Do you remember La Riviera in Metairie? A lost area restaurant

Aug 01, 2018 176

BY: Todd A. Price

In 1970, when La Riviera opened in Metairie, Italian food had been around New Orleans for a long time. But chef Goffredo Fraccaro, who was born outside Genoa, cooked a grand, Northern Italian-style cuisine that was far from our city's homey pastas with red gravy. At first the city was skeptical. But Fraccaro, with his big personality, won them over.

His crab ravioli, filled with lump meat and covered in a Parmesan cream sauce, became a signature of La Riviera and a staple of New Orleans. Fraccaro sold the restaurant to his cousin Valentino Rovere in 1989, but the chef kept cooking there even when, many years later, he officially "retired." La Riviera did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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