Attendees gather for a preview seating at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar Saturday, Jan. 14. The restaurant, a Parisian-inspired bistro located on Napoleon and St. Charles Ave., is scheduled to open for dinner Tuesday night. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Quite literally years in the making, Superior Seafood finally makes its official debut tonight at one of Uptown’s most prominent street corners.
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Angels on Horseback," lightly fried, bacon wrapped oysters. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Owner Gabe Garza and his partners first began planning a restaurant celebrating local cuisine and Gulf seafood in 2008, and renovations to the former Copeland’s at the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon began during the 2010 Carnival season. Just a few month later, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill raised doubts about the future of Gulf seafood, but Garza said the team behind Superior Seafood was unshaken.
“It didn’t waver us,” Garza said. “It just made us want to refocus. We knew New Orleans would be the perfect market — anywhere else, it would have been a lot harder.”
As part of the planning process, Garza traveled extensively throughout South Louisiana, forging first-hand connections with crawfish farmers and local fishermen in Crowley, Pecan Island and other locales to get a better understanding of the challenges suppliers face. The result, Garza said, is likely to surprise local diners who only know Superior Seafood’s sister restaurant, Superior Grill, just eight blocks away on St. Charles Avenue.
“A lot of New Orleans has this preconceived notion that all we do is fajitas, margaritas and block parties,” Garza said. “When they walk in here, it’s kind of a shock.”
With construction complete, Superior has been hosting a number of preview seatings of several hundred guests at a time in preparation for its first public outing at dinner Tuesday. The next month, however, will serve as a prelude for what is certain to be an extremely busy Carnival season. With the corner of Napoleon thronged with families for every parade on the St. Charles route, Superior Seafood has an outdoor balcony that will surely become one of the route’s most sought-after spots during the parades.
“People associate a certain Mardi Gras experience from this corner,” Garza said, and he plans to make sure Superior Seafood only adds to it.
The word "Oysters" is displayed over the wine bar area of the new restaurant. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Patrons gather for a preview seating at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar Saturday, January 14, 2012. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Big Easy BBQ Shrimp," prepared New Orleans style, in shells, with peppery butter sauce and French bread. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Executive Chef Justin Ferguson cooks seared scallops in the restaurant's kitchen. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's Seared Scallops, jumbo scallops seared and served with a pancetta sage white wine butter sauce, fingerling potatoes with sauteed vegetable medley. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
The bar at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's " Flounder Marigny," Pan-seared flounder filet set on haricot vert and fingerling potatoes, topped with lemon caper butter sauce, sauteed crab meat and parsley. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
A bartender adds the final touches to a "Frozen Pomegranate Mojito".(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Frozen Pomegranate Mojito," Castillo rum, fresh mint, fresh lime juice and pomegranate juice.(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Attendees enjoy the preview seating in the sunlit room facing St. Charles Ave. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Redfish Creole," grilled filet topped with a brown butter almond beurre blanc sauce, served with corn maque choux and a broiled tomato Rockefeller. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Beff Carpaccio". (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Eli Nasser serves chilled water in glass bottles at the preview seating. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Crawfish Cornbread". (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Tuna Tartar". (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
A waitress walks past an old Tabasco ad decorating part of the wall at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Spinach & Artichoke Dip". (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's "Mussels in Meuniere". (Photo by Ray Cannata)
Pedestrians pass by Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar on the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles Ave. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)
Photos by Sabree Hill; article by Robert Morris. Contact us at sabreehill@NolaMessenger.com and rmorris@NolaMessenger.com, or post your comment below.
Yum! I can’t wait to try it!
I love all the tiles and mirrors. Very New Orleans. Looks like a great place to eat oysters. We are so there!
We had dinner there Sunday. Everything was wounderful! I truely can’t think of anything that wasn’t excellent.
The charbroiled oysters were the best I’ve ever had… Prepared perfect. My steak seemed like it was the highest quality cut of meat I have had in a long time… Where it seems like it just melts in your mouth. The sides were fantastic… Grits are very tasty, I loved the corn maque choux.
Oh, I guess I can think of one thing I wasn’t a fan of… the salad… Though I’m not a huge fan of salads in general… It left a little to be desired. I did see some pretty spectacular dinner salads going by, so I’m really only talking about the side salad… Not that big of a deal.
Food, service, design, style, atomosphere, location… all very good. I hope they can maintain this level of quality… I’ve witnessed a lot of places head down hill after the “opening team” leaves.
St Charles Ave/Uptown needed a place like this along the street car line. I think they will do very well…
Our whole table was very impressed, and look forward to going back soon.
We can hardly wait to try all the great dishes!
I wonder if they are going to control their drunks better than the other Superior, or will they just unleash them into the surrounding neighborhood to fight and piss in people’s yards the same way?
My wife and I were guests of the Pre-opening dinner. WOW.Long wait for it to open & It was well worth it. The Escargot is Fantastic(app).The Scallops were awesome.Save room for the Huge bread pudding.This place is going to be a great addition to St. Charles Avenue.Good Luck.
I have now had dinner here twice, once for pre-opening and now on opening night. I can not begin to describe how great the atmosphere and entire staff are. I yet to hear someone say anything bad about the food. Not only is the seafood delicious but the steaks are unbelievable as well as the wine! Will definitely make this a regular spot to eat at.
on our way tonight!!!!!!! i am starving 😉
I will take the family and try it tonight, looks GREAT!!
I went and the food was amazing! The building is beautiful and I had a very positive dining experience.
I hope it was worth the wait. The owners are excellent restaurateurs. I have always enjoyed dinner at their other restaurant.
Great food and atmosphere, the Chef is to be commended.