From decor to menu, Pascal's nostalgically trades on its past. Steady tourist traffic and neighborhood regulars keep the aging dining rooms (formal, casual and private) bustling. For old-schoolers, the restaurant's worn vibe proves comforting; to newcomers, it feels like a borrowed family tradition.
Universally considered the birthplace of New Orleans barbecue shrimp, Pascal's still delivers a serviceable version of this butter-rich sauteed (not smoked) dish. About a dozen super-jumbo barbecue shrimp arrive in a plain white bowl and float in an inch of butter spiked with garlic and black pepper. The rest of the Italian steakhouse menu is heavy on fried and cheesy classics. A promising oyster, shrimp and crab "pan roast" arrives light on the seafood and heavy on creamy bread-crumb binder. Tender scallops of veal parmigiana are smothered under a thick layer of rubbery mozzarella. Rich, tangy Key lime pie is the sweet list standout.
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