Lunch at Antoine’s this day was especially wonderful because I got to make a new friend: sitting at the next table was someone who ordered in English, but explained to the waiter that she was from Germany. I took German in high school so being friendly and seeing she was alone, I attempted (heh, attempted) to do a little Deutsch, but her English was worlds better, so we talked in Englisch the entire meal. In fact, we’re planning on getting together when she comes back in a few months!
$.25 cocktails, friends. Yes. Maximum of three per guest, so ich werde drei haben. haha!
I had the lunch special, and started with charbroiled oysters. No one ever does these as well as Drago’s (btw, last week, Tom Fitzmorris mentioned that they’ve added space with another 150 seats (great, but the parking is *still* crazy)), but they’re always fun to have.
Next, the petit tenderloin with zucchini, yellow squash, and andoille with an onion and mushroom Burgundy sauce. The meat was so incredibly tender, it could have been eaten with a spoon. Just perfect.
Dessert was included, so I chose the meringue glasse, but left most of it there, as I had enjoyed most of the entree.
Antoine’s will always have a special place in my heart, as Shug’s first birthday was spent in their private 1840 room, and his first birthday cake, a baked alaska with his name in meringue
I actually got to the restaurant a tiny bit early. One of the front of house staff asked me if I had ever seen all the rooms, and offered to take me on a tour. I had seen many of the rooms but not all, so took the opportunity to peruse and take some pics.
Main / front dining room
Mystery room — mentioned below
1840 room — this is the room we had Shug’s first birthday in:
Escargot room — this one I had never been in:
WGNO did a spot for Repeal Day, when Prohibition was over.
The popular restaurant Antoine’s had a speakeasy, and that room is still here today.
So what if you were a gentleman during Prohibition at Antoine’s and you wanted to get a drink? Well you’d go the ladies bathroom of course. No really – you’d walk right through here, and that door there would take you to the mystery room.
“The gentleman would leave the bar with coffee cups of liquor and they’d be tottering around the bar drunk during Prohibition and everyone would ask, ‘Where did you get that? And the answer is that it’s a mystery—so the mystery room was just the room – where they mystery came from,” said Rick Blount, the owner of Antoine’s.
Paste Magazine just ran a piece on the oldest restaurants in New Orleans:
French immigrant Antoine Alciatore’s restaurant, which has held more than one location on St. Louis Street, has remained family-run for 176 years (and counting) and is believed to be the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller, a dish invented by his son Jules. The restaurant you experience today opened in 1868…
Reveillon menus are going now, and Antoine’s is:
FIRST COURSE (CHOICE OF)
• Charbroiled Louisiana Oysters (4) with Seasoned Garlic, Herb Butter, Olive Oil, and Topped with Romano Cheese
• Alligator Bisque
• Noël Salad of Greens and Baby Spinach, Strawberries, Shaved Carrots, Cranberries, and Walnuts Topped with Feta Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette
THIRD COURSE (CHOICE OF)
• Chicken with Champagne Mushroom Sauce over Garlic Cheese Yukon Mashed Potatoes
• Louisiana Drum Stuffed with Crabmeat and Shrimp topped with White Wine Tomato Velvet and Steamed Asparagus
FOURTH COURSE (CHOICE OF)
• Eggnog Bread Pudding with Warm Praline Rum Sauce
• Raspberry Dark Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream and Raspberry Sauce