Pascal’s Manale Restaurant was started as just Manale’s in 1913 by Frank Manale. Pascal Radosta, Frank’s nephew, was part of the original crew and took the place over in 1937 when Frank died. Many years later he wanted to add his name to the restaurant but still wanted to honor his uncle and thus it became Pascal’s Manale. Pas died in 1958 and his youngest brother Jake took over. They are famous for their BBQ shrimp and raw oyster bar. It is a large place with 2 main dining rooms and the good sized bar area that houses the oyster shucking bar. The dining rooms have white cloth covered tables and windows to the street. Some art is in the dining rooms but the bar is covered with lots of framed photos. They offer a separate lunch menu, a parking lot and great service.
We started with a Negroni cocktail while making decisions and the server brought New Orleans style bread in a bag and pats of butter. The first loaf we had was a little dry but the replaced one, for when we got low, was just fine. The nice quality butter was lightly softened but not whipped butter.
The entrees came with a salad and we both chose to have blue cheese dressing with it. It came on the side and also had a pepperoncini and some black olives. The dressing had lots of chunks of the well flavored cheese and was more than enough to really dress the lettuce leaves, that didn’t contain much iceberg or tomatoes. It was a good salad.
The Original Pascal’s Barbeque Shrimp is the specialty of the house, prepared in a spicy and tangy sauce. They come out piping hot and the server equipped both of us with bibs to protect our clothing. The large shrimp came with the head on in a wonderful sauce liberally seasoned with black pepper. The bread was good for this dish to soak up some of that buttery, deeply flavored sauce. You can see why this is a signature dish.
At lunch they offer a $5 vodka martini and that was perfect to pair with a dozen raw oysters. Each of us got a plate with horseradish, cocktail sauce and lemon wedge as well as the table got a basket of saltine crackers. The oysters were good sized and well washed. I love good Gulf oysters and these filled the bill.
Pan Seared Catfish is topped with crabmeat and artichoke hearts in a lemon butter cream sauce. It is served with a salad. The perfectly cooked fish was delicious in the lemon butter sauce and topped with a generous amount of wonderful crab meat. The baby fresh artichokes were another delightful component of this excellent dish. It was the favorite of the 2 main courses.
Oyster Dante contains deep fried Louisiana oyster served over penne pasta with a sauce of prosciutto and mushrooms. It is served with a salad. The scatter of fried oysters on the dish was a good textural contrast but they were over-cooked for my taste. Nevertheless, they still added a good oyster flavor to the lovely dish. The ham slices really added something different to the sauce as did some well sauteed red onions. Thick sliced mushrooms, parsley, scallions, and Romano cheese were also mixed with the pasta tubes. It was a fun, tasty and unique dish.