Established in 1840, Antoine's is the country's oldest family-run restaurant and the birthplace of such culinary classics as oysters Rockefeller and eggs Sardou. Pride is a palpable element of its ambience. The front dining room is bright, and its largeness typifies the enormity of the two-story establishment, in which 15 themed rooms ramble maze-like for nearly a city block. Tuxedoed waiters and assistants float among white-clothed tables of vacationing couples, businesspeople and local families. First-timers roam the mammoth restaurant, exploring chambers like the Rex and Japanese rooms.
A massive menu composed of French-Creole specialties prepared the old-fashioned way: well-seasoned and unabashedly rich. The zesty tomato sauce of the loaded crab St. Pierre appetizer proves a successful Creole spin on traditional crab au gratin. A sweet brown sauce and tangy bearnaise topping deliver the chicken Rochambeau's delightful double whammy. Delectable desserts include a candied peach with ice cream, raspberry sauce and toasted almonds.
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