Pascal’s Manale

Review by: Michael Stern

Like so much New Orleans culture, Pascal’s Manale, which dates back to 1913, is puzzling and irresistible. Its signature dish, now found on many Louisiana-inspired menus, is barbecued shrimp: large, head-on crustaceans served in a pool of garlicky, peppery butter. Why they’re called barbecued is anybody’s guess, but my-oh-my, are they ever good! Toasty and succulent, fresh and firm, they are a royal mess to eat (those who order them are trussed in a paper bib by the waiter), requiring much picking and poking. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be removing the plump pink crescents from their shells in no time, alternately mopping at the juice with the frail French bread provided.

Another puzzlement: crab and oyster pan roast. Most people, we imagine, would expect oysters and hunks of crab roasted and on a dish, maybe with some herbs and sauce. At Pascal’s Manale, those whole oysters and crab chunks are embedded in a lusciously seasoned breadcrumb crust with a pepper zest. This pan roast is, in fact, a casserole. Go figure.

Pascal’s Manale is allowed to have its own culinary vocabulary, since it is one of the foundation restaurants of New Orleans. Its oysters Bienville and Rockefeller are definitive; its spaghetti Collins (sprinkled with green onions and herbs) is a less-is-more delight; its bread pudding is not to be missed.

Whatever you eat and whenever you come, spend some time up front (where you’ll be required to spend time if you are waiting for a table), for this is one of the best places in town to knock back raw oysters by the dozen along with cocktails amidst the super-social chatter of New Orleans natives and visitors alike.

What To Eat

BBQ Shrimp

Bread Pudding

Oysters on the Half Shell


Pascal’s Manale Recipes


What do you think of Pascal’s Manale?

One Response to “Pascal’s Manale”

Keith Bailey

July 12th, 2015

Was this Throw-Back Thursday?

Pascal’s Manale is one of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans. And it feels as if it hasn’t changed in a long time.

They have their own parking lot, a nice feature and unusual in New Orleans. Upon entering, you are faced with a lovely, old liquor bar and a newer oyster bar. They don’t have a list of house specialty cocktails, but they do make a very good Sazerac and I was happy with that. Oysters at the oyster bar were large and delicious and reasonably priced. Both the bartender and the oysterman were fun and helpful.

The main dining room is a bit antiseptic in comparison to the bar area. It was, however, quite comfortable. Our server was fun and helpful and knew the menu fairly well. There were a few reasonably priced wines, which was nice.

All the food was very good to excellent. The only disappointment was the house salad—nothing but a few greens and maybe a tomato. The best items were their famous barbecue shrimp and the combination pan roast. The pan roast is extremely rich and we shared that family-style which worked out well.

Pascal’s Manale has a comfortable, happy feeling. Kind of like your favorite chair. Nothing is cutting edge and they may want to update some of their menu. But when you just want to sink into a good, comfortable meal, this is a great choice.


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