Are oysters available and good in March? Best oyster dishes in NO?
I have heard that oysters are only available in months ending with the letter R. Is that true, or a myth? Also, if they are available, what are some of New Orlean's best oyster dishes?
March should be just fine. I only eat oysters when the weather (water) is cool becuase I just don't usually care for teh summer oysters even though they are largely safe thanks to refrigeration. Still, that nasty vibrio vulnificus is present in much higher concentrations in the summer months and that stuff is nasty.
Best dishes are Oysters Bienville, Oysters Rockefeller, Oyster stew (also called Oyster milk soup) good fried oysters--these vary wildly-- and, of course, the nowadays insanely popular chargrilled (or "Cha-grilled") oysters. These can be reallly tasty but more often are the outlet for some "chef's" maniacal creativity and results in little pencil erasers with a agglutination of "flavors" on a charred, burnt-out shell that looks like a remnant of Dresden.
I forgot two other classics, Oysters en brochette (wrappped in bacon) and Italian Oysters (basically oysters, butter and tons of garlic with other goodies that vary. baked with breadcrumbs to bind it).
The best oysters I had in 2011 were during the summer, but in Mobile, Panama City, and Apalachicola. The drought raised the salinity levels quite high in FL waters.
The Mississippi River spring floods bring a lot of fresh water down so the beds around the Delta tend to have more brackish water during the late spring/early summer. So some New Orleans consumed oysters aren't as salty/tasty in the summer. Don't worry about the R's!
You are good to go. On the half-shell (Acme, Felix's, Casamento's, Manele's). Oysters Mosca (Mosca's), Oysters Rockefeller (Arnaud's, Galatoire's), Oysters en brochette (Galatoire's) and chargrilled oysters (Drago's, Acme). Every chowhound will have his own favorites. Have a great time sampling them all.
It's not months that end in R, it's months with an R in them, so you are good. My favorite oyster dish is a dozen raw.