Antoine’s Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

| January 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

Antoine’s – an icon and a standard bearer for traditional French Creole culinary traditions in America – will commemorate its 175th anniversary in 2015 with a year of special events, menus and celebrations inside the walls of its fabled French Quarter dining rooms, as well as in other markets around the country. The legendary New Orleans restaurant is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in America, the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller, and remains owned by the same family that started it nearly two centuries ago. “Dinner at Antoine’s” is such an experience that those three words fittingly served as the title to a famous novel, and the restaurant’s namesake is considered “the father of Creole cooking.”

Antoine's Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

Antoine’s Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

Antoine’s Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

Born in France in 1822, Antoine Alciatore came to the New World at the age of 18 aiming to establish a business of his own, and after arriving in New Orleans in 1840, he opened a pension – a boarding house and restaurant in the French Quarter – that was simply to be known as “Antoine’s.”

Antoine's Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

Antoine’s Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

In ill health by 1874, Alciatore returned to France, where he died and was buried. Under Antoine’s wife’s tutelage, their son Jules served as an apprentice, running the restaurant for six years before traveling to France, where he served in the great kitchens of Paris, Strasbourg and Marseilles. He returned to New Orleans and became chef of the famous Pickwick Club in 1887, before his mother summoned him to head the House of Antoine.

His genius was in the kitchen, where he invented Oysters Rockefeller, so named after Standard Oil Founder John D. Rockefeller, for the richness of the sauce. While its namesake reportedly despised its title, Oysters Rockefeller is widely considered one of the greatest culinary creations of all time, with the recipe remaining a closely guarded secret.

Antoine’s Celebrates 175 Years of Culinary Tradition

Antoine’s features 14 dining rooms of varying sizes and themes, all steeped in history. Three of the private rooms bear the names of Carnival krewes – Rex, Proteus and Twelfth Night Revelers, with the bar named after the Krewe of Hermes. The walls are adorned with photos of Mardi Gras royalty and memorabilia, including crowns and scepters from many years long past.
The Mystery Room acquired its name from Prohibition, the 18th Amendment prohibiting the sale of alcoholic drinks from 1919 until 1933. During that time, select patrons would go through a secret door in the ladies’ restroom into a speak-easy behind it, and exit with a coffee cup of alcohol in spite of the laws. The protocol phrase to describe its origin was, “It’s a mystery to me.”
From its humble beginnings in 1840, Antoine’s has endured under the Alciatore family’s direction for five generations, helping make New Orleans one of the great dining centers of the world. The name has become synonymous with fine dining, and no visit to New Orleans should exclude a meal there.
Antoine’s, a traditional French Creole fine dining establishment since 1840, is located at 713 St. Louis Street in the historic New Orleans French Quarter. For more information, visit our website at www.antoines.com, like us on Facebook here, or make a reservation by calling 504-581-4422.

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Category: Food & Wine, restaurants

About the Author ()

I’m Bernie ​a roaming writer, London is home but my writing arm initially extended to a few great locations in Euopre. Now I fill my pages on A Beauty Feature with articles on lifestyle, beauty and travel. Originally my writing started as a way to stay in touch with friends & family but it soon grew and now I have readers who I consider my extended friends & family all over the world.

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