Hand-chopped steak tartare is served with a quail egg. Rabbit gumbo includes porcini mushrooms, fennel and house-smoked andouille. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$
The Bywater bar and restaurant seeks local ingredients for both its innovative cuisine and its cocktails. Drinks are mixed with fresh herbs and juices and change with the season. Open Thu.-Tue. No smoking. Full restaurant menu.
The jazz and blues club features live music every day and free swing dance lessons from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Dancing is encouraged. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food.
A frequent haunt of writer Tennessee Williams back in the day, Cafe Lafitte In Exile claims the title of oldest gay bar in the U.S. With two floors of music and video, as well as an upstairs pool table and balcony overlooking Bourbon Street, this bar hosts karaoke on Wednesday and The Original Trash Disco on Sunday. Happy hour starts at 1 p.m. Monday and runs through 9 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Open 24 hours. Smoking: yes
Blackened Two Run Farm rack of lamb is served with mango Scotch Bonnet pepper jelly, creamy mashed potatoes and asparagus. Louisiana jumbo lump crab cake is topped with local Meyer lemon drizzle and baby greens. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$
On Esplanade Avenue just across from the French Quarter, Buffa's has live music Wednesday through Sunday, including acts such as Aurora Nealand and Tom McDermott on Thursday, the Royal Rounders on Saturday and a traditional jazz brunch with Some Like It Hot! on Sunday. Open daily. Smoking allowed in front bar. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4 a.m.-6 a.m. and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. daily
Where Decatur Street meets Esplanade Avenue is where the music starts. Before the Frenchmen Street main course, this music hall houses everything from brass bands to salsa ensembles to rock 'n' roll on its main stage and patio every night of the week. Opens 6 p.m. daily. Smoking: yes. 504 Esplanade Ave., 522-2940
This casual restaurant offers an array of West African dishes. Copeni cone features chicken and broccoli seasoned with ginger and garlic served with fried plantains, coconut rice and sauteed spinach. The makondo yogurt dessert features fried plantains in sweet yogurt sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$
Behind an unremarkable facade on the edge of the French Quarter is this spartan lounge with a large U-shaped bar, some banquette seating and an extensive menu of classic and original cocktails. The bar uses house-made tonic water, juices and syrups in its drinks, and there is a wide selection of premium spirits and beers. Open daily. Smoking allowed. No food. Happy hour noon to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
The Apple Barrel is one of the smallest barrooms on the Frenchmen Street strip, but that doesn’t prevent it from scheduling two bands per night. The bar is low on frills but easy on comfort, with a handful of barstools and tables offering a view of Frenchmen through the storefront picture windows. Happy hour 2 p.m to 7 p.m. features $2 domestic beers and discounted well drinks. Open daily. Smoking: yes.
House-made crabmeat and corn cannelloni are served with spicy cream sauce. The bone-in veal chop comes with creamy brandy and mushroom sauce. All entrees come with pasta or salad. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner daily. Cash only. $$