Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Review by Paul Oswell
Much to the general amusement of my friends, I don’t get Uptown much in New Orleans. I don’t own a car, so unless I can walk or cycle from within 20 minutes of my downtown lair, I’m pretty much staying put.
That said, I’ll gladly make exceptions if friends are willing to drive. B said she would, and we follow the streetcar line (OK, I guess I could have made it under my own steam) to the corner of St Charles and Napoleon. We make a few jokes with the friendly valet parking guys. Yes, I drive so little that valet parking is a novelty to me.
The restaurant is on a big corner (socio-geographically). It’s a big restaurant with – you assume from the TV screens and immediately casual air, combined with some nods to fine dining – ideas of being all things to all people. You want Uptown sensibilities but with one eye on the ball game.
We’re relatively late for dinner, the family crowds thinning out and a less rowdy dinging room emerging as a delightful introductory Oysters Superior (a combo of Bienville, Rockerfeller and Chargrilled) and white wine hit the table. B – being from here – has memories of the location, and it seems like the restaurant is a vast improvement to a property that sat blighted after Katrina. Kudos, then, to a team with a vision.
The menu is HUGE. Like, you can drink a whole glass of wine just browsing it. At least, if you’re us you can. It’s a seafood-heavy stroll through the city’s more accessible dishes but includes curiosities such as Angels on Horseback Poboy and Shrimp Andouille Brochettes.
The servers expertly guide us, though, and we end up with a sprinkling of everything via judicious appetiser and entrée sharing. Exec chef Josh Boeckelman is a local, and his love of the region shows – seafood with French influences is nothing new in New Orleans, of course, but it’s impressive to see it done with assurance at this level of volume without standards dropping.
I’m usually not someone who likes eating in places with TVs unless it’s lunchtime and I’m having a sandwich at the bar, but they’re unobtrusive this time of night, fading more into the background with every passing cocktail – our server, by the way, very knowledgeable about the drinks selection and full of recommendations.
Fried green tomatoes, beet salad, BBQ shrimp, gulf fish and steak all arrive at the table and suffer substantial amounts of depletion, not to mention house cut fries and tasso corn maque choux. I love maque choux and I always forget about it, so I, for one, was pretty pleased.
Look, if you’re in the market for Uptown, high-end stuffiness with rarefied menus and whatever culinary fad is passing through, this is not your place, but a solid local selection in a casual restaurant that doesn’t sacrifice quality? You’re in the right place, even for this downtown Quarter rat.