Black and Gold Oysters
144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111; bourbonhouse.com
The Saints are finally back in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Sunday, and Black and Gold Oysters ($14/half-dozen; $27/dozen) are back, too. Dickie Brennan’s seafood house debuted the unique creation last year, interspersing spoonfuls of black caviar and gold caviar over raw oysters. Both caviar varieties are harvested from Louisiana fish — the black from bowfin (aka choupique), which is in regular rotation at local restaurants, and the gold from catfish. Though lesser known, this catfish caviar is a fine oyster accompaniment. The eggs are larger and softer than the bowfin variety, and they taste milder and a bit earthier and creamier. Together on the plate, they make a slurpable Saints tribute to toast the season.
Smoked Pork Chop
6078 Laurel St., (504) 895-9441; patoisnola.com
Chef Aaron Burgau’s Uptown bistro Patois has earned a reputation for his creative read on deeply compelling Southern flavors. This tea-brined and cold smoked pork chop ($29) is a new example, though this time it was devised by Bryony Hensel, one of Burgau’s cooks. She paired a tall, thick-cut chop over a foundation of hammy hoppin’ John made with purple hull peas and added a lacy-edged, sweet corn-studded hoecake the size of a bread plate. Each slice from the smoked pork reveals a different shade of rose, and a truly spicy peach hot sauce ripples across the top. When the cool weather finally arrives, this hearty dish is one to make a date to dispatch.
7901 Maple St., (504) 309-5557
3218 Dauphine St., (504) 304-5962; satsumacafe.com
The garden tartine ($6) is an open-faced breakfast sandwich that works more like a breakfast salad at Satsuma’s two counter-service cafés, and it feels like a good start to the day. The difference is a pile of fresh arugula for peppery bite, the scattering of cherry tomatoes adding tart juice and the cool crunch of cucumber slices. A layer of herbed cream cheese ties it all together.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.