500BestSquareTrout (Or Veal Or Soft-Shell Crabs) Marianna @ Impastato’s

Here is the coming together of four ingredients–artichokes, mushrooms, butter, and lemon–that are so much in harmony that it’s a wonder this isn’t a universal dish. Impastato’s deposits that concoction atop several different central proteins, but the best combination is with fish. Speckled trout is the standard, but if red snapper or lemonfish were available, I’d go for those. The fish is grilled, and comes out just short of bubbling with heat. The same dish with a soft-shell crab or medallions of veal is also excellent. A variation on the dish that includes crabmeat and shrimp (it’s named for whoever the coach of the New Orleans Saints happens to be) goes one step too far for me, but it’s popular. Joe Impastato’s brother Sal makes the same bunch of dishes just as well at Sal & Judy’s in Lacombe. Marianna is Joe and Sal’s mother’s name, so you know they hold it in high regard.


Impastato’s. Metairie: 3400 16th Street. 504-455-1545.

Also at Sal & Judy’s, Lacombe: 27491 Highway 190 , 985-882-9443.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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