Liuzza’s Restaurant & Bar

3636 Bienville St., (504) 482-9120; liuzzas.com

The ideals of the New Orleans neighborhood restaurant are up for interpretation across town. Liuzza's, on the other hand, is a place to see how it exists in its old school form. Dating to 1947, it is easy to conjure an image of that era when you walk in. Smaller than its reputation might suggest, it’s a crowded, colorful place for red sauce Italian dishes, excellent fried seafood, great roast beef, the Frenchuletta (a bubbling-hot muffuletta on a length of French bread) and the iciest of ice-cold beer schooners. On Friday afternoons, the pink walled dining room gets as rollicking as any of the upscale Friday lunch haunts. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. $$

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Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Meals are always family style at Mosca's, the Creole Italian eatery.

Mosca's Restaurant

4137 Hwy. 90, Westwego, (504) 436-8950; moscasrestaurant.com

For those who know and love the place, it's impossible to even drive past Mosca's without thinking of platters of roasted chicken with rosemary, Italian sausage stacked link over link with roasted potatoes and oysters encrusted with garlic and breadcrumbs. If the allure proves irresistible, hopefully you have some like-minded company in the car. This 1940s-era restaurant is so much about family-style meals it makes coming with less than a four-top almost antithetical. Even the battered metal kitchen pans on which the food arrives and the short juice glasses used for wine service bring to mind family meals at home. The communal mode, the out-of-town location and the history and tradition of the place all make Mosca's a place to plan a get-together around. Dinner Tue.-Sat. $$

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Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- Thomas Stewart, oyster shucker at Pascal's Manale, poses with a fresh shucked oyster behind the oyster bar.

Pascal’s Manale Restaurant

1838 Napoleon Ave., (504) 895-4877; pascalsmanale.com

Everything about this century-old restaurant feels classic. That starts with the twists of red and green neon trimming the exterior and continues through the paneled cocktail lounge, lined with nostalgic photos. It's all over the menu of Creole Italian set pieces — the strip steaks and oyster pan roasts, the platonic, brandy-flamed shrimp fra diavolo and the original BBQ shrimp (complete with plastic bib). It also has the definitive New Orleans oyster bar. A stand-up, altar-like fixture with its own rituals and characters, it’s the best place to slurp a dozen (or so) and soak up the ambiance of a New Orleans original. Lunch Monday-Friday, dinner Monday-Saturday. $$$$

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.