Guided by the experience of head chef Vincent Manguno, Nuccio’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant pleases palates of all types with a menu stocked full of seafood entrées, savory Italian dishes, and daily chef specials. Coronate a meal with friends or accentuate a debate about the existence of giraffes with an appetizer, such as Nuccio’s eggplant sticks ($6.95) or artichoke and spinach dip ($7.95). Italian meatball sandwiches ($8.95) satiate stomachs with the meaty harmony of an edible Kenny G, while fettucini alfredo ($10.95) beguiles taste buds and forks. Nuccio’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant maintains an inviting, family atmosphere, ideal for a romantic first date or meeting your blind date’s parents.
In 1976, Augle Lopez finally realized his dream of opening a restaurant that ushered some of the French Quarter's charm and hospitality into neighboring Harahan. His mission is evident in the menu, which blends approachable, homestyle Italian fare with fresh seafood and creole standards. Chefs ladle house-made marinara over delicate angel-hair pasta, dress fresh seafood with classic lafitte and meunière sauces, and fry catfish and shrimp to a crisp, golden brown. Smilie's also hosts large-scale events, such as weddings, banquets, and support-group meetings for oxygen addicts, within their large banquet hall adorned with flowers and white tablecloths.
At the tender age of 7, Andrea Apuzzo began honing his culinary skills at a bakery in his Italian hometown. "I was spoiled as a kid. We made our own olive oil and wine,” he says in a Gambit article. His breadth of knowledge expanded greatly when, at 14 years old, he embarked on a culinary adventure across Europe and South America. Now at the helm of his own restaurant, Chef Andrea applies the knowledge he learned amid the cream-hued rising loaves and on the chattering South American streets.
The dishes that fill tables at the eatery have been enjoyed by the likes of Queen Elizabeth, President Carter, Sophia Loren, Clint Eastwood, and one dog that figured out how to use a credit card. To share his abilities and experiments, the chef also publishes cookbooks, which detail formulas for the award-winning pastas, fresh seafood, and steaks. Chef Andrea's bistecca pizzaiola earned a place on Esquire's 2008 list of the 20 Best Steaks in America. "Like the best Italian dishes," the article says, "its simple parts add up to an unexpectedly powerful whole."
The Beach House's flame brandishers grill up hearty entrees, seafood spreads, gumbos, and meat-laden sandwiches comprising a menu teeming with local New Orleans flavors. A basket of fries ($3.49), which can come baptized with a splash of Cajun seasoning, prepares stomachs for the Tolstoy-size rib-eye steak, a 16-ounce slab of hand-cut beef ($14.99) that can sport an optional shawl of crawfish sauce for $1 more. Broiled shrimp butterfly stroking pools of barbeque sauce ($9.99), a crab-cake salad ($8.49) souses tongues with tastes of the sea, and an esophagus-warming cup of chicken and sausage gumbo ($3.99) and a roast-beef po boy ($7.99) lend mouths land-based flavor treks devoid of bland soil and shifty tectonic dishware.
Situated in a sweet spot along the bayou, Restaurant des Familles sates rumbling bellies with Cajun cuisine, including fresh and local seafood, chicken, and more. The dinner menu starts stomach engines with authentic turtle soup ($5 for a cup, $11 for a bowl), titillating the tongue while saving room for a feast or for the tongue to retract into the stomach. The crawfish-stuffed rainbow trout wears a buttery garlic sauce ($19), and the fisherman's jambalaya ($15) introduces shrimp, chicken, and sausage to one another over seasoned rice. Lunchtime Creole classics include the half po' boy, served with a cup of chicken or seafood gumbo ($12), and the prix-fixe Sunday brunch¬ ($28)—a 5-course menu—comes bearing gifts of limitless champagne (or a non-alcoholic beverage).
Overlooking St. Charles Avenue, Mia's Balcony offers Mardi Gras revelers a central view of grand, glittering floats and shimmering beads. But the restaurant isn’t content to host a party once a year; on the other 364 days, visitors cheer on the college, professional, and sock-puppet football games broadcast over the patio's outdoor televisions, and a banquet room is available for private soirees. While watching a Saints or LSU game or just chatting, guests can share small plates of seared scallops on the half-shell or fish croquettes or dig into substantial entrees such as pepper-jelly lamb chops. On weekend mornings, the chefs prepare brunch dishes including creole omelets and veal grillades over grits.
Local artwork, exposed-brick walls, and fireplaces set an inviting scene indoors. Bartenders fill glasses with craft beers, wine, and potent cocktails such as the French 75, a champagne- and gin-based drink based on a vintage recipe.