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oyster bars

napolean Jul 5, 2008 05:52 AM

I will be visiting Nola July 7th through the 10th. Where are the best LOCAL Oyster bars in this city. Eating oysters is like sushi: needs to be experienced at the bar, so NO DINING ROOM seafood restaurants, PLEASE. And are there oyster bars which cater to tourists more? Thanks!

  1. j
    JazzyB Aug 8, 2009 04:28 AM

    This post is a yr. old.

    1. b
      Brfoodie Aug 1, 2009 11:35 AM

      It is lways amusing to hear that the oysters at Acme are much better than Felix's or vice versa. There was an article in the morning paper that said that Felix's, Acme, Red Fish and Boubon House get fresh delivered Oysters at the same time every morning (give or take an hour) from P&J oysters.I guess the different ambiances account for this devotion to one place over the other and account for the different pricing.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Brfoodie
        FoodChic Aug 1, 2009 11:58 AM

        I read somewhere that Acme owns their own oyster beds.

        1. re: FoodChic
          nola1421 Aug 3, 2009 08:50 AM

          I was told by Norm the oyster shucker, that Acme gets their oyster from P&J oyster company. Unless that changes. I agree that Acme and Felix's has the best cold raw oysters.

          1. re: nola1421
            FoodChic Aug 3, 2009 09:20 AM

            I love Norm! He tells the best stories. We always pay him a visit when we're in town.

            1. re: FoodChic
              nola1421 Aug 3, 2009 09:56 AM

              We vacation twice a year in NOLA. My wife and I visit Norm everytime at the Acme oyster house for fresh P&J osyters. Wife gets the soft shell crab and an order of crawfish when in season. As for me couple doz of raw fresh oysters and a pitcher of cold beer. As always, my last meal before heading back home to California, a good bye visit with Norm at the Acme oyster bar.

      2. p
        PhillyChick Jul 31, 2009 09:12 PM

        Don't even think about the Oyster House, the new incarnation of the Sansom Street Oyster House at 15th & Sansom. It's LOUD, over-priced and the presentation is so low key my crab cakes looked like Mrs Paul's Fishcakes. At $26 for the main course, you can do better at Nodding Head just a few doors down the street.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PhillyChick
          nomadchowwoman Aug 1, 2009 05:34 AM

          Um, did you realize you were on the New Orleans board?? :)
          (Get on down here and try our seafood.!)

        2. t
          thedoublee Jul 28, 2008 02:00 PM

          Agree with the other posters that the walk-up oyster bar at Pascal's Manale is great, I live in the neighborhood and even when the restaurant is busy I have hd good luck with getting served at the oyster bar pretty quickly.

          FYI regarding Casamento's being closed for the summertime though there is the "R" month rule their closing has actually more to do with them taking the summer off. As I recall from a local article they took a summer off some years ago to renovate and liked it so much they decided to make it a tradition.

          2 Replies
          1. re: thedoublee
            Ross B Jul 28, 2008 07:48 PM

            I have to echo the recommendations of the oyster bar at Pascal's Manale. I think it's my favorite. Do you still have to pay for them at the bar and they give you a poker chip to take to the oyster bar? I haven't been in a couple of years.

            1. re: Ross B
              jtfish Aug 4, 2008 04:35 PM

              I definitley agree!! Pascal's is the best for oysters! Especially in the winter, the'yre huge! They still do the poker chip thing. Love talking to Eddie at the bar too! The foods good their also. Whenever they have the Veal Chop special I get it!!

          2. sirvelvet Jul 8, 2008 06:54 AM

            The real trick to getting good oysters is twofold. First, pick the right place. Any of the places mentioned above will serve good oysters. Second, order at the oyster bar. This guarantees you will get oysters just shucked and also guarantees you will get good oysters and good service. Some of the places mentioned do pre-shuck their oysters for the table service, and they just do not compare.

            I strongly recommend Pascal's Manale oyster bar. It is like a walk into the past and the oysters are consistently good.

            1. N.O.Food Jul 5, 2008 08:19 AM

              We've been having a lengthy discussion about oysters during the summer under the "best oyster poboy" thread. The consensus seems to be that fried/cooked oysters are okay to eat during the summer but raw ones are not. For raw, I would just eat em next time. Check out the gulf oyster threads for more info.

              8 Replies
              1. re: N.O.Food
                hazelhurst Jul 5, 2008 08:42 AM

                I just don;t think it is fair to the oysters to eat them in the summer--leaving the health matter out completely. Plump, salty winter oysters are wonderful...summer oyster just don;t have that taste. I admit, though, that I saw some beautiful looking oysters at The Chimes in Baton Rouge a couple of weeks ago. Usually in summer they look dreadful.

                1. re: hazelhurst
                  schuarta Jul 7, 2008 10:23 AM

                  Casamento's is NUMBER 1. But they do close for the summer. Acme Oyster House in the Quarter is VERY GOOD and predictable. Also, if you're female, do as my daughter does. Sit at the bar, order a dozen and a beer, chat-up the shucker, and your "dozen plate" will never empty until you want it to.

                  1. re: schuarta
                    JazzyB Jul 7, 2008 12:23 PM

                    This worked for my husband as well.

                    1. re: schuarta
                      Blumie Jul 8, 2008 09:41 AM

                      Another trick to Acme: ignore the line of tourists waiting to be seated. Head to the oyster bar and grab a seat, if available, or let one of the shuckers know you want to sit there. They'll take care of you.

                      1. re: schuarta
                        RedTop Jul 28, 2008 02:09 PM

                        Why would anyone NOT sit at the Oyster Bar at Acme? One of NOLAs truly wonderful experiences.

                        1. re: RedTop
                          FoodChic Sep 28, 2008 11:07 AM

                          It really is an amazing thing. It is always our first stop when we arrive in New Orleans. If you go to Acme make sure you try the grilled oysters as well as the freshly shucked. They are a bit of heaven on a plate.

                          1. re: FoodChic
                            CheBeret Sep 29, 2008 06:28 AM

                            Acme also has really lovely boiled shrimps...heads on, just the way I like em'!

                      2. re: hazelhurst
                        Hungry4Good Jul 7, 2008 02:14 PM

                        Raw oysters were huge and beautiful (though very low salinity, as you suggest) last week at Bourbon House and Drago's.

                    2. edible complex Jul 5, 2008 06:50 AM

                      Fr. Qtr.: Desire Oyster Bar in the Sonesta Hotel, Bourbon House Seafood, Acme Oyster, Redfish Grill,, Crescent City Brewhouse

                      Uptown: Cooter Brown's, Casamento's

                      CBD/Warehouse: Grand Isle, Big Al's, Drago's in the Hilton

                      Metairie: Bozo's, Drago's

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: edible complex
                        swampsue Jul 5, 2008 06:58 AM

                        Cassamento's is closed for the summer...they still go by the old "R' month rule; it's technically not oyster season anymore. ...I don't know about the other places to eat oysters, availability and quality wise, at this time of the year. Hopefully someone else will be able to direct you to your best possible prospect considering the unfortunate timing.

                        1. re: edible complex
                          mister Sep 27, 2008 02:20 AM

                          I have to disagree about Bourbon House. Last winter sitting at the bar we were served oyster that had been pre-shucked. I cringed when I saw the counterman reach underneath and retrieved them from a cookie sheet. I should have said no thanks as they did suffer. Felix across the street was much better and at least 30% less expensive. I have to question your other suggestions, list, whatever it is.

                          1. re: mister
                            edible complex Sep 29, 2008 03:38 PM

                            what's to question about listing who serves oysters?
                            other than the two places you wrote about, where do you go?

                            Pascal's Manale is also shucking at their oyster bar Uptown on Napoleon Ave.

                            1. re: edible complex
                              mister Sep 30, 2008 10:21 PM

                              I don't live in LA and haven't tried a lot of oyster places in the city. I just know that the Bourbon House was disappointing, especially given the higher prices compated to Felix's. The original poster asked for the best places for oysters, not an unvetted list. IMO, preshucking and letting the oyster sit until a customer orders is unexcusable. Based on my experience I would never recommend the Bourbon House to someone specifically asking for the best oyster houses.

                              1. re: mister
                                edible complex Oct 1, 2008 04:49 AM

                                I've been to Bourbon House, sat at the bar and watched them shuck the oysters while eating them. Sorry your experience was disappointing.

                                Bourbon House will offer a different setting than Felix's and is priced accordingly. However they do on occasion offer special pricing.

                                1. re: edible complex
                                  JazzyB Oct 1, 2008 05:38 AM

                                  We've sat at the oyster bar at Bourbon House and they shucked them to order. I think the ones on ice are served to folks seated at tables. I've also seen preshucked trays at Felix's taken to those seated at tables vs standing at the bar. IMO, if you eat your oysters with cocktail sauce (BH also has mignonette), go to Felix's. Their horseradish is infinitely better (fresher and hotter). Horseradish we had recently at BH was brown, weak and bitter tasting. Had to add tobasco. BTW, BH mignonette is not the best either. BH's only advantage is the ambience.

                                  1. re: JazzyB
                                    pitu Oct 4, 2008 10:46 AM

                                    Went to Felix's last week. LOVE the horseradish. Loved standing at the oyster bar, chatting with the nice dude shucking the oysters. Not a glamor spot, but totally fun and delicious.
                                    Felix's is very low-key, and right across the street from Acme. It's was rec'd to me by two different older NOLA natives. I'm so glad we listened to them.

                                    Oysters were newly back (post hurricane) and not as strong as I know them from Maine and the Pacific -- but am reading on this thread that "summer" oysters are less saline. Guess that's it. Still, perfect fresh and delicious.
                                    I love New Orleans.

                        2. j
                          JazzyB Jul 5, 2008 05:59 AM

                          Felix's. Don't know why but they taste the best here. Many times when dining in FQ, we stop in at Felix's for oysters first. Pascals Manale has a nice stand up oyster bar. Drop in for oysters then dine elsewhere uptown.

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