The Parish has been one of the city's oyster palaces since opening in 2012. It remains a top destination even as options have multiplied, offering a raw beauties from local waters as well as Canada and New England. Start with a dozen and a seafood-friendly French muscadet.

The Parish's dimensions were recently reduced to make room for sister enterprise the Palmetto Cafe, but it hasn't suffered. A cold seafood salad was small, delicate and impeccably arranged with poached Spanish octopus and white shrimp, steamed Northwest clams and local tomato, all tossed in a delightfully tart basil lemon vinaigrette.

Cucumber and fennel salad came with a pungent buttermilk-feta dressing and tiny toasted-biscuit breadcrumbs that gave a lively crunchiness to each bite. Carolina grilled quail was rich, tender and meatier than expected for this little bird, served in a small skillet with an exquisite warm potato salad that's mashed fingerlings with mustard and fresh parsley.

Among old Nawlins' standbys, perhaps the best is shrimp étouffée, which never fails to impress with its base of delicate crab stock.

Photo: Lauren Kinkade
Photo: Lauren Kinkade

Pro tip: Come during happy hour (5-6 pm) and enjoy a half-price discount

on select oysters.

GO: 231 NW 11th Ave., 227-2421, 5-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday, 5-11 pm Friday and Saturday. $$-$$$.