Created at Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans in the late 1890s, this popular dish was reportedly named for John D. Rockefeller because it's so rich. Today there are many versions of this classic, the most common being oysters on the half shell topped with a mixture of chopped spinach, butter, breadcrumbs and seasonings and either baked or broiled. The shells are usually placed on a bed of rock salt, which keeps them from toppling and spilling the ingredients. The original oysters Rockefeller is said to have been made with watercress, not spinach.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.