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Charbroiled Oysters Recipe from the Louisiana Oyster Trail

by Nov 21, 2019Recipes

Oysters are a black and white situation. You love them, or you kinda cringe and say, uh, no thanks. I’m in the cringe camp when it comes to this supposed delicacy.

A bad experience a couple of decades ago with oysters – and I do mean a BAD experience, but we won’t get into details – makes my stomach mostly turn at the thought of downing one of these slimy blobs with that burst of salty, fishy fluid. Uuurrrrgh, just writing that brings back memories I’d rather forget.

So, when as a travel journalist you end up on a trip that includes the Louisiana Oyster Trail in Jefferson Parish, AND you are taken to a restaurant renowned for having the best charbroiled oysters in New Orleans, you take a deep breath. This is the job of a travel writer after all….

We walked into Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in Metairie – one of 20 different restaurants along the Louisiana Oyster Trail – and were seated. I was steeling myself to say, um, er, I’m not sure I can do oysters. The vivacious owner, Tommy Cvitanovich, joined us, and immediately ordered the aforementioned charbroiled oysters for the table. I said politely that, you see, I, um, had this bad oyster experience…and he says, no problem at all, some people don’t like oysters so no worries.

But since I’m supposed to TRY, I decided to bite the veritable bullet. The oysters were grilled to perfection, appearing on the table bubbling with butter and smelling of lemon, garlic and cheese. I took one, slid it off the shell and ate it. All eyes were on me. I waited for That Oyster Reaction. Instead, I had a burst of lemon-garlic-parmesan in my mouth. Not bad…. Maybe I’ll have another.

Charbroiled Oysters on the Louisiana Oyster Trail

Then one is left on the platter and, well, OK, maybe I’ll have another.

Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters New Orleans style won me over. Can’t say I’m ready for raw ones yet though.

We didn’t get the “official” Drago’s “secret” Charbroiled Oyster recipe to pass along but this recipe for Grilled Oysters comes from the official Louisiana Oyster Trail recipe book, “Pearls of Wisdom,” from the Jefferson Parish, where Drago’s Metairie restaurant came up with the first charbroiled oyster! To get you ready for your own charbroiled oyster experience, read our story and review about Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in New Orleans.

Charbroiled Oysters New Orleans style

Hands-on Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Yield: 4-6 servings


2 cups butter, softened

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp ground red pepper (more or less, to taste)

½ tsp hot sauce (more or less, to taste)

24 large fresh oysters on the half shell

Grilling Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pulse first 8 ingredients in a food processor until well combined.
  3. Arrange oysters in a single layer on the grill.
  4. Spoon 2 tsp. butter-garlic mixture into each oyster.
  5. Grill, uncovered, about 7 minutes or until edges curl.

HITT Tip: We are pretty sure Drago’s used a mixture of Parmesan and Romano, and there may have been some lemon in there too. Consider adding a dash of Italian Seasoning, also, insiders told us. And we are talking LOTS of garlic! As Tommy Cvitanovich told us, “If you put butter, garlic and cheese on anything – a flip-flop, let alone an oyster – it’ll be delicious.”

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Charbroiled Oysters Recipe