by Ian McNulty
Annunciation (1016 Annunciation St., 568-0245) serves contemporary Creole cuisine, but its chef, Steven Manning, jokes that at the moment it can seem “like a crabmeat and vegetable restaurant.”
Take a look at his menu (posted below) and you’ll see what he means. Crabmeat features prominently among the choices, including risotto with crabmeat, lobster and shrimp; pasta with crabmeat and grilled tomatoes; sautéed drum with crabmeat; and soft shell crab topped with still more crabmeat in meuniere sauce.
The dish that tells more of the tale of Annunciation, however, is the fried oysters topped with brie. That dish, after all, is a signature appetizer of Clancy’s, the Uptown stalwart where Manning was chef for many years until leaving earlier in 2012 to develop Annunciation with business partners. The restaurant opened just last week.
Manning is a Michigan native who first moved to New Orleans back in 1980. He’d been at Clancy’s from 1985 through 1997, did a hitch cooking in New York for about seven years and returned to Clancy’s in 2004.
Annunciation replaced Deanie’s, an old-fashioned plate lunch place in business since 1967 (which had no relation to the popular Deanie’s Seafood restaurants in Bucktown and the French Quarter). The change is radical — Annunciation’s bar now runs along the same spot formerly used as the cafeteria-style line, and it rests on the same bricks that once held up steam trays of chicken fried steak and stuffed peppers.
Still, Manning says something like a throwback to the old Deanie’s days in the works. He plans to add lunch in about a month or so, utilizing the soul food skills of his kitchen staff to serve more modestly priced daytime dishes.
“The old Deanie’s had it’s fans, and a lot of the people working down here in the Warehouse District don’t want to do the $20 lunch thing all the time, so this will be a different option,” he says.
For now, Annunciation serves dinner Monday through Saturday. There’s a full bar and reservations are recommended. The menu is listed below.
1016 Annunciation St., 568-0245
Fried Oysters with melted Brie and sauteed Spinach
Eggplant Ste Marguerite
Veal Sweetbreads with Marsala, Mushrooms and Polenta
Green salad with chopped vegetables and French Vinaigrette
Marinated Crab Claws with Lime and Cilantro
Crabmeat salad with Creme Fraiche and Choupique Cavier
Fried Soft Shell Crab with Crabmeat Meuniere Sauce
Crabmeat, Lobster and Shrimp Risotto
Angel Hair Pasta with Crabmeat and grilled Tomatoes
Sauteed Black Drum with Crabmeat, Coconut Milk and Jasmine Rice
Pan roasted Chicken Bonne Femme
Grilled Hangar Steak with Salsa Verde
Slow roasted Pork Shoulder with Sweet Onion Relish
Sauteed French Beans Amandine
Roasted Baby Bok Choy
Stir-fried Cabbage with Kari Leaves and Black Mustard Seed
Southern style mashed Yams
Cauliflower au Gratin
Sauteed Summer Squash