Clancy's: A Hidden Gem of New Orleans

Clancy's was the next restaurant on my list of places that I have not yet been to in New Orleans. Over the years, I have heard many wonderful things about Clancy's as well as the fact that the location is challenging to find because it is tucked away deep in a beautiful uptown New Orleans neighborhood. Century old shotgun houses with ceiling to floor windows and shutters lined the narrow, pothole-filled uptown street leading to the corner location of Clancy's Restaurant. In the early 80s, Clancy's owners updated what was then an old corner bar/po-boy shop into the lovely, clean bistro-like restaurant that it is today.

As we entered the restaurant, the rain began to pour-thunder, lightning, lights flickering-a typical New Orleans deluge following a hot, humid day but that didn't stop the devoted Clancy's patrons. It is necessary to have a reservation since this establishment is quite small and always full. Without a reservation, waiting at the charming bar in the front of the restaurant for a few cocktails is always an option too.

Clancy's main dining room has a clean freshness with white walls, white tablecloths, and a mirror covering much of the back wall reflecting the candlelit dining room. The waitstaff is formal, attentive and knowledgeable. With our cocktails served and warm bread on the table, we were ready to order.

Our meal began with oysters two ways. Oysters baked with boudin sausage and Oysters Rockefeller, baked oysters topped with a spinach, herb, cheese and butter mixture-delicious! Next came the Turtle soup with extra sherry. Thinner than I expected with a strong tomato flavor, the soup was lighter than many turtle soups I have sampled but still a tasty and comforting dish.

For our entrees, we took advantage of Clancy's in-house smoker, one of the few non BBQ restaurants to have this feature. My dad ordered the smoked duck, and my mom and I partook in the house specialty, Clancy's smoked softshell crab. My dad's entree featured moist succulent slices of duck breast laid alongside the smokey large bone-in duck leg served with buttery noodles and asparagus. The softshell crab, smoked and lightly fried, was juicy and tender. A smoky crab flavor was complimented by a semi-sweet lemon butter balsamic glaze drizzled on top along with pieces of delicate lump crab meat. This entree came with roasted potatoes, thin spears of asparagus topped with a large slice of yellow squash and lemon wedges.

After cleaning our plates, there was little room for dessert which I regret. Next time I must order the fried oysters topped with brie and for dessert, the legendary lemon icebox pie. Our divine meal ended just as the rain did-perfect timing to walk back to the car. Surprisingly no flooding. The only flooding for us was a flood of satisfaction from Clancy's exceptional Creole cuisine.

New Orleans is filled with little culinary treasures like Clancy's. If visiting, get away from the touristy areas of New Orleans, find Clancy's and dine with the locals.

Go to Clancy's and indulge in the charm of this neighborhood Creole bistro.

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