500BestSquareSoft-Shell Crab Bisque @ Commander’s Palace

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The first time I found a small soft-shell crab atop a bowl of crab bisque was in one of Chef Kevin Vizard’s places. He may have picked up the idea at Commander’s, where he worked in several stints over the years, because that’s the most recent place I found it. The idea is great: the most delectable imaginable crunchy, crouton-like thing, floating above a smooth, light, creamy soup with a mellow tone of saffron and an elusive sharpness. Like most of Commander’s best dishes, this runs as a special, but frequently enough. You can always ask for it.

Commander’s Palace. Garden District: 1403 Washington Ave. 504-899-8221.

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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