Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Mosca’s | Vintage Roadhouse | New Orleans’ Best Italian Food
Review by: Michael Stern
The parking lot is a gravel wreck. The outside is dark and nefarious. If it’s your first time, I guarantee you will think you are lost when you make the drive. And even when you find the vintage roadhouse, you will wonder: Can this two-room joint with the blaring juke box and semi-secret kitchen dining area really be the best Italian roadhouse in America?
One evening when Roadfood co-founder Stephen Rushmore and I stopped in for dinner, a nearby customer informed us that Mosca’s for many years was the hang-out of the region’s chief Mafioso. But in my experience, conviviality reigns in this dining room. I’ve seen only friendly sorts of folks eating. Nobody looked like a cast member of The Godfather or The Sopranos.
Aside from the setting and location, the primary thing you’ll notice upon arriving at Mosca’s is the aroma. Garlic reigns. Whole cloves of it nearly crowd out the painfully tender chicken in chicken a la Grande. That’s a cluster of wine-sautéed chicken parts in a pool of rosemary-perfumed gravy. Oysters Mosca is a veritable festival of garlic, along with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs all cosseting little nuggets of sweet oyster meat. The contrast of chewy edge, viscous oysters, and svelte crumbs is textural magic. The flavor and aroma are dizzying.
Thank God for spaghetti Bordelaise, which is little more than a heap of thin noodles bathed in oil and butter and garlic. It provides a comforting respite from the wondrous onslaught of flavors sent forth from this kitchen. And it serves as an ideal medium for rolling up on a fork and pushing around in extra chicken gravy or the last of the oysters Mosca breadcrumbs to sop up their goodness.
Maximize the Pleasure
Go with friends. The bigger the group, the more different dishes you can sample. You need also to taste Mosca’s crabmeat salad, Italian sausage, chicken cacciatore, and Louisiana shrimp. Everything is served family style.
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