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Jul 5, 2008 05:52 AM

oyster bars

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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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. 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

            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

              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

                This worked for my husband as well.

                1. re: schuarta

                  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

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

                    1. re: RedTop

                      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

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

                  2. re: hazelhurst

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

                2. 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. 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

                      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

                        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!!