While the season of Lent (Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday) is about reflection, moderation and giving up indulgences, New Orleanians do not have to sacrifice good food to do so. The town'ss top restaurants and chefs are offering a variety of Lenten specials and easy-to-make home recipes, certain to make your Fridays meatless and your palate happy. Here are our top four Lenten dishes in and around New Orleans:
Any Dish at Peche
Louisiana native Donald Link may be known for his pork dishes, but his seafood restaurant Peche, which focuses on regional seafood, has proven to be his most popular venture yet. There are many different options depending on what you are in the mood for. A raw bar features fish, seafood salad, shrimp, oysters or a large sampling platter to try some of everything. For smaller bites, there’s tapas style plates including catfish, spicy shrimp and mussels, plus lamb and grilled chicken for non-seafood options. For seafood in a different form, try the shrimp bisque and seafood gumbo for a bowl of Louisiana comfort. If you’re looking for a real feast, there are plenty of offerings for larger entrees, and vegetarian diners will enjoy their attractive side selections like fried brussels sprouts and cauliflower & rice casserole.
BBQ Shrimp at Pascal's Manale
This vintage Uptown staple has been serving its famous New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp since 1913. The iconic dish was created at Manale's and although many restaurants try to imitate, no one can make it better. The shrimp are not actually barbequed, but cooked in a delectable, peppery butter sauce. Sit down and strap on a bib; the mess will be worth it. If you prefer oysters over shrimp, take a seat at Pascal’s oyster bar in the front of the restaurant, where a friendly shucker will provide as many mollusks as you can muster an appetite for. Other dishes include Italian specialties, seafood and steaks.
Yellow Fin Tuna at GW Fins
This upscale French Quarter seafood restaurant exceeds expectations with their largely locally sourced and supremely fresh seafood, all prepared in-house with vibrant sauces and garnishes. Their Asian inspired yellow fin tuna and wahoo, when in season, are stand outs on the menu, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their delicious dishes paired with carefully selected sides. If you need further convincing, GW Fins’ genious chef Tenney Flynn won New Orleans Magazine’s Chef of the Year in 2011 and he’s on the Louisiana Seafood Chefs Council.
Clancys Trout Menuiere
Located Uptown at 6100 Annuciation Street, this neighborhood fine-dining restaurant is another unrepentantly old school New Orleans joint. With a menu of simple but very good New Orleans style cooking, its kitchen leans largely on traditional Creole restaurant dishes. For Lent, try out their Trount menuiere, which is butter-sauteed and served in a New Orleans-syle meuniere (or brown butter) sauce. Other seafood dishes included the fried oysters with brie, lobster and mushroom risotto, and the saute’ puppy drum almondine, After your entree, you can't leave without try their world-famous Lemon Ice-Box Pie.
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