, although most restaurants replace all the other greens with that one. The sauce is quite thick, and baked on top of an oyster on its shell. At Antoine’s they’re a little variable, but most of the time they have that beguiling mixture of herbal flavors with distinctive white pepper note. You get six to the order, which might fill you up more than you expected from an appetizer. The dish is named for John D. Rockefeller for its richness and green color, suggestive of money.

Antoine’s. French Quarter: 713 St Louis. 504-581-4422.

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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