The Twelve Dishes Of Christmas

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris January 07, 2024 19:56 in Dining Diary

Yesterday was King Day, and the start of the madness that is Carnival Season. It’s also said to be the twelfth day of Christmas, or is it?  The 5th was technically Twelfth Night. Here in New Orleans we call it that on the 6th. I’m so confused.

But before we say goodbye to Christmas season 2023, I thought it might be fun to think of twelve unforgettable New Orleans dishes. We talked a little about it on The Food Show (airs 2-4pm weekdays on 990AM WGSO. I got a few emails with some great dishes, and we used them as a blueprint for the show.

Some of the dishes included:

Gnocchi at August

Chargrilled Oysters at Drago’s

Gumbo Ya-Ya at Mr. B’s

Canneloni at Venezia

Lobster Dumplings at GW Fins

Sweetbreads at Bayona or Le Crepe Nanou

Pommes Souffle at Antoine’s

Roast Beef Po-Boy at Johnny's

Muffuletta at Bosco’s

Fried Oysters on Spinach with Brie at Clancy’s

Turtle Soup at Clancy’s or Brennan’s

Randazzo’s King Cake

I thought this was a pretty good list but not my list, though it helped me make my list. I love gnocchi but it wouldn’t be on my list. The gnocchi at August is fantastic, though.

Chargrilled Oysters should be on the list. This Drago’s original but now ubiquitous dish skyrocketed to classic status almost instantaneously. But I prefer the ones at Rest-A-While in Mandeville. Then someone said the Chargrilled Oysters sampler on the big board at Trenasse. And then Trenasse sort of took over. I agreed with that, and then mentioned the chocolate tart there. Then Patty said what about the Crawfish Pie? And I said we should replace Gumbo Ya-Ya with the Fowl Gumbo at Trenasse. A text came in saying not to forget the Blue Crab Bisque at Trenasse. But wait! The whole list couldn’t be Trenasse. 

I agreed that the Lobster Dumplings at GWFins belonged on the list, but I preferred the Lobster Bisque from Tchefuncte’s.

And the muffuletta had to be Katie’s. It can’t be beaten, even by my previous favorite at Bosco’s.

So on to my favorites list. Because of my obsession with simpler things like club sandwiches and french fries, it would not line up with most other people’s lists. Especially Tom’s. Make your own! It’s fun! And it will make you happy. Isn’t that the goal?

My Twelve Days of Christmas list:

Trout Amandine with Brabant Potatoes at Galatoire’s 

Lobster Bisque and grilled Housemade Ciabatta at Tchefuncte’s


Crawfish Pie at Trenasse

Club sandwich at Porter & Luke’s

Creamed Spinach at Keith Young’s in Madisonville

Muffuletta from Katie’s

The salad bar at Fogo de Chaō

Seafood platter at Blue Crab with housecut fries

(this covers Tom too, since he is a fried catfish fanatic.)

Shrimp Remoulade at Impastato’s

Linguine in Persillade sauce with Parmesan at Cafe Lynn (I make this one up. It comes as a crab claws app)

Chargrilled oysters at Rest-A-While

Roast Beef Poor Boy from Bear’s at Gennaro’s 

It wasn't easy to choose these twelve. So here are a few Honorable Mentions...

Garlic Bread at Commander’s (seriously)

Crabcake at Mr. B’s. Also their burger.

Choriqueso at La Caretta with a side of pico de gallo. And a flan for Tom!

Tom’s list would include:

Oysters Arnaud, Shrimp Arnaud, and Bread Pudding Fitzmorris at Arnaud’s

Antoine’s Oysters Rockefeller

A Roast Beef Poor Boy at Johnny’s

Any meal of anything at Restaurant August

Oysters Oreganate at Filippo in Metairie

Brennan’s Turtle Soup

Galatoire’s Oysters en Brochette


Grilled Catfish at New Orleans Food & Spirits

Fried Catfish at Keith Young’s at lunch

Chargrilled Oysters at Pat’s Rest-A-While

Fettucine Alfredo at Impastato’s in Metairie

Redfish anywhere

Thinking of all these meals made me happy. Then it made me feel lucky that we have all this great food so available to us. I look forward to many more great meals in 2024, and I wish the same for you. Bon Appetit!