Monday, January 26, 2009

New Orleans Restaurant Review: Casamento's

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without oysters. Not that I can't get these briny little delights in Atlanta, but they're just that much better when they're fresh from the coast. I had oysters at virtually every restaurant I went to in New Orleans, but it was Casamento's that I went to specifically in search of platters of New Orleans finest "ersters."

Casamento's isn't much to look at, but that's part of the charm at this kind of place. It's tucked away in the Garden District, in an area a local had warned me wasn't safe for wandering about. The place was packed with everything from cops to hipsters sucking down Abitas, oysters and fried seafood, so we waited for about 20 minutes for a table. Once seated we figured we might as well try a bit of everything and got 2 platters of oysters and 2 fried combination plates. Other than the oysters, everything on the menu is fried, so Casamento's isn't a place for the faint of heart or dieters!

The first round of oysters were as tasty as we'd expected, but without cocktail sauce, they were a little bland. It was only on the second round that we realized you could make your own cocktail sauce using ketchup, horseradish, and hot sauce. Who knew? The spicy sauce kicked things up a notch (oh lord, I sound like Emeril now!), and the second 12 went down even faster than the first. They were big, succulent, with a pleasant salty straight-from-the-sea taste. Yum!

Alas, like most fried seafood, it was almost impossible to distinguish between the different items on the plate. It all tasted the same, a bit bland, a bit crunchy. The only standout for me were the fried oysters, which had a soft and chewy inside to contrast with the crunchy outside, and at least I could actually tell what I was eating.

All in all, it was a fun place to check out. I imagine there are plenty of places to gett great oysters, but at $9 a dozen, the price was hard to beat. Next time I'd skip the fried seafood platter and stick with just the healthier and tastier dozen oysters.

4330 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

Casamento's on Urbanspoon
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