Archive for the 'New Orleans' Category

Casamento’s – New Orleans

This is from a trip to New Orleans last year, but Casamento’s hasn’t changed in years. It has been a fixture on Magazine street since 1919 and still remains entirely family  run and owned. The entire restaurant is covered in ceramic tile, inside and out and the restaurant is “cleaned” with a hose. The secret to going to Casamento’s is to be there as soon as it opens, otherwise there is a line that snakes outside the door and what could be a long wait.


Casamento’s room


The oysters are shucked to order – we each had a dozen – delicious


The oysters are served with hot sauce and horseradish.


Yes, we loved the oysters – the damage


Seafood Gumbo, chock full of shrimp and crab


Oyster Stew – our friend loved this so much he ordered another bowl.

But it is the oyster loaf that sets Casamento’s apart from every other restaurant. Unfortunately my husband forgot to take a picture so either go to their site for the photo or see below.

The oysters are dipped in corn flour and fried in cast-iron skillets with lard. The batter is so light and crisp that you have none of that leaden over-breaded taste. The bread is not your usual poorboy loaf, but something called pan bread, much akin to Texas toast – very thick  slices of buttered bread. This is only half a loaf – I eat a full loaf!

Casamento’s closes during the summer as the Casamento family feels that the oysters are just not as good during the warm weather.

Run don’t walk to Casamento’s.


Let me state up front that we are friends with Ron and Regina Keever who co-own Bayona with Susan Spicer.  We have known them for years as well as traveled together.

How we happen to “meet” is a funny story. My husband had to be in New Orleans for business and as I had never been to New Orleans, I insisted that I go as well.  I had heard about this new restaurant, Bayona with a woman chef and insisted that we try it out. I was having my hair done and my hairdresser asked where we were eating that night. I started raving about this new restaurant and this woman chef and he burst out laughing. Worried, I asked him what was wrong. He pointed to this woman who was having her nails done and said that is Regina Keever who co-owns the restaurant with Chef Spicer. Well, that began a friendship that has lasted over many years.

Our last meal at Bayona was in 2006. It was almost impossible to take notes. First, we had a lot of catching up to do with Ron and Regina. Then Michel Richard ended up joining us as he was in town for a charity event. At that point all bets were off. The best I can do is to give some measly descriptions and photos.

At least the photos will give you sense of the cuisine at Bayona.

Fried Eggplant Medallion topped with Smoked Salmon Salad with Hungarian peppers

Coriander Flatbread topped with Green Olive Tapenade and Shrimp


Rabbit Roulade with Violet Jelly


Seared Scallops perched on Celeriac Puree. To the side was a “salad” of roasted caulflower, bacon lardoons, what appeared to be cabbage and ????- My notes say something about brown butter and green olive tapenade.


Sauteed Triggerfish with Lima Beans, Asparagus, “Sole” (???) sauce, Lemon Butter Verbena


Michel (also an old friend) arrives, hungry for salad and beef.


Salad with Walnuts, Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette


Cap of the Rib Eye


Parade of desserts for Michel’s benefit.



Strawberries with Strawberry Balsamic Syrup with Cream Cheese Ice Cream


Almond and Quince Crepes with Chai Ice Cream


Ice Cream


Chocolate something?


Good food and good company – what more could one want?





Galatoire‘s is old New Orleans. Sunday lunch now starts at noon and by 11:45 the anteroom was packed with diners. (You no longer have to wait in the street). Everyone was dressed to the nines. Our waiter, worked at Spago in LA and he remembered the cookie platter I used to bring for the staff. Obviously, we had great service. The menu is served continuously from noon until they close. Diners were mostly local and older and many seemed to be celebrating something.


I am not sure what this was as a friend of our dining companions brought this over for us to try.

Fried Eggplant and Souffle Potatoes Bearnaise. This is served with a large bowl of Bearnaise plus powdered sugar. This is not food for those on a diet or watching their cholesterol.


Oysters en Brochette – delicious


 Soft Shell Crabs with Crab Meat – Chris brought this to us as this was the last of the soft shells and he didn’t want us to miss having them.

My husband messed up on the next photos – he forgot to snap the oysters until only one was left. Our friend had just about finished her fish dish when he remembered to take a photo. He had demolished his egg dish before he snapped the picture. Obviously food was taking precedence over photography!


Oysters Rockefeller


Trout Amandine


We ordered Eggs Sardou and Eggs Benedict and split each order so we could have one of each.


Banana Bread Pudding


Café Brulot

Galatoire’s, for me, is the definitive and quintessential New Orleans experience.