Pascal Manale's took a big hit in Katrina. Severe flooding and looting pretty much destroyed the place. The kitchen has been completely renovated as have both the main dining rooms, with new windows lightening up the old dark space. The bar and oyster bar are pretty much unchanged and that's the place to hang out in the evening. Talk to Thomas at the oyster bar (tell him Jake sent you) and marvel at how he always has an oyster ready for you. (Remember you have to pay for your oysters at the drinking bar before you go see Thomas.)
Manale's is pretty much old style Creole. They have some very decent dishes. Their barbecued shrimp is classic, although I also like some of the more modern versions. Unfortunately, a dinner portion of barbecued shrimp is pricey. If you go at lunch time, you can order their barbecued shrimp poor boy lunch for about $12. It's a deal. Follow that up with some of their incredible bread pudding and you'll leave happy. They also have a very good wine list with some of the fairest pricing in the city.
Favorite Dish: Oysters, barbecued shrimp, bread pudding
This place has gotten mixed reviews but you must try it for yourself - Most people appreciate this traditional Italian-Creole establishment as indicated by the long wait, on weekend nights especially, despite necessary reservations. The service is unhurried but catering.
Try the oysters or turtle soup to start.
Favorite Dish: the New Orleans style barbecued shrimp was invented here - it's scrumptious.