Our SFA friend Sara Roahen tipped us to a French Quarter eatery dubbed “Stanley.” Stanley as in Stanley Kowalski, the Marlon Brando character in the Southern fried cinematic classic, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” We were determined to dine outside our comfort zone of regular Big Easy favorites.
The gumbo at Stanley was very dark and rich. So dark, in fact, that I almost thought (following the first spoonful) that the roux had been burned. I am happy to report that this was not the case at all. Further tasting resulted in an amazingly complex flavor profile. It was truly excellent, but I really love all things rich, mysterious and spicy. Others may be a little undecided about the almost coffee-like overtone and a pretty potent kick of cayenne.
The decor was totally New Orleans. Classy yet quite comfortable.
The Eggs Stanley was a nice mid-day dish. Canadian bacon over toasted English muffins, topped with perfectly poached eggs, a light (not too thick) Hollandaise sauce, and four large fried oysters. This tasty mix of flavors and textures had me shouting … ”STELLA!!!” www.stanleyrestaurant.com
Drago’s is located in the waterfront Hilton hotel, yet it is in no way your typical hotel restaurant. Although I am not sure about the rest of the menu, I can tell you that the chargrilled oysters are nothing short of perfection on the half shell.
The local oysters are opened and laid directly on the grill. This process delivers a deliciously smoky hint to each briny bi-valve. The oysters are topped with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, butter, and Lord knows what else. Simply fabulous — one of the best bites of the entire weekend trip.
The accompanying hunk of French bread was superb as well.
I just couldn’t resist asking where it was made.
My answer was on the large brown bags stored at the end of the bar.
Leidenheimer Bakery does make an incredible bread – great for dipping!
The four of us gouged at and slurped down these babies like it was our last meal on the planet. Sparks flew from the greyish shells, buttery goodness dripped down our chins, an occasional piece of shell was swallowed in the process.
Shear happiness on a plate — get here as soon as you can & tell a friend.