Tabla takes on the great white shrimp.Photo: Melissa Hom
You can’t keep good shrimp down. Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out the tasty specimens inhabiting the gulf, but replenished stocks mean that in the past week white shrimps have begun to reappear in New York. Big and sweet, with a hint of iodine, the fall shrimp are the best of the year. (Their brown brethren, which were brought in over the summer, also have a certain charm.) Here’s a short list of restaurants that buy them fresh from Louisiana.
• Café Boulud is doing a Louisiana gulf shrimp, poached in butter, deglazed with Pernod, and served over a warm salad of chickpeas, mixed beans, pickled ramps, and microfennel.
• At Mas (farmhouse), chef Galen Zamarra crusts the shrimp in shredded phyllo and pairs them with his heirloom-tomato soup.
• Mara’s Homemade, a humble Cajun restaurant tucked into the East Village’s Indian Row, offers Louisiana shrimp year-round, in multiple forms: spicy shrimp boil, "barbecued shrimp" (actually black-pepper-and-garlic-marinated baked shrimp), shrimp Creole, shrimp étouffées, and shrimp po’-boy sandwiches.
• Tabla’s tandoori black-pepper shrimp, marinated in coriander seed, black pepper, and olive oil, are as good as their coconut-curry-braised shrimp from earlier this year.