Where to eat: Cristiano Ristorante (724 High St, Houma)
What to order: Chargrilled oysters, Agnello
While I certainly wouldn’t recommend a casual trip to Cristiano, it was a perfect local restaurant for a Valentine’s Day dinner. The restaurant itself is quaint while the service and food are quite upscale. I don’t imagine it’s usually as busy during the week or even the weekend like it was for Valentine’s, but fortunately, we made reservations and everyone dressed for the occasion.
A special Valentine’s menu was available that evening, but Lindsay and I had been eying the standard items online for the past two weeks, so we only glanced at it before deciding. We started with a half dozen chargrilled oysters. These differed a bit from the iconic Drago’s charbroiled oysters in that they’re topped with roasted red pepper which lend a sweeter finish. And while it’s not likely any restaurant can top Drago’s creation, Cristiano’s take was delicious nonetheless.
Lindsay ordered the Filetto alla Fiorentina, a 10 ounce filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus with a peppercorn brandy demi glace drizzled atop. The filet had a nice crust with a smoky flavor.
I went with the Agnello, a rack of lamb crusted with dijon and herbs and served with polenta crisps and a rich, savory sauce. It was my first time ordering a rack of lamb anywhere, so the presentation of the chops interlocking with the bones was impressive. The meal was delicious and went well with our carafe of house cabernet.
I’d like to go back to Cristiano again, even if we just order pasta. It’s a very charming restaurant for a special occasion. What are the best restaurants for occasions like Valentine’s Day or anniversaries in the area? Let us know in the comments.