Leave it to New Orleans chefs to give a revered Creole tradition a deliciously contemporary spin. Dating back to the mid-1800s, the custom has its roots in the city’s Creole past, when families in this historically Catholic city would gather for Reveillon (French for awakening), a decadent meal after midnight mass. A typical menu might include eggs sardou, turtle soup, oysters and grillades of veal, all accompanied by much tippling well into the late night hours. Although the practice fell out of favor, local chefs including Emeril Lagasse and Frank Brigsten revived the practice in the 1990s, with as many as 40 local restaurants keeping the spirited four-course tradition alive during the month of December. At R’estaurant Revolution, for example, Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto might dazzle with oyster and tasso bisque, smoked pompano and Creole cream cheese bread pudding. At Seaworthy in the Ace, you’ll find a seafood-centric repast which might include fresh Gulf oysters, salmon ceviche, flounder with shrimp and mirliton dressing and crème brulee beignets for dessert.
To learn more about the tradition and explore menus, visit FollowYourJoy.com.