Joe Segreto is like a senior senator in the world of Creole-Italian restaurants, and he often is found running the show at his elegant trattoria Eleven79 (1179 Annunciation St., 504-299-1179; www.eleven79.com). So it was a little surprising to learn that on Sunday afternoons this summer, Segreto will instead be at an altogether different restaurant serving boiled seafood and beer.
Segreto has teamed up with his friend David Baird for an ongoing series of al fresco events, essentially pop-up seafood boils in the courtyard at Le Citron Bistro (1539 Religious St., 504-566-9051; www.le-citronbistro.com), the restaurant Baird runs a few blocks away from Eleven79. The events are scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Sunday through the summer.
"People used to go to the West End all the time for seafood like this — Swanson's, Fitzgerald's, Maggie and Smitty's," Segreto says, reeling off the names of long-gone seafood houses once clustered on the New Orleans lakefront. "That's what inspired us here."
There's a relaxed DIY feel to the seafood boils. Sometimes Segreto also offers one of his personal specialty dishes: Italian-style marinated shellfish, based on a recipe Segreto says he learned from the Mosca family, which runs Avondale's famous Mosca's restaurant.