Salad days: the Jumbo Lump Crab Nicoise at Toup's
New Orleans' Lenten Dinners and Fish Fries
Catholic or no, we're all subject to the Easter calendar in New Orleans. It defines when Mardi Gras takes place and it also shapes the culinary landscape for the next few weeks. Restaurants roll out special Lenten menus and fish fries pop up around the city. Here's our pick of the season's gastronomic highlights.
SPECIAL LENTEN MENUS
Throughout the Lenten season, Mister Mao will be hosting Fish Fry Fridays. Each Friday during dinner, Chef/Owner Sophina Uong will offer Fried Masa Harina Fish with spicy shrimp + coconut milk sauce, red palm oil, and fresh coriander served with seasonal accompaniments ($25).
Where: 4501 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans
While Chef Isaac Toups might be known for his melt-in-your-mouth meats, the author of Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking has been fishing and crabbing down the Bayou since he was a toddler. For Lent, Chef Toups is featuring delightfully-fresh seafood dishes including LA Jumbo Lump Crab Nicoise Salad with pickled green beans, spicy fingerling potatoes, olives, pickled quail and boquerones vinaigrette; Couvillion (his Maw Maw’s recipe) with Louisiana Gulf fish, crab and crab fat rice; and Marinated Crab Claws with coconut lime vinaigrette and pickled pineapple.
Where: 845 N Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans
For Lent, Compere Lapin — Chef Nina Compton’s award-winning restaurant in the Warehouse Arts District, in the lobby of the funky boutique Old No. 77 Hotel, is serving up a variety of seafood specialties including Crawfish Roll on a milk bun with shrimp fat aioli and celery salad; Broiled Shrimp with Calabrian butter; Hamachi Collar with hot honey and tartar sauce; Scialatielli with Gulf shrimp and butternut squash.
Where: 535 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans
The culinary crown jewel of the Pontchartrain Hotel, Jack Rose by QED Hospitality, brings an eclectic and exciting dining experience to New Orleans’ Garden District. For Lent season, relish in a variety of specials created by Chef/Owner Brian Landry including Crabmeat Mac n Cheese; Bucatini Verde; Gnocchi Sardi with shrimp; and Squid Ink Campanelle.
Where: Jack Rose at the Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans
The intimate eatery serving savory dishes is offering guests Blackened Tilapia Tacos - three corn tortilla tacos served with squash, zucchini salad, and patacones and Moules Mariniere - PEI mussels steamed with banana leaves and candied oranges in white wine cream sauce.
Where: 1179 Annunciation Street, New Orleans
The second oldest restaurant in New Orleans and the third oldest continuously operating restaurant in the U.S. invites guests to enjoy the Seared Louisiana Crab Cake - served with a bourbon corn sauce; and Shrimp and Grits - pan seared gulf shrimp simmered in a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce, served over stone ground grits.
Where: 429 Decatur Street, New Orleans
Culinary darling for Latter Hospitality, The Bower will offer Roasted Gulf Shrimp and Mushrooms - lion's mane and chestnut mushrooms, parmesan and miso broth, orange compound butter; and the Gulf Fish, served with crispy basmati rice, Maggie's mushrooms, lobster and tomato broth, citrus, and arugula salad.
Where: 1320 Magazine Street, New Orleans
Birdy’s serves up Southern-inspired, locally-sourced American cuisine. For Lent, try the Crawfish Cake - pepper jack cheese, crab boil aioli, dill slaw, apple cider vinaigrette or Smoked Salmon Toast - whipped cream cheese, apricot marmalade, grapefruit, dijon vinaigrette, smoked trout roe, with a farm salad.
Where: 1320 Magazine Street, New Orleans
GOOD SHEPHERD (Basilica of St. Stephen), on General Pershing Street behind the church. March 3, 10, 24, 31, 5-7 p.m. Drive-thru only. $12 plates include catfish, fries, corn and coleslaw. James Brady, (504) 239-11297.
LANTERN LIGHT, back parking lot of St. Joseph Church, 1802 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $10 plates include catfish, mac and cheese, bread, vegetable, dessert and water. Tickets at https://lanternlight.org.
MATER DOLOROSA, 1230 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, behind church. March 3, 17, 31, from 5-8 p.m. $15 plate includes fried catfish, mac and cheese, coleslaw, bread and drink. Jerry Plough, KC Mater Dolorosa Chapter, (504) 723-7521.
OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA, 1927 St. Roch Avenue, New Orleans. Knights and Ladies No. 123 sponsor on Feb. 24, March 10, 24, 31; Ladies’ Guild sponsors March 3, 17; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $15 plate includes fish, potatoes, salad, vegetable and dessert. Carol Ali Jenkins, (504) 944-0166.
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY, 3368 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans. March 3, 10, 17 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the cafeteria. Catfish, french fries, coleslaw, green beans. Soft drinks, water, beer, wine, desserts sold separately.
ST. DOMINIC, 775 Harrison Avenue, New Orleans. March 10th. Drive-through pickup only. $13 Catfish Plate includes Fried Catfish, Mac & Cheese, Fries, Bread. $4 for Slice of Cheese Pizza. Order in advance for pickup.
ST. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL, 1050 Piety Drive, New Orleans. Feb. 24; March 3, 10, 17, 24; April 3, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. or until sold out. Two pieces of fried or baked fish, mac and cheese, green peas, salad (potato or green), dessert, drink, $12. Delivery available for orders of 10 or more. (504) 282-0296.
ST. PIUS X, 6600 Spanish Fort Blvd., New Orleans. March 10 & 31, 5:30-8:30 p.m., cafeteria. Fried fish, salad, mac and cheese, pizza, desserts, beverages, $15. Presale tickets at www.stpiusxnola.org. Dine in. Support Boy Scout Troop, accepting cash, check, Venmo, credit cards.