701 Loyola Ave.
(504) 613-3860; borgnerestaurant.com
Countless places around town do crab claws more or less the same way, generally in some sort of garlicky marinade. The crab fingers appetizer ($14) that chef Brian Landry has added recently at this upscale seafood house crosses that template with the flavors of ceviche and folds in the unlikely flavor component of roasted beets. They’re worked down to a golden, smooth, creamy-tasting sauce rippling with lime. The crab claws are nestled within it, their natural sweetness punched up by grapefruit segments and a little light crunch from radish and pea shoots. Pair them with one of Borgne’s (many) craft beers or a crisp white wine.
Smokey Oyster Po-Boy
Bevi Seafood Co.
4701 Airline Drive, (504) 885-5003; beviseafoodco.com
Esquire magazine drew some scorn from Louisiana readers recently with a piece purporting to introduce “the new po-boy,” a pan-fried oyster number built on a brioche bun. A better move would have been simply to point to Bevi Seafood, where proprietor Justin LeBlanc shows how a faithful approach to Louisiana seafood needn’t always go by the book. His “smokey oyster” po-boy ($12.99), for instance, plays it straight with darkly-crisp fried oysters, shredded lettuce and a seeded po-boy loaf, but then adds smoked Gouda and peppery pastrami bacon. They both contribute to the distinctive flavor promised in its name, while the overall sandwich hits all the hallmarks an oyster po-boy should.
Miso Rice Wrap
4113 Magazine St., (504) 891-7733
Next to the smoothies and salads, proprietor Joseph Stone and his crew also prepare this miso rice wrap ($5) at this counter service health food cafe. The miso provides a nutty, lightly pungent flavor to the brown rice, joined by kale, spinach, a kimchi that’s tart and strong but not spicy and a nondairy cream made from sunflower seeds, all in a brown rice tortilla with a slight chew. It makes a quick, inexpensive lunch on the go, as handy as any burrito but one that feels lighter and tastes brighter.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.