Crab Louie
Elva L./Yelp

15 Old-School Dishes Making a Comeback at Restaurants

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Crab Louie
Elva L./Yelp

Yesterday's Specials

After the difficult pandemic year most of us have had, returning to a restaurant seems like a long-forgotten comfort — so maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that comforting (and tasty) dishes from long ago would be the latest trend. Read on for old-school dishes getting a reboot at restaurants across the country, plus recipes for each if you'd like to throw a retro feast of your own.


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Oysters Rockefeller
Cin T./Yelp

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller may sound opulent and inaccessible, but really it's just oysters on the half shell topped with a creamy sauce of butter, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The dish was created at Antoine's in New Orleans in 1899 — supposedly, the sauce was so rich that they named it after the nation's richest man, John D. Rockefeller. You can still find it on the menu at Antoine's, and at J's Oyster in Portland, Maine, or Oceanaire Seafood Room in Boston.


Recipe: Taste of Home


Related: 60 Iconic U.S. Restaurants to Try Before You Die

Beef Wellington
Cindy Z./Yelp

Beef Wellington

Want to pretend you're in a movie with Cary Grant? Order some beef Wellington — filet mignon coated with foie gras, wrapped in prosciutto, and baked in puff pastry. Wowza. Cocotte in San Francisco has an excellent version of it on the menu.


Recipe: Tyler Florence


Related: The Best Under-the-Radar Steakhouse in All 50 States

Lobster Thermidor
©TripAdvisor

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster thermidor sounds like something your grandfather would have ordered at a fancy business lunch, and that's pretty much what it is. Creamy, rich, and elegant, it's the perfect extra-special entree order, especially alongside an equally decadent wine such as Champagne or white Burgundy. Boathouse Bistro in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, serves the classic; Tadich Grill in San Francisco has it on the menu with lobster and crab. 


Recipe: Epicurious


Related: The Best Seafood Restaurant in All 50 States

Escargot with Garlic-Parsley Butter
ShyMan/istockphoto

Escargot With Garlic-Parsley Butter

In an age where we're looking for more sustainable meat options, it's no wonder escargot (otherwise known as snails) are making a comeback. In Milwaukee, you can try them at Story Hill BKC; in Louisville, head to Jack Fry's. Wherever you enjoy them, Burgundy is the classic wine pairing.


Recipe: Bon Appétit


Related: 27 Unusual Canned Foods You Might Actually Want to Eat

Crab Louie
Elva L./Yelp

Crab Louie

Crab Louie, despite its kingly name, is basically a green salad with crab meat and a mayo-based dressing. It's easy to make at home, though it also can be found at Butcher and Singer in Philadelphia or at Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco under the name "Crabsanthemum." Pair with a refreshing white wine such as muscadet.


Recipe: Food & Wine

Chopped Chicken Liver
Russ & Daughters Cafe

Chopped Chicken Liver

"What am I, chopped liver?" Probably not, but this savory substance popular in days of yore is increasingly trendy once again. Try Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York or Langer's in Los Angeles for the classic. The holidays — including Hanukkah — are a good time to try this combination of egg, butter, onion, and, of course, chicken liver.


Recipe: Food & Wine


Related: 25 Best Delis Across America

Duck a L'Orange
L'Antagoniste

Duck a L'Orange

The acidity and freshness of the orange sauce help brighten the natural richness of the duck meat. Try it at L'Antagoniste in Brooklyn or Le Petit Paris in Chicago, but know that you'll have to order it with its entirely French name of canard a l'orange. If you're throwing a dinner party and really want to wow the guests, Jacque Pépin has you covered.


Recipe: Food & Wine

Clams Casino
Abe & Louie's

Clams Casino

Baked clams with bacon, breadcrumbs, and often green pepper on the half shell, the dish is simple, delicious, and worth a try. Head to Abe & Louie's in Boston or Jimmy's Famous Seafood in Baltimore. Everything's better with bacon.


Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis

Deviled Eggs
Joe Bob S./Yelp

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a delicious, adaptable little appetizer. Find them in Maine, at The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, or at Magnolias in Charleston, South Carolina. They're keto, gluten-free, high in protein, and full of flavor, so enjoy without guilt. Keep an eye on how many come to the table — it's a curiosity of the restaurant world that the appetizer is usually served with an odd number of halved eggs. (Where's the other half of that egg?)


Recipe: Mary Nolan


Related: 13 Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

Tuna Casserole
©TripAdvisor

Tuna Casserole

If there's a dish that says "your Midwestern grandma loves you," it's the casserole. Endlessly cozy and adaptable, it's no wonder it's making its way back to menus. For those in Cincinnati, Sweets & Meats BBQ has sweet potato casserole; in Louisville, Kentucky, you can find sweet potato and broccoli versions at Dasha Barbours Southern Bistro. But tuna casserole is the true classic.


Recipe: The Kitchn


Related: The Best Casserole Recipe From Every State

Meatloaf
Jennifer T./Yelp
Pork Rinds
©TripAdvisor

Pork Rinds

In a world where keto and low-carb reign, pork rinds suddenly sound like a reasonable snack again — like potato chips, minus the carbs! In Salt Lake City, you can find pork rinds at Pig & a Jelly Jar; CBD Provisions in Dallas also has them on the menu. Brave souls with 15 hours or so to spare can make chicharrónes at home.


Recipe: Cooking Channel

Baked Alaska
Delmonico's

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska is ice cream cake topped with a browned meringue, making for a dish that's cold and warm all at once (and in the right setting is lit on fire tableside when it's served). Order this sort-of-fancy retro dessert at Delmonico's in New York City (where it was created in 1867 by Charles Ranhofer) or at Bistro Daisy in New Orleans. If you make it at home, be sure to cover every inch of ice cream with meringue before it goes in the oven, or you'll have a melted mess.


Recipe: Martha Stewart


Related: 25 Betty Crocker-Era Holiday Recipes That We Secretly Love

The Old-Fashioned
Xavier F./Yelp

Old-Fashioned

If you really want to get old-fashioned with your dinner, there's nothing like ordering the classic cocktail. Muddle sugar with bitters, add whiskey (sometimes brandy), and there you have it. Wisconsin does old-fashioneds very well, especially at the aptly named The Old Fashioned in Madison. Or head to The Whiskey House in San Diego for a whole menu of riffs on the drink.


Recipe: Esquire

The Rob Roy
bLAZER76/istockphoto

Rob Roy

This Scotch-based cocktail was invented at the Waldorf Astoria in 1894. It's slowly making its way back to prominence — try it at Gilt Bar in Chicago. It's also easy to make yourself (it's a Manhattan, but with Scotch).


Recipe: Imbibe