3 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Royal House

French Quarter: 441 Royal. 504-528-2601. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
New Orleans is a tourist town, and tourist towns have tourist restaurants. But such places are much better than their predecessors of even as recently as ten years ago. The Royal House is a good example. The barker frequently employed to attract passers-by is a dead giveaway of the place’s intentions. But the presence of an oyster bar–a very troublesome operation for a restaurateur–makes it clear that they’re not just taking advantage of the easy pickings.

WHAT’S GOOD
The menu is centered on seafood, with the oyster dishes the most attractive. Also here are more-than-decent fried seafood platters, grilled fish, poor boy sandwiches, and good versions of the local soups. And steaks, clams, mussels, lobster, and seafood pasta dishes, in decreasing degree of interest. A visitor could do a lot worse than to dine here, although the presence within a block of Antoine’s, Brennan’s, K-Paul’s, the Rib Room and the like are tough competitoon.

BACKSTORY
For a century, this was Tortorici’s, a well-known but not very good Italian restaurant in a highly visible location. Hurricane Katrina put an end to it, and it sat empty until 2008. A restaurant group specializing in casual French Quarter cafes performed a renovation, added an oyster bar, and opened as the Royal House.

DINING ROOM
The restaurant consists of a long room along St. Louis Street. The best place to eat is in the oyster bar, just inside the door at the corner. The tables offer a good look at the passing Royal Street parade. Tables further in the back are less atmospheric.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Raw oysters on the half shell
»Charbroiled oysters
»Oysters Rockefeller
»Oysters Royale (seafood stuffing)
»Pepperino oysters (roasted peppers, parmesan)
Fried eggplant straws with alfredo and marinara
Spinach and artichoke dip
Sautéed crab claws
Seafood stuffed mushrooms
Clams and mussels with wine and garlic
»Chicken and sausage gumbo
»Crab and corn bisque
French onion soup
Spinach salad with apples and blue cheese
Grilled chicken Caesar salad
Crawfish salad
Tomato mozzarella salad
Sandwiches
»Fried shrimp, catfish, oyster, or alligator poor boy
Hamburger
Blackened chicken sandwich
Muffuletta
Entrees
»Fried seafood platters: shrimp, catfish, oyster, soft-shell crabs or combination
Seafood-stuffed filet mignon
Steak voodoo (encrusted with blue cheese)
Seafood steamer pot (clams, mussels, lobster, steamed shrimp)
Snow crab legs
»Steamed Maine lobster
»Blackened or grilled redfish
Salmon and crab Bercy (crabmeat and lemon cream sauce)
Baked seafood tortellini
»Crawfish etouffee
Shrimp creole
Crawfish and crabmeat ravioli
Linguini and clams
Chicken marsala
Seafood pescatore (clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, marinara sauce, pasta
Desserts
Bananas Foster cheesecake
»Bread pudding, white chocolate sauce
Chocolate layer cake
Key lime pie

FOR BEST RESULTS
Oysters are by far the best eats here, but the platters are fried to order and more than decent.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The soups and dishes like shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffee would not please anyone who has had good versions of those complex old dishes.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency
  • Service
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good view
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open most holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Oyster bar
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The French Quarter Festival a couple of weeks ago was huge, and has a tail: for weeks afterwards, local diners make it into the Vieux Carre in larger numbers than usual. The nice weather is another attraction. Here’s a restaurant you might not think to dine in, but it really is worth a try.


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