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Clancy’s epitomizes the New Orleans tradition of fine neighborhood dining, where white tablecloths meet good old boys. Thing is, everyone’s a good ole boy here—it’s been that way for 70 years. It’s got the look: tuxedoes on the waiters, linen on the laps, beadboard on the walls. It’s got the attitude: It’s fun, fine dining, aspirational for some, a weekly ritual for others. It’s got a menu full of new Creole classics, superbly done: flash-fried oysters topped with brie; creamy, succulent shrimp and grits; a colossal smoked duck leg that stands on its own with the simplest of sides. When softshell crab is in season, it’s de rigueur on every menu in town, but here it’s smoked—and it’s a wonder. We’ve had great success with veal here, lighter than it should be, with luscious Béarnaise and crabmeat. If we were going all in, we’d order several of the pricey starters—the mussels with Andouille in tomato broth and crawfish vol au vent, to name two. Alas, the ample wine list is short on lower-end options. But once you give in to the kind of splendid evening to be had here, you may choose to give in to all that, too, and commune over conversation and cognac. Put down book. Make reservation.