Celebrate Seafood This Lenten Season at One of These Local Favorites

BBQ Shrimp from Commons Club

Soon enough Mardi Gras will be over which brings the beginning of the Lenten season. It is customary, for those who celebrate, to give up eating meat on Fridays, as well as something else of their choosing. While this might seem like a big sacrifice for some, it certainly feels more like a celebration of seafood in New Orleans. Tons of restaurants are offering seafood specials for the occasion, including the ones listed below. Give one a shot this season and celebrate that seafood!


This Lenten season, Chef Nina Compton’s award-winning restaurant in the Warehouse Arts District – Compere Lapin, is serving a Fish Fry special each Friday from February 14th to February 28th. Enjoy Whole Fish Escovitch with carrot beurre blanc, carrot ginger puree, and picked vegetables; Broiled Shrimp with spicy chili butter and cilantro; Tuna Ceviche with coconut, lime, and jerk peanuts; Scialatielli with Gulf shrimp, rundown, and souskaye; and the Green Papaya Salad with mirliton, and tamarind vinaigrette. The restaurant will also offer a variety of specialty Lent mocktails. http://comperelapin.com/


Crawfish Eggs Benedict from Alma Cafe

Alma Café: 2024 James Beard: Best Chef South semifinalist Melissa Araujo invites guests to enjoy Lent-friendly dishes at her Bywater restaurant that are certain to tantalize even the most discriminating palate. Enjoy dishes like Camarones a la Diabla – grilled local Louisiana jumbo shrimp topped with Calabrian chile butter and Japanese panko breadcrumbs; the vegan Moros Y Cristianos – small red beans and local Louisiana jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and herbs; Brussels Sprouts Bowl – Louisiana jasmine rice bowl with spicy peanut butter and avocado; and a choice of Crawfish or Soft Shell Crab Benedict – perfectly poached eggs served atop Jewish rye toast with spring mix and benedict foam.   www.eatalmanola.com


Each Friday during Lent, head over to Commons Club at the Virgin Hotels New Orleans, where Executive Chef Chris Borges will rotate Lent specials for both brunch and dinner. Guests can expect savory brunch specials like the Moules Marinieres with mussels, French fries, shallots, Urban South Paradise Park, and pistou; and Moroccan Spiced Red Snapper with braised chard, hominy succotash, and saffron vinaigrette. Dinner specials include dishes like Creole Cioppino with shrimp, mahi mahi, mussels, clams, fennel, stone ground grits, grilled bread, and remoulade rouille; and Roasted Chesapeake Bay Scallops with caviar beurre blanc, celery root, Brussels sprouts, and baby carrots. Guests can also enjoy other Lent-friendly options such as Wild Mushrooms with Gumbo z’herbes, autumn greens, puffed rice ‘krispies’; BBQ Shrimp with brown butter, fermented garlic, espelette, lemon, bottarga breadcrumbs; Swordfish with grilled cabbage slaw, celery root, field peas, pistachio, Calabrian chile vinaigrette; and Stuffed Squash – zucchini squash stuffed with sunflower tahini, baby carrots, hearts of palm, quinoa, kale, brassica. https://virginhotels.com/new-orleans


Branzino from BABs / Photo Credit: Kasimu Harris

Formerly Bywater American Bistro, BABs – Nina Compton’s casually sophisticated culinary haven – will offer a variety of Lent specials, including Tuna Carpaccio with preserved truffles, as well as Cioppino – a hearty Italian seafood stew featuring a variety of Gulf fish and served with grilled ciabatta. Guests can also delight in seafood dishes from Compton’s regular a la carte menu, such as Branzino with puttanesca and soft herbs and Blackened Octopus with sweet potato and coconut puree. https://www.instagram.com/babs_nola/


Check out the Northern Italian hotspot during Lent for dishes like the Pesce Crudo with red American snapper, tomato-walnut pesto, and lemon; Marinated Mushrooms with chili, garlic, and oregano; Wood Fired Oysters with garlic, rosemary, and focaccia; Yellowfin Tuna with fennel, charred cipollini, olive and chilies; Seared Scallops with spring vegetables panzanella and pickled peppers. https://www.osterialupo.com/


Crab Salad from Costera

The sister location to Osteria Lupo, Costera is the Coastal Spanish restaurant serving Louisiana produce and Gulf seafood in a modern, casual, communal dining setting. For Lent season, relish in the seared Yellowfin Tuna with pistachio romesco and shaved fennel; Louisiana Blue Crab Salad with charred Creole tomato, buttermilk, and green olives; and seared Gulf Fish a la plancha with herb aioli, blistered tomato, fennel, and hazelnuts. https://costerarestaurant.com/


The family-owned Lower Garden District eatery is inviting diners to enjoy Lent-friendly dishes from February 14 – March 28. Options are plentiful, ranging from seafood dishes like Smoked Redfish Dip with rosemary, potato chips and herbs; Crispy Firecracker Calamari; and Fresh Gulf Fish with potato crust, oyster mushrooms, leeks and white wine garlic sauce; to veggie-forward dishes like Mushroom Toast – cipollini onion, capers, pesto, crispy garlic, cognac and shaved radish on toasted focaccia topped with cured egg yolk and Sriracha Cauliflower. Beggars Banquet is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. www.beggarsbanquetneworleans.com


Under the direction of Executive Chef Gus Martin, the second-oldest restaurant in New Orleans invites visitors to delight in Lent-friendly dishes such as the Gulf Shrimp Remoulade with Creole remoulade and fried green tomatoes; Roasted Mushroom Crepes with herbed goat cheese, truffled mushroom salad, and balsamic reduction; Pan Seared Sea Scallops with saffron risotto, English peas, lardons, and smoked tomato butter sauce; and Gulf Fish Amandine with citrus butter sauce, haricot vert, and toasted almonds. https://tujaguesrestaurant.com/


Conchiglie from Bower

At this LGD eatery, Executive Chef Marcus Woodham will delight diners with Lent-friendly dishes like Spicy Scallop Arancini with red vinegar cucumbers, and lemon creme fraiche; Peppered Conchiglie with Louisiana blue crab, sweet corn, roasted fennel, pecorino, lemon and dill cream; Tuna Crudo with cucumber and sweet pepper relish, avocado, and satsuma vinaigrette; and Gulf Shrimp with sherry, farm cauliflower, shrimp butter, pangrattato, salsa verde, and Romano. https://www.thebowernola.com/


Helmed by 2024 semi-finalist for James Beard: Best Chef South Chef/Owner Sophina Uong invites visitors to savor in Fish Friday for Lent. The tropical roadhouse will offer specials including  Gulf Shrimp Cocktail with gochujang BBQ and Fat Cat Farm turnip kimchi and Wood-Fired Gulf Fish with smoked farro and green romesco. The restaurant will also offer lent-friendly dishes from its a la carte menu, like Ginger Salad with peanut, crunchy bits and seeds, serrano peppers, currants, and sour sauce; and Khmer Cauliflower with peanut, coconut, arbol, rice powder, mint, and vegan fish sauce. https://www.mistermaonola.com/



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