It’s holiday time in the city, and that means dozens of restaurants in the city are having Revellion dinners.
But, what exactly is a Reveillon (pronounced reh-veh-yohn) dinner, you might ask?
According to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the custom goes back to the 1800s and has roots in Creole traditions. The word reveillon comes from the French word for ‘awakening.’ Families would fast before midnight mass on Christmas, and gather after church for a fancy meal. Usual fair might feature turtle soup, oysters and veal grillades well into the night. Eventually, the practice fell out of favor, but in the 1990s local chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and Frank Brigsten, brought back the tradition with a twist, turning it into a four-course meal featured at restaurants during the month of December.
Here are a few notable Reveillon dinners across town:
Café Degas (Esplanade Ridge/$44)
Café Degas’ usual fare features classic French food with a touch of Creole. The Reveillon menu here features:
- First Course: Salade de Reveillon: Bibb lettuce with Julienned zucchini, roasted corn, cherry tomato, red onion, capers, feta cheese, tarragon lime vinaigrette
- Second Course: Sea scallops with fennel, spinach, white wine, lemon juice, bacon jam garnish
- Third course: Veal rack with madeira and mushroom cream sauce, celeriac and potato purée, baby vegetables
- Fourth course: Chocolate pot de crème
Brigsten’s Restaurant (Uptown/$58)
Part of the original push to bring Reveillon dinners back, this restaurant offers lot of choices.
Café Dauphine (Lower 9th Ward/$48)
This Reveillon menu features lots of New Orleans staples.
First Course: (Choice of)
- Crawfish corn chowder
- Chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo
- Fried green tomato and remoulade salad
Third Course: (Choice of)
- Blackened red drum with lump crabmeat served with sauteed vegetables
- Smothered French-cut pork chops with garlic potatoes and kale sauteed in butter garlic
- Southern fried chicken with baked macaroni and cheese and kale sauteed in butter garlic
Fourth Course: (Choice of)
- Strawberry cheescake
- Raisin-pecan bread pudding with cinnamon-cream rum sauce
The Country Club (Marigny/$60)
Known for its chill vibe and pool, this Reveillon menu throws in a little Lagniappe.
- Duck and oyster gumbo
- Poached royal red shrimp chilled with sauce Gribiche and crispy shallots
Third Course: (Choice of)
- Truffle roasted poussin: Black truffle jus, buttered collard greens, roasted beets
- Lemon herb crusted gulf fish: spaghetti squash, candied shallots and fume blanc
- Panettone bread pudding with warm rum anglaise