8 of Louisiana’s Best Oyster Dishes

SURF & TURF

At The French Press in Lafayette, Chef Justin Girouard’s breakfast and lunch menus give diners a taste of authentic Cajun flavors in exciting new ways. He and his wife, Margaret, wanted to honor their Acadiana roots by incorporating familiar ingredients as elements of dishes.

“We don’t just serve a link of boudin; we use boudin as a component of a dish,” Justin says. “As the menu was written, we kept our heritage in mind, but at the same time, we created new dishes that are unique to The French Press,” Justin says.

A shining example of this philosophy is the Cajun Surf & Turf sandwich, which features fried Gulf oysters and a grilled boudin patty topped with herbed aioli, melted Gruyère, house-made pickles, and arugula on a toasted brioche bun.

Customers can also add fried oysters to dishes like Grits & Grillades or The French Press’ signature Cajun Benedict.

Photo courtesy of Randy P. Schmidt.

SIMPLE PLEASURES

Nestled in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, Pêche Seafood Grill focuses on sourcing fresh Gulf seafood and preparing it simply in an open hearth, letting the quality of the seafood speak for itself. In addition to rustic dishes like the signature Whole Grilled Fish with salsa verde, Pêche offers a fantastic selection of raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico.

“When we opened Pêche, we wanted oysters to be a big part of the experience,” says Chef Ryan Prewitt, who is committed to finding delicious, high-quality oysters from the Gulf.

Pêche’s raw oyster bar offers two varieties from Grand Isle and two from Alabama, as well as bottom-raised oysters. “That gives our customers a great variety from the Gulf,” Ryan says. “I always encourage people to taste them all. There’s no better way to experience the regional differences of Gulf oysters.”

SHELLS WITH A VIEW

Middendorf ’s Restaurant has been serving up classic Louisiana seafood dishes in Manchac since 1934, when Josie and Louis Middendorf first opened the restaurant along the waterway between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Today, owners Horst and Karen Pfeifer are carrying on Middendorf ’s legacy, with locals and tourists alike flocking to the catfish house about 40 miles outside of New Orleans for a taste of Josie’s original recipes.

While Middendorf ’s is best known for World Famous Original Thin Fried Catfish, its Barbequed Oysters on Half Shell are another mainstay from the seafood-focused menu. The appetizer features six broiled oysters topped with the restaurant’s homemade red barbecue sauce composed of red wine, ketchup, and herbs.

“I like the tanginess of the red wine with the sweetness of the ketchup and then the herbs,” says Horst.

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