A Food Awakening: R?veillon, New Orleans?s Historic Culinary Tradition
Dec 08 2020

A Food Awakening: Réveillon, New Orleans’s Historic Culinary Tradition

By: Brhea Washington

As the holiday season continues to progress, many are in the midst of their yearly traditions, including shopping, decorating, or preparing for their holiday meals. A holiday tradition that is special to the city of New Orleans is Réveillon dinner. According to nola.eater.com, Réveillon (REV-ee-on) takes its name from the French word "awakening," in which parishioners of the 1800s were awake late into the night, indulging in a feast following midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Their menu would include various Creole and Southern dishes, such as gumbo and bread pudding, alongside a host of wine, cocktails, and desserts.

Réveillon disappeared following the rise of traditional daytime dinners on Christmas Day, resurging in the 1990s in French Quarter restaurants seeking a method to improve slow business days in December. New Orleans's dining scene revived the Réveillon tradition, keeping its holiday spirit alive through commemorative dinners for many to relish in. Various restaurants throughout the city honor Réveillon by offering multicourse meals at a fixed price.

Réveillon takes place throughout the entire month of December, with restaurants serving a variety of delicious meals at prices ranging from $40 to $100. Réveillon menu dishes also feature culinary styles that exhibit both custom and modern-day influences. This specialty menu spans from traditional dishes that utilize classic Creole ingredients to contemporary meals that showcase new and innovative food techniques.

Réveillon dinners have had a long history throughout the culinary world of New Orleans. They have also provided a great opportunity for people to sit and enjoy delectable meals with their loved ones, creating memories to be cherished through the holiday season and beyond. Below is a list of New Orleans restaurants celebrating Réveillon that welcome all to revel in multiple-course meals, while also partaking in a holiday tradition near and dear to the city's culture.

Bourbon House

For $55 per person, you can enjoy a first course of a tasty Oysters Rockefeller pistolette. Refresh with a second course with a choice of poached pear salad or goat cheese and greens salad. The main course includes either bronzed filet of Gulf fish or alligator grillades options, to be finished with a dessert of Louisiana citrus pound cake, made with mulled wine ice cream and cranberry. 144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111, bourbonhouse.com

Commander's Place

For $90, the first course is an oyster and absinthe soup with lemon-roasted artichokes and oyster crackers. The second course offers a savory beignet made with blue crab and caviar. Main-course choices feature a citrus-crusted redfish or braised short ribs. Enjoy a dessert of ginger-spiced Christmas pudding made with apricots, raisins, and Cajun eggnog. 1403 Washington Ave., (504) 899-8221, commanderspalace.com

Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse

$55 will buy patrons a course of delicious corn and crab bisque followed by a house-made Caesar salad. No steakhouse menu is complete without a main course choice of broiled twin four-ounce filets with shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes. Another main course option includes seared Gulf fish with root vegetables and red potatoes. Enjoy a dessert of eggnog ice cream alongside pecan brittle. 716 Iberville St., (504) 522-2467, dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com

Domenica

$50 gets you a first course of crispy oysters followed by a second course of their risotto agrumi e bottarga dish, made with rice, yuzu, Louisiana citrus, and mixed herbs. The main course is delectable duck cooked three ways, with root vegetables, rainbow chard, and black truffles. Dinner is finished with a pecan tartufo, made with cherry and dark chocolate. 123 Baronne St., (504) 648-6020, domenicarestaurant.com

Muriel's Jackson Square

The $58 dinner features a course of fried oyster chowder or duck and andouille gumbo. A second course follows, with options such as satsuma salad or tasty sweet potato gnocchi. The main course is pan-seared flounder with a wild mushroom sauce or wood-grilled venison with smoked carrot puree, squash, and a wine reduction sauce. Finish dinner with a dessert of salted caramel and chocolate torte or satsuma sherbet. 801 Chartres St., (504) 568-1885, muriels.com

Rosedale Restaurant

For $40, dinner includes a first course of their soup of the day or turtle soup. Second course options are roasted cauliflower salad or spinach ricotta gnocchi. The main course offers a flavorful pork chop with cider-glazed apples, sweet potato spoonbread, and fried Brussels sprouts; fried P&J oysters; or Gulf fish with artichoke bread pudding, peppers, and lemon garlic butter. Top off dinner with a dessert of pumpkin cheesecake with caramel and pecans or chocolate basil mousse with a cookie and whipped cream. 801 Rosedale Dr., (504) 309-9595, rosedalerestaurant.com

The Country Club

The $60 Réveillon meal includes an appetizing seafood board for seafood-lovers, featuring octopus, salted cod, Scottish salmon, and Louisiana white shrimp. Enjoy a second course of truffled chick pea soup, followed by a third course of foie gras en gelée, a mousse with Aperol gelée, and grilled bread. Their final course, Petit Filet Stanley, is chargrilled beef made with banana tempura, horseradish cream, and red wine. 634 Louisa St., (504) 945-0742, thecountryclubneworleans.com

Palace Café

For $52, enjoy first course choices of crab fingers bordelaise or escargot. The second course includes a delicious choice of fennel and citrus salad or turtle soup. For the main course, there is a selection of either delicious boudin-stuffed quail or braised duck cassoulet. Enjoy dessert to complete the meal, with their delightful sticky toffee pudding accompanied by pumpkin ice cream. 605 Canal St., (504) 523-1661, palacecafe.com

The Pelican Club

For $49, first-course soup options include turtle with aged sherry, gumbo, or vegan carrot coconut ginger. There are a wide range of appetizers to choose from, from mushroom ravioli and baked oysters to tuna poke, salad, or BBQ shrimp. Main course options span from filet mignon, duck, and lamb to lobster and fish. Finish dinner with a tasty dessert choice of either bread pudding, pie, or crème brulee. 312 Exchange Pl., (504) 523-1504, pelicanclub.com

Here is a list of other restaurants throughout the city celebrating Réveillon:

Andrea's Restaurant

3100 19th St., Metairie, (504) 834-8583, andreasrestaurant.com

Antoine's Restaurant

713 St. Louis St., (504) 581-4422, antoines.com

Dickie Brennan's Tableau

616 St. Peter St., (504) 934-3463, tableaufrenchquarter.com

Galatorie's

209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021, galatoires.com

Luke Restaurant

333 St. Charles Ave., (504) 378-2840, lukeneworleans.com

Restaurant R'evolution

777 Bienville St., (504) 553-2277, www.revolutionnola.com

Rib Room

621 St. Louis St., (504) 529-7046, ribroomneworleans.com

The Bower

1320 Magazine St., (504) 582-9738, thebowernola.com

The Court of Two Sisters

613 Royal St., (504) 522-7261, courtoftwosisters.com

The Grill Room (located inside the Windsor Court Hotel)

300 Gravier St., (504) 522-1994, windsorcourthotel.com/dining/the-grill-room


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