Antoine Alcatore being a successful chef, opened his own restaurant when he was only eighteen. He named the restaurant “Antoine’s Restaurant” which was founded in 1840. Since then it has been run by the Alcatore family. This restaurant is very big, having fifteen dining rooms and eating more than seven hundred people. It’s a French restaurant that with time has adapted the cooking style of New Orleans adding original dishes and unique ingredients. Making its menu very broad and varied consisting of French cuisine and many different dishes invented by chefs and the Alcatore family. One of their most famous plates being the Oyster Rockefeller which were invented by Jules Alciatore who was the director of Antoine’s from 1887-1934. Antoine’s food is known for being “Haute Creole” this being French with a twist of New Orleans. An example of the Creole cuisine is making the food spicier, using extra tomatoes, using non-native ingredients than in France.
In 1940 Antoine’s Restaurant celebrated 100 years with the owner being Roy Alciatore. The menu had reached its maximum size so he changed it and also the front page. With the menu now having 164 dishes instead of 1000. Some of the original plates stayed like the oyster thermidor (huitres thermidor), shrimp remoulade (crevettes remoulade), caviar on toast (caviar sur canape), creamed spinach (epinards sauce creme) and more.
Antoine’s menu from 1940 has many delicious plates and for this research I will bake one myself. I’m going to be doing the creamed spinach (epinards sauce creme) with the bechamel sauce. This recipe consists of having 3 pounds of raw spinach, 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of hot bechamel sauce. First the steam of the spinach has to be cut out then the leaves have to be placed in the saucepan with the two tablespoons of butter and then cook for ten minutes with the saucepan covered. The bechamel sauce is made with 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 ½ cup of warm scalded milk and salt and ground pepper. First the butter must be melted and stirred with the flour until it becomes foamy. Then the milk must be boiled and add salt and pepper. For the final touch the cooked spinach and the bechamel sauce must be put together with and simmered gently for a few minutes.
Antoine’s restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in the country. I was able to visit and dine in this restaurant last year and I loved it. I remember I ordered the pompano with almonds (pompano amandine) which has been on the menu since 1840. It is a dish that consists of 6 pieces of trout fillet, 3 cups of sliced almonds, 1 ½ cups of butter, 1 ½ cups of half and half, 3 whole eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper. The almonds must be sauteed in butter until they are golden brown then the half and half must be combined with the salt and pepper then the fillets must be trout in flour and dipped into the batter and then into the flour again. Lastly the fillets must be fried until they become golden brown and topped with the almonds and butter. I didn’t know what to expect about this dish but it was amazing and I recommend anyone who visits the restaurant to order it. I think it’s a great dish to order since it has been on the menu since the beginning. Also, I ordered the famous Baked Alaska (Omelette Alaska Antoine) which has also been on the menu since the 1840. It was invented by Antoine Alcatore in 1867 in honor of the United States having taken Alaska from Russia. I would recommend everyone to dine and visit Antoine’s restaurant.
Freedman, Paul. Ten Restaurants that Changed America. New York, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.
Guste, Roy. Antoine’s Restaurant Since 1840 Cookbook. New Orleans, Carbery-Guste, 1979