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Concierge.com

New Orleans Restaurants

Hotel Photo
Bourbon House Seafood & Oyster Bar
144 Bourbon Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 522 0111
www.bourbonhouse.com

This informal yet stylish space shows that it's possible to eat on Bourbon Street without giving in to the hard-drinking stigma associated with the city's infamous party strip. An outpost of the Brennan's empire—the family also runs Commander's Palace and eight other restaurants across the city—the Bourbon House's oyster bar might be one of the French Quarter's best, with fresh-shucked bivalves served on the half shell or topped with a salty dollop of "Louisiana caviar" (roe from a local fish). The bar has floor-to-ceiling windows, a solid menu with plenty of informal Louisiana classics (po'boys, gumbo), and a silky frozen "milk punch" spiked with just enough bourbon to blur the line between dessert and cocktail.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 861 7610
www.brigtsens.com

It's hard to avoid being swept up in the convivial vibe while dining at this Uptown "house bistro." The tablecloths are white, but waitresses bring a diner-friendly warmth to the three dining rooms, while James Beard Award–winning chef Frank Brigtsen clanks away in the rear kitchen, plating up some of the city's best seafood dishes. A New Orleans native and avid sportsman, Brigtsen artfully blends Louisiana's two indigenous cuisines—sophisticated Creole and rustic Cajun—with an eye toward lesser-known fish. Black drum and red snapper are staples, but Brigtsen works magic with rarities like tripletail or triggerfish, grilling them to tender perfection and topping them with summer shrimp and sweet corn. Duck fans should try the roasted duck, deboned and served with savory corn-bread dressing.

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Casamento's Restaurant
4330 Magazine Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 895 9761
www.casamentosrestaurant.com

"A couple of dozen raw and a couple of beers to wash 'em down" used to be standard after-work fare in New Orleans's working-class neighborhoods, where shuckers popped open the plentiful oysters for hungry stevedores and doctors alike. On the Uptown stretch of Magazine Street, Casamento's still does things the old way, from frying the seafood in unadulterated lard (the chef's choice for flavor and crunch) to closing during the summer months. Nothing fancy here, but everything's fresh and cool, especially during the winter months, when fat, meaty bivalves slide across the bar, chased by cold Abita beer in a dainty pony glass. Slurp 'em back, and don't forget to tip your shucker.

Open for lunch Wednesdays through Sundays; dinner, Thursdays through Saturdays. Closed June through August.

Clancy's
6100 Annunciation Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 895 1111
www.clancysneworleans.com

Buried in the maze of the side streets in Uptown's Riverbend neighborhood, Clancy's is one of the more unassuming restaurants in the city, which seems to suit its loyalists just fine. It's another of the "secret clubhouse" restaurants that locals often keep to themselves—and on any given night, the older crowd reflects a genteel, somewhat subdued ambience. The fried oyster starter with melted brie would be considered rich by any standards, but the addition of lemon beurre blanc puts it over the top. The pan-seared veal topped with a silky béarnaise sauce melts on the tongue. And in keeping with local evening tradition, a rich meal can be bookended with cocktails that don't skimp on the active ingredients: A perfectly made Sazerac works well as a predinner warm-up or a postprandial simmer-down.—Pableaux Johnson

Hotel Photo
Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
Warehouse District
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 588 2123
Tel: 504 588 7675
www.cochonrestaurant.com

Donald Link of Herbsaint fame opened this Warehouse District restaurant in the spring of 2006, and it's been one of the city's enduring "hot tickets" ever since. The menu is an homage to the rustic Cajun boucherie (meat market) tradition that Link grew up with in rural southern Louisiana. Start with the deep-fried rabbit liver appetizer or the meaty fried boudin balls (crispy globes of rice-based Cajun sausage). The entrées include a sophisticated take on catfish sauce piquante, a flawless presentation of a home-style Cajun dish. The airy, well-lit room—a former electrical warehouse—plays exposed brick off stylish blond wood, though the flat-seated chairs take their toll on the backside during longer meals. Link and partner Steven Stryjewski recently upped the ante with the addition of Cochon Butcher next door; it hawks house-cured meats and homemade pickles next to a "swine bar" that serves wines by the glass along with outstanding sandwiches and small plates (their single-serving muffuletta might be the best in town). Fans of Cochon's charcuterie selection—duck rillettes, salumi, and smoky andouille sausage—can pick up a pound or two to bring home.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11 am to 10 pm, Saturdays 5:30 to 10 pm.

Commander's Palace
1403 Washington Avenue
Garden District
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 899 8221
www.commanderspalace.com

If you doubt the concept of "elegant excess," book a long weekday lunch at Commander's, in the relaxed Garden District. The legendary flagship of the Brennan's restaurant dynasty hosts the local ladies who lunch as they celebrate their birthdays with a flood of 25-cent martinis (one of the best hidden lunch specials in town). The ambience of the new main dining room has shifted from restrained and clubby to playfully extravagant, with life-size feathered songbird dolls peeping out from the avian-themed wallpaper. The second-story Garden Room looks out onto the iconic oak-shaded courtyard. In both rooms, the efficient, brigade-style service never disappoints. Chef Tory McPhail, working the kitchen that launched Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, artfully blends varied local influences in dishes like pan-seared Gulf fish with Louisiana citrus; crawfish and grits perfumed with cognac; and an earthy seared duck breast with Cajun dirty rice and roasted tomatoes. Eternal Commander's classics such as rich seafood gumbo, sherry-spiked turtle soup, and ethereal bread pudding soufflé provide a comforting sense of continuity.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 6:30 to 10 pm, Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 pm and 6:30 to 10 pm, and Sundays 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 6:30 to 10 pm.

Dick and Jenny's
4501 Tchoupitoulas Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 894 9880
www.dickandjennys.com

You just can't get any homier than this renovated Creole cottage steps from the landmark Tipitina's nightclub. With hand-painted plates on the wall and oilcloth-covered tables, this Uptown restaurant seems rustic enough, but don't let the grandma vibe fool you. The daring menu serves down-home American standards, but it also blends a few eclectic influences to create innovative comfort food. Though the menu changes seasonally, expect inventive dishes like savory crawfish and sausage cheesecake, seared duck breast with chorizo, and pecan-crusted Gulf fish, sautéed and paired with smoked mushrooms and cheese grits. If it's on offer, the mile-high lemon meringue pie packs just enough tang to raise a pleasing post-meal pucker.

Open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays, dinner Mondays through Saturdays.

Galatoire's
209 Bourbon Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 525 2021
www.galatoires.com

For locals, Friday lunch at this sophisticated Creole standby is a weekly tradition; for visitors, it should be a once-in-a-lifetime culinary event. With its windows facing Bourbon Street's seamy club zone, Galatoire's first-floor dining room oozes old-world gentility with tiled floors, lace curtains, and mirrored walls (the better to people-watch, my dear). The menu is classic Creole: impossibly light soufflé potatoes, crackling oysters en brochette layered with bacon, pan-fried fillets of delicate speckled trout drizzled with drawn butter and pristine lump crabmeat. Given the semiformal surroundings—gentlemen's jackets required at dinner, suggested at lunch—you'd expect a stuffy atmosphere, but the crowd here gets borderline rowdy, especially after a few midday cocktails. Arrive early and follow their lead.

Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays.

Gautreau's
1728 Soniat Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 899 7397
www.gautreausrestaurant.com

Although you might not expect it from a TV-savvy celebrity chef, almost everything about Sue Zeminack tends toward utter understatement. After many accolades for her performance on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, Zeminack returned to this hidden gem of an Uptown restaurant to refine her culinary identity. Her style is precise in execution and far-reaching in influence. Her flash-fried sweetbreads balance nicely with savory waffle sticks and a slightly sweet maple-syrup gastrique. Asian and Moroccan influences permeate the current menu with entrées such as the spiced lamb shank with apricots and fried chickpeas. The dining room, dominated by subtle trompe l'oeil draperies, has a clubhouse ambience with a slightly formal feel, which is apparently just how the steady crowd of Uptown locals likes it.—Pableaux Johnson

Green Goddess
307 Exchange Alley
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 301 3347
www.greengoddessnola.com

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, yet worlds away from the main tourist drags, this pedestrian-only, back-alley spot seems both blessed and cursed in the local restaurant scene. In recent years the compact storefront has housed a cake bakery and a Honduran taco joint, and has served as the launching pad for several ambitious young talents. Since May 2009, it's been home to chefs Chris DeBarr and Paul Artigues, both of whom arrived with their own enthusiastic followings (DeBarr came from Delachaise Wine Bar; Artigues was a veteran of Surrey's Juice Bar). Working the dinner shift, DeBarr pursues a style that's aggressively eclectic, incorporating exotic ingredients from every conceivable culinary culture into a wide-ranging menu. Griddle-seared boudin patties sneak into a ploughman's lunch, along with locally made chorizo and a chunk of Manchego; his "Cochon du Lait/Lei" is a banana-leaf packet filled with tender pulled pork and served with sesame seed–encrusted sweet potatoes and a pile of adobo-laced collard greens. Artigues, who runs the lunch and brunch shifts, helped DeBarr develop a cocktail list (alcoholic and non) that matches the tiny kitchen's inventive streak. Cashew fruit juice, for example, anchors a savory-sweet rum drink chilled with coconut juice ice cubes; the Bloody Mary is made with roasted Creole tomato purée. Until the weather cools, diners have a delicate choice: Opt for indoor seating and you'll get A/C but very little personal space (the four tables are essentially elbow to elbow) or choose the alleyway experience if you prefer open-air dining in the city's sultry historic center.—Pableaux Johnson, first published on Gourmet.com

Open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 am to 3:30 pm, Thursdays through Sundays 11 am to 3:30 pm and 6 pm to 11 pm.

Hotel Photo
Herbsaint
701 St. Charles Avenue
Central Business District
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 524 4114
www.herbsaint.com

Chef Donald Link started his local empire with this gem of a bistro in the Central Business District. His trademark small plates balance substance with finesse, while his excellent cocktail selection predated the mixology craze. Link's take on shrimp and grits goes crunchy instead of gooey: Slabs of grits with diced green chiles are fried and then drizzled with a rich cream sauce spiked with smoked pork. A native of southern Louisiana, Link always offers a rich daily gumbo (varying by season) as well as brasserie favorites like perfectly seared hanger steak with frites. But he really shines when he mixes the two idioms in dishes like duck-leg confit with dirty rice or chile-glazed pork belly. The ambiance is airy and minimal without being too fussy. Street-level windows dominate the main room and give a relaxing view of the classic St. Charles streetcars rumbling past. Can't get enough? Book a table at Cochon, Link's Warehouse District restaurant, which serves modern takes on rustic Cajun fare.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 10:00 pm, Saturdays 5:30 to 10 pm.

Iris
8115 Jeannette Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 299 3944
irisneworleans.com

After a few years of plying their trade on a tiny Uptown side street, chef Ian Schnoebelen and co-owner Laurie Casebonne moved their award-winning operation to larger digs in the French Quarter's Bienville House hotel. The airy, light-filled room is perfect for early evening dining before a night on the town or a romantic tryst once darkness settles in. Schnoebelen's offerings are linked to the season and market, so springtime brings fresh shrimp paired with pickled ramps and house-made tapenade; a satiny guacamole subtly infused with kaffir lime; and savory duck confit with a salad of baby greens and roasted baby beets. Seasonal flavor themes even extend to the cocktail list, which uses a broad palette of herbal flavors and complex preparations to wonderful effect. We recommend the Winter Lily, an inventive take on the traditional margarita with cranberry, cardamom, and flamed orange.

Open Mondays, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 pm until 10 pm, Thursday and Friday 11:30 am to 2 pm.

Mahony's Poboy Shop
3454 Magazine Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 899 3374
www.mahonyspoboys.com

When owner/chef Ben Wicks decided to leave the fine-dining world, he dedicated himself to New Orleans's signature sandwich—the glorious overstuffed po'boy. He landed in a renovated shotgun house near the Garden District, and has been toeing the line between tradition and innovation ever since. His riff on the standard ham-and-cheese variation features a slow-roasted pork with an Abita root-beer glaze; the classic seafood "Peacemaker" po'boy has a layer of tangy cheddar and crispy bacon atop mounds of Gulf shrimp and tender oysters. A basket of thin-cut, fluffy onion rings are a standout in the side-dish category. The kitchen tends to slow WAY down during peak lunch service, so be prepared to wait (sometimes as long as 30 minutes) for your order on the porch or the oak-shaded patio.—Pableaux Johnson

Hotel Photo
MiLa
817 Common Street
Central Business District
New Orleans , Louisiana
70112
Tel: 504 412 2580
milaneworleans.com

The husband/wife chef team of Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing made their names in New York City (Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, Alain Ducasse) before returning to New Orleans, where they had met years before. The pair now presides over the mod supper-club vibe of MiLa at the Pere Marquette hotel. They bring a refreshing mix of precision and playfulness to dishes like deconstructed oysters Rockefeller—impossibly tender poached shellfish with shattering-crisp bacon chips. The Rushings specialize in combining riffs from contemporary French and Southern styles, resulting in dishes like savory grilled duck brined in black tea and sweet potato pappardelle with baby shiitake mushrooms and delicate roasted garlic cloves. Their desserts also clear a high bar for inventiveness and flavor; the "root beer float" is actually an amazingly rich sandwich made with frozen Bavarian cream and root beer sorbet between ginger snaps. Save room or you'll live to regret it.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm, Saturdays 5:30 to 10 pm.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern
538 Hagan Avenue
Mid-City
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 482 3047

This twice-reborn Mid-City barroom is a testament to the staying power of New Orleans's po'boy culture. You'll find pitch-perfect examples here of the city's classic sandwich: generous lengths of crisp-crusted French bread overstuffed with handfuls of tender fried oysters and layers of locally cured ham, roast beef, or crunchy hot sausage patties seared on the grill and oozing just the right amount of spicy red grease. After bringing this century-old neighborhood landmark back from the brink of extinction in 2003, owner Jay Nix rebounded from Katrina-related flood damage without missing a beat. On Thursday nights, the Parkway serves up a gumbo of local New Orleans music with live zydeco, gypsy blues, and jazz.

Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Tuesdays.

Patois
6078 Laurel Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 895 9441
www.patoisnola.com

For fans of the HBO series Treme, this Uptown establishment might seem more than vaguely familiar, since it's the setting for Desautels restaurant on the television show. In real life, Chef Aaron Bergau turns out bistro specialties with an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine. Local chanterelle mushrooms give an earthy undertone to tender gnocchi crowned with crabmeat, while the seared hanger steak gets a subtle savory dimension in the form of smoked onion marmalade. The split-level dining room is comfortable and homey, and its narrow bar is one of the great convivial eating spaces for solo diners. On Sundays, the place packs with locals for a relaxed brunch far away from the French Quarter tourist crowds.—Pableaux Johnson

Hotel Photo
Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street
Central Business District
New Orleans , Louisiana
70130
Tel: 504 299 9777
www.rest-august.com

Chef John Besh never seems to sleep. In addition to running three restaurants and competing recently in the Food Network's Iron Chef competition, he's planning an Italian family-style eatery in the soon-to-be-reopened Roosevelt Hotel. But his first restaurant is still where this chef does his best work. The atmosphere is as welcoming and chic as ever—crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows played against weathered brick—and Besh hasn't missed a step in terms of the menu. His flash-fried soft-shell crab starter still melts on the tongue; the bowl of truffled gnocchi dazzles with a single jewel of flawless lump crabmeat. Besh changes his menus constantly and is currently honing his farm-to-table approach with dishes like sugar/spice roast duckling with stone-ground grits and rich foie gras.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11 am to 2 pm and 5 to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 5 to 9 pm.

Riomar
800 South Peters Street
Warehouse District
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 525 3474
www.riomarseafood.com

New Orleans might seem like an unlikely place to sample Spanish cuisine, but local chef Adolfo Garcia combines his local pedigree and Panamanian heritage to produce outstanding takes on Iberian seafood. At this Warehouse District location, he offers a rotating selection of fresh, flavorful ceviches (using seasonal Louisiana seafood, of course) as well as a hearty yet light zarzuela de mariscos (a saffron-infused Spanish version of bouillabaisse). The list of wines by the glass is particularly deep—a good match for a tapas-style lunch. One of the restaurant's partners is Argentinean, so meat eaters are taken care of: The hanger steak (served with crunchy yuca fries and pesto-like chimichurri) ranks as one of the best beef dishes in town. More dedicated beef eaters can dine down the street at Garcia's second restaurant, La Boca, which was modeled on the casual neighborhood steak houses of Buenos Aires (857 Fulton St.; 504-525-8205; www.labocasteaks.com).

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 6 to 10 pm, Saturdays 6 to 10 pm.

Stanley
547 St. Ann Street
French Quarter
New Orleans , Lousiana
70116
Tel: 504 587 0093
www.stanleyrestaurant.com

Chef Scott Boswell's French Quarter breakfast/lunch spot fills an important niche in a city with few outstanding morning options. If you've ever been disappointed by gloppy "brunch grade" hollandaise, order one of Boswell's variations on eggs Benedict and taste the difference that a saucier's training can make. The Eggs Stanley (poached and topped with hollandaise and crispy fried oysters) and Breaux Bridge Benedict (the brunch classic with a crunchy patty of Cajun boudin sausage) stand out on the morning menu, while the lunch menu shifts to classic sandwiches (a hefty Angus burger, tenderloin po'boy with tangy kimchi) and ice cream/soda-fountain specialties for dessert. The prices at Stanley might be a bit high (about $13.25 for the Eggs Stanley), but the level of polish, the central location, and Jackson Square people-watching more than make up for a few extra bucks on the check.

Open daily 7 am to 7 pm.

Upperline Restaurant
1413 Upperline Street
Uptown
New Orleans , Louisiana
70115
Tel: 504 891 9822
www.upperline.com

This Uptown eatery—an art-packed casual room with a stellar, homey menu—never fails to make you feel like family. The friendly, convivial vibe emanates from genial owner/hostess JoAnn Clevenger; since opening Upperline in 1983, she has built a reputation for mixing heartfelt hospitality with well-executed updates of Creole and Southern favorites. One of the now-classic combinations of contemporary New Orleans cuisine—fried green tomatoes and shrimp remoulade—originated here. The bistro-style menu is long on earthy, comforting flavors: duck with ginger-peach sauce, veal grillades over rich cheese grits, an outstanding duck and andouille étouffée. The three dining rooms house the owner's considerable collection of New Orleans-themed art; paintings cover every inch of wall, and folksy sculptures sprout from any horizontal surface. Get JoAnn talking about any of the colorful masks, photos, paintings, or prints in the room, and you can piece together an informal art history of the Crescent City.

Open Wednesdays through Sundays 5:30 to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.