Monday, October 05, 2009
Casamentos is a singular restaurant. Established in 1919 by one Joe Casamento, an Italian immigrant, the fried seafood joint hasn't changed much in the interim: the tiled uber clean interior, the simple menu, and the super fresh seafood selection is the same as it ever was. Which is how oyster-loving New Orleanians like it. A jaunt from Casamento's to Miss Mae's to god-knows-where is among the most pleasant ways to wile away a New Orleans afternoon. Just make sure you've got the hours down. They're only open after September 15th - oyster season trumps all. They're closed Mondays, and they only do dinner on Thursday's, Friday's, and Saturday's, from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Don't come in and be disappointed.
I was thrilled as hell when September 15th rolled around. The urge to devour monstrous piles of fried seafood, raw oysters, and okra gumbo is strong within me, almost undeniable at times. It's a long wait til' the place gets rolling again.
Meals at Casamentos must begin with fresh oysters. If you don't like fresh oysters, you are unworthy of eating here. Go scare up some fried chicken, you freak. These are fresh as it gets and shucked by the always personable oysterman.
Best fried seafood I've ever had. I don't know how they do it but this stuff is almost entirely greaseless, as if benevolent angels spirited it all away. The super-light cornmeal crust encases a fresh, salty, juicy soft shell crab. Even the fries are handcut and made in house - none of that frozen in the bag Sysco crap around here. All seafood platters are served with buttered toast, lemon, and a pickle. There's more to the fried food here then crabs, of course. The fried oysters are superb, and so are the light-as-air fried shrimp. And the trout (of course). You get the picture. This is fine, fine eating.
Okra gumbo, just the way I like it. We make it with okra and seafood in our family and it is written in my DNA that such is how I prefer it. No andouille. Leave that alone. The gumbo here is a thin, rather homestyle version, with a nice powerful flavor. Not the best in town, but still tasty, and even better when you dump a few raw oysters into the mix. Along with a whole lot of Crystal.
Just about a perfect New Orleans meal. Casamento's must make the shortlist of finest New Orleans style restaurants. It certainly can do whatever the heck it wants.
Posted by Faine at 6:21 PM