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M BISTRO Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com The Ritz-Carlton's M Bistro serves contemporary Louisiana cuisine. Blackened redfish is served with saffron crab risotto, asparagus and blue corn bisque. Signature dishes include duck and Northshore mushroom gumbo and New Orleans barbecue shrimp with Papa Tom's smoked Gouda grits. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

M'S COFFEE & CAFE322 Lafayette St., 592-8244; www.mcoffeecafe.comStop in for breakfasts of pancakes or breakfast burritos and the house special blend coffee. Lunch options include a chicken panino filled with shredded chicken, roasted garlic and house-made basil pesto. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

MAGAZINE PO-BOY SHOP2368 Magazine St., 522-3107Start your day with a breakfast po-boy or stop by later for a selection of sandwiches and daily specials. The eggplant Parmesan po-boy tops fried eggplant medallions with red sauce, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickles. The seafood platter features fried shrimp, oysters and catfish, vegetables, French bread and french fries or potato salad. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Cash only. $

MAGNOLIA GRILL 1122 Decatur St., 566-6003 Magnolia Grill is known for spicy Bloody Marys and diner food. Breakfast is served all day, and options include a country breakfast, French toast and 12 different omelets. Lunch and dinner options include salads, burgers, sandwiches, po-boys, and blackened or fried seafood. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MAHONY'S PO-BOY SHOP 3454 Magazine St., 999-3374; www.mahonyspoboys.com Mahony's prepares classic po-boys and some original sandwich creations. The fried chicken liver po-boy is dressed with Creole coleslaw. Fried green tomatoes with grilled shrimp and remoulade fill another po-boy. The Peacemaker combines fried oysters, bacon and cheese. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MANDARIN HOUSE3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 779-0888The Mandarin House buffet has more than 200 items including Chinese dishes, sushi and seafood specialties. Honey chicken and sweet and sour chicken are popular. The boiled seafood options include crawfish, shrimp, king crab and more. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT 3800 Canal St., 482-9179; 4240 Hwy. 22, Suite 1, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; www.mandinasrestaurant.com The original Mandina's is a Mid-City institution known for New Orleans dishes with Italian flair. Try eggplant sticks with marinara dipping sauce or thick onion rings for a starter. The trout meuniere, turtle soup and shrimp remoulade are popular choices. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MANO'S PO-BOYS6943 Saints Drive, Metairie, 734-0922In the morning, diners order the Saints special, a breakfast sandwich on any type of bread or biscuit with two eggs, cheese and ham, bacon or sausage. Get a po-boy with shrimp, oysters, roast beef or meatballs. The daily lunch specials include fried chicken, stuffed bell peppers with lima beans and rice, and grilled boneless chicken with shrimp dressing. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MAPLE STREET CAFE7623 Maple St., 314-9003; www.maplestreetcafenola.comNew Orleans, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines fuse at this Uptown restaurant. Oysters amandine are fried and topped with roasted almonds and white wine lemon butter. Entrees include veal osso buco, pastas and seafood options including soft-shell crabs. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MAPLE STREET PATISSERIE7638 Maple St., 304-1526This bakery offers a range of breads, European pastries, croissants, fruit tarts, turnovers, Danishes and cakes. Three sandwiches are offered at lunchtime, including roasted turkey and Havarti on a choice of house-made bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY4201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite D, Metairie, 987-2167; www.marbleslab.comCustomers choose their own sweet mixes from more than 15 ice cream flavors and toppings ranging from blueberries and Gummi Bears to Kit Kat and mint patties. Other creations include Tiramisu Crunch with yellow cake and Nestle Crunch. There also are cakes, shakes, floats and banana splits. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MARDI GRAS ZONE 2706 Royal St., 947-8787; www.mardigraszone.com This former Mardi Gras supplies store stocks its shelves with fresh produce and an eclectic selection of groceries from across the globe. The deli serves po-boys and hot items like lasagna, brisket and baked or fried chicken. Pizza is now available. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Credit cards and checks. $

MARIGNY BRASSERIE 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.com This eatery offers a modern take on classic Creole and Italian cuisines. New Orleans barbecue shrimp come atop stone-ground grits with smothered collard greens studded with andouille sausage. There also are salads, soups, po-boys and sandwiches. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MARK TWAIN'S PIZZA LANDING2035 Metairie Road, Metairie, 932-8032; www.marktwainspizza.comDiners choose regular, whole wheat or gluten-free crusts at Mark Twain's. The Creole pizza is topped with sauteed shrimp, Gulf crab claw meat, andouille and zucchini. The Huck Finn combines green peppers, red onions, mushrooms and black olives, and artichokes are optional. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE MARKET CAFE 1000 Decatur St., 527-5000; www.marketcafenola.com Indoors or out, dine on seafood fried for po-boys and platters or highlighted in dishes such as crawfish pie, crawfish etouffee, gumbo and shrimp Creole. Red beans and rice and bread pudding are other classic New Orleans menu items. Sandwich options include muffulettas, Philly cheese steaks and gyros. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

click to enlarge At Olive Branch Cafe, Ehren Andrus and chef Michael Mayerchin present a Tuscan grilled sandwich. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • At Olive Branch Cafe, Ehren Andrus and chef Michael Mayerchin present a Tuscan grilled sandwich.

MARTIN WINE CELLAR714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7350; www.martinwine.comThis gourmet emporium stocks wine, cheese, deli meats and prepared dishes. The smoked salmon BLT combines smoked salmon, bacon, arugula, tomatoes and wasabi mayo on sourdough bread. The European salad features prosciutto, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan with sherry vinaigrette. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

MARTINIQUE BISTRO 5908 Magazine St., 991-8495; www.martiniquebistro.comFind a table on the patio or in the dining room at this French-Caribbean influenced restaurant. Prince Edward Island mussels are steamed in white wine with leeks, applewood-smoked bacon, Maytag blue cheese and cream. Radish sprouts and caperberries garnish Gulf shrimp sauteed with Meyer lemon and Champagne. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MAT & NADDIE'S 937 Leonidas St., 961-9600; www.matandnaddies.com Mat & Naddie's innovative cooking includes dishes like roasted corn and sweet pepper fritters with crawfish sausage. Or try sherry-marinated grilled quail and waffles. The nightly prix fixe wine dinner honors the culinary traditions of Jewish French immigrants — think matzo ball pot-au-feu and mocha-filled macaroons. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MATTINA BELLA 421 E. Gibson St., Covington, (985) 992-0708 Many items on the large menu of breakfast dishes at this Covington cafe carry over to lunchtime. The California omelet is filled with mushrooms, avocados and Swiss, and the Florentine omelet is stuffed with creamed spinach and artichokes and topped with mozzarella. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $

MAURICE FRENCH PASTRIES3501 Hessmer Ave., Metairie, 985-1526; 4949 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 455-0830; www.mauricefrenchpastries.comAlong with pastries, Maurice offers a wide selection of sugar-free baked goods. The most popular item is the kugelhopf, a specialty pound cake. No reservations. Hessmer Avenue: breakfast Mon.-Sat. West Napoleon Avenue: breakfast Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

MAXIMO'S ITALIAN GRILL1117 Decatur St., 586-8883; www.maximosgrill.comAn open kitchen allows guests to watch cooks prepare meals. Osso buco features a braised veal shank finished with garlic, thyme and white wine demi-glace, served with grilled asparagus and roasted red potatoes. The house-made ravioli special changes daily. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MCALISTER'S DELI Citywide; www.mcalistersdeli.comMcAlister's signature sandwiches include the "big nasty," roast beef served on a toasted open-face hoagie with "come back" gravy and cheddar Jack cheese. McAlister's is known for its baked potatoes and also serves wraps, salads and flatbread pizzas. A children's menu is available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MEAUXBAR BISTRO 942 N. Rampart St., 569-9979; www.meauxbar.comExpect new twists on bistro classics at Meauxbar. Appetizers include onion soup gratinee with Gruyere crouton. The mac and cheese is made with baked ziti, mushrooms duxelle, goat cheese, Gruyere and truffle oil. The poisson en papillote is a Louisiana or Gulf fish steamed in parchment paper. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MEGUMI YAKIMONO AND SUSHI BAR 1211 Village Walk, Covington, (985) 993-0406; 4700 Hwy. 22, Suite 11, Mandeville, (985) 945-1644; www.megumirestaurant.net Megumi's Yakimono's sushi bar creates new special rolls every week. The Dixie Chick roll is made with spicy tuna, snow crab, avocado and tempura flakes and topped off with white sauce. The Downtown Kicker Roll is comprised of tempura shrimp, both seared and spicy tuna, jalapeno, seared escolar, mango and eel sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MELIUS BAR & CAFE1701 Lake Ave., Metairie, 928-9446; www.meliusbarbucktown.comStop in to Melius in the morning for a breakfast of eggs, sausage or bacon and Texas toast. For lunch, get grilled or fried chicken atop a salad with tomato, bacon, egg and cheese. Melius fries are covered in Swiss cheese and gravy. No reservations. Breakfast Mon.-Fri, lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MELLOW MUSHROOM 1645 Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 327-5407; www.mellowmushroom.com Offbeat pizza options include the red skin potato pie, which features red potatoes, bacon, caramelized onions, sour cream and ranch dressing. Mellow Mushroom also serves calzones, hoagies and salads. Gluten-free crusts are available. During spring, there are crawfish boils every Friday. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

THE MELTING POT1820 St. Charles Ave., 525-3225; www.meltingpot.comGrab a fork and go for a dip (or several) at this fondue favorite. Fontina and Butterkase cheeses fill a garlicky spinach and artichoke fondue. For dessert, try the white chocolate creme brulee, or choose from a decadent list of chocolate fondues. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MESON 923 923 S. Peters St., 523-9200; www.meson923.com Chef Baruch Rabasa's frequently changing menu combines Spanish and French flavors with classic New Orleans notes. The crudo section of the menu features hamachi with blood orange, fennel, pickled onion, radish and blood orange vinaigrette. Sauteed triggerfish is served with quinoa, jumbo lump crabmeat, sweet potato and smoked-tomato vinaigrette. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MIDDENDORF'S 30160 Hwy. 51 S., Akers, (985) 386-6666; www.middendorfsrestaurant.comFried thin-sliced catfish is this restaurant's most well-known dish. An entree salad includes mixed greens topped with boiled shrimp and spicy new potatoes. Hushpuppies, coleslaw and onion rings are among the side items. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

MIKE'S ON THE AVENUE628 St. Charles Ave., 523-7600; www.mikesontheavenue.comChef Mike Fennelly's menu combines Southwestern and Asian influences. Salmon baked in banana leaves comes with basil couscous and lemongrass sauce. The New Orleans-style bouillabaisse includes Gulf shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, corn, white wine, sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper rouille. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MIKIMOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT & SUSHI BAR3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.comThis sushi bar has both room to dine in and a drive-through pick-up window. The carpaccio sashimi has white fish with red onions, olive oil, capers, basil, green onions and spicy sauce. The super niku maki features thin slices of fish with snow crab and green onions in teriyaki sauce on a sizzling plate. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MILA817 Common St., 412-2580; www.milaneworleans.comChefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing reinvent Southern and Creole dishes. Signature oysters Rockefeller "deconstructed" features poached Louisiana oysters, spinach, bacon chips and licorice root. Crispy-skinned red snapper is served with broccoli puree, wilted romaine and grapefruit sauce. Save room for a root beer float, with vanilla bean bavarois, ginger snap tuiles and Abita Root Beer sorbet. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MILANO'S PIZZERIA 3002 Cleary Ave., Metairie, 780-7500Along with pizza, subs and calzones, Milano's offers a variety of pasta dishes. The Mardi Gras pasta features shrimp and fresh vegetables tossed in spicy bisque cream sauce over linguini. Popular pies include a spinach and artichoke pizza. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MILK BAR1514 Delachaise St., 991-9361The Milk Bar is located inside Cafe Prytania. Gourmet sandwiches include Clooney's Choice, made with ciabatta from La Boulangerie and filled with grilled chicken, avocado, roasted red peppers, red onion, cilantro and mozzarella. Wash it down with a hand-dipped milkshake. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MIMI'S IN THE MARIGNY2601 Royal St., 972-9868; www.myspace.com/mimisinthemarignyMimi's Spanish-influenced tapas take bar food to new heights. Hot items include goat cheese croquettas, calamari with chorizo in cream sauce, mushroom manchego toast and beef empanadas with aioli. Other options include plates of Spanish cheeses or marinated olives. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

MIMI'S ITALIAN AND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT10160 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-6464; www.mimisriverridge.comEnjoy Italian and Creole cooking at Mimi's. Seared veal hanger steak is served over house-made spaghetti with onions and a soft-cooked egg. Braised lamb cheeks are tossed with pasta, fava beans, baby arugula and served with ricotta salad. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MR. B'S BISTRO201 Royal St., 523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.comMr. B's is a modern Creole favorite in the French Quarter. Barbecue Gulf shrimp are served in New Orleans-style peppery butter sauce with French bread. The gumbo ya ya is a country-style gumbo made with chicken and andouille sausage. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MR. ED'S SEAFOOD AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 463-3030; 1001 Live Oak St., Metairie, 938-0022; www.austinsno.comMr. Ed's is known for fried chicken and Italian cuisine, and local dishes like trout amandine. Diners can choose red, white or lima beans with rice. Seasonal specialties include shepherd's pie, crawfish and soft-shell crab dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

MR. GYROS GREEK RESTAURANT3620 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 933-9228; www.mrgyros.orgPita sandwiches come with your choice of chicken, souvlaki, falafel, vegetable or gyro meat (a combination of ground beef and lamb). Mr. Gyros also has kebabs and daily specials including pasta, fish and veal dishes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MR. JOHN'S STEAK HOUSE2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.comSteaks, seafood and Italian dishes round out this Uptown restaurant's menu. Options include New York strips, filets mignon, rib-eyes and porterhouse steaks for two. Crabmeat ravioli feature Dungeness crab in Asiago cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MR. POOR BOY RESTAURANT 10202 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge, 737-1170Mr. Poor Boy offers sandwiches filled with shrimp, catfish or slow-cooked roast beef dripping with gravy. Grilled or fried catfish is served with Creole eggplant sauce, salad and potato salad or garlic potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MR. ROO'S DELI & CATERING 3501 Severn Ave., Metairie, 985-4010; www.mrroosdeli.comMr. Roo's serves po-boys and sandwiches including a muffuletta filled with salami, Chisesi ham, Swiss and mozzarella cheeses and olive salad. Grilled ahi tuna is served over angel hair pasta in garlic butter sauce with salad, bread and vegetables. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MIYAKO SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997; www.japanesebistro.comMiyako offers a wide array of Japanese dishes from its sushi bar and hibachi grill. The hibachi special combines lobster, filet mignon and shrimp and comes with clear miso soup, salad, hibachi noodles and mixed vegetables. The Miyako roll is a batter-fried roll filled with salmon, white fish, crab, avocado, cucumber and tobiko. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MO'S PIZZA 1112 Avenue H, Westwego, 341-9650; www.mospizza.netMo's is known for its extra-large, hand-tossed pizzas served whole or by the slice. Specialty pies include a muffuletta version and chicken and spinach Alfredo. Pizza turnovers are filled with meat and cheese, and the Supreme includes black olives, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

MOJITO's RUM BAR & GRILL437 Esplanade Ave., 252-4800; www.mojitosnola.comMojito's serves a mix of Cuban, Caribbean and Creole dishes. Caribbean mac and cheese pie is filled with lobster, tomatoes, sauteed garlic and scallions and topped with cheese sauce. Shrimp ya ya features grilled Gulf shrimp over jalapeno cheese grits made with applewood-smoked bacon, garlic and shallots. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Tue.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MOJO COFFEE HOUSE1500 Magazine St., 525-2244; www.myspace.com/mojocoffeeMojo serves coffee and tea drinks as well as a menu of soups and sandwiches. The Magazine sandwich features ham, apple and Brie on your choice of seven-grain, tomato-basil or sourdough bread. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

MONA LISA RESTAURANT1212 Royal St., 522-6746Specialty pizzas and pasta dishes are featured at this bohemian French Quarter hideaway. Mardi Gras linguine includes andouille and shrimp in tomato cream sauce. Top off a dinner of shrimp scampi with homemade tiramisu. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Mon., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MONA'S CAFE504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., 961-8175; 3901 Banks St., 482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., 994-9800; www.monascafenola.comFind traditional Middle Eastern dishes across the city at Mona's locations. There are chicken, lamb and beef kebabs, lentil soup, falafel and gyro sandwiches and vegetarian platters. Appetizers include zaater bread topped with herbs and olive oil and safeiha topped with ground beef and lamb. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

MONDO 900 Harrison Ave., 224-2633; www.mondoneworleans.com Chef Susan Spicer's Lakeview restaurant offers upscale takes on comfort food from around the globe. Try an appetizer of baked oysters over artichoke bread pudding with bacon cream, or an entree of shrimp with curried cauliflower and basmati rice. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MONSTER PO-BOYS 1814 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, (985) 626-9183Try a variety of homemade items such as gumbo and chicken or tuna salads, or the popular roast beef po-boy. Monster also serves shrimp, oyster, catfish, sausage and meatball po-boys. Grilled shrimp are served over rotini with butter garlic sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $

MONTREL'S BISTRO 1000 N. Peters St., 524-4747 This casual restaurant in the French Quarter serves Creole favorites such as crawfish etouffee, boiled crawfish, red beans and rice and bread pudding for dessert. Outdoor seating is adjacent to Dutch Alley. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MORNING CALL3325 Severn Ave., Metairie, 985-4068When Morning Call moved from its French Market location in 1974, it brought all of the original furnishings. Beignets are made with a sourdough recipe. New Orleans classics like red beans and rice, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee are on the menu as well. Try the frozen cafe au lait. No reservations. Open 24 hours daily. Cash only. $

MORTON'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 702 Water St., Madisonville, (985) 945-4970; www.mortonsseafood.comAdmire the view from the waterfront at Morton's while perusing a menu of fried, boiled and grilled seafood. Try the daily seafood casserole featuring a combination of fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables, baked and topped with melted cheese. Steaks and chicken dishes also are available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE1 Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221; www.mortons.com/neworleansThis Chicago-based chain is known for its cuts of prime-aged steaks, which include filets mignon, porterhouses, New York strips and rib-eyes. Savory small dishes like smoked salmon pizza and mini crab cakes are available at the bar. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MOSCA'S4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942; www.moscasrestaurant.comMosca's hearty Italian cooking is perfect for family-style dining. Shrimp Mosca are Gulf shrimp sauteed with white wine and Italian seasonings. Chicken a la Grande features chicken sauteed with rosemary, whole garlic cloves and white wine. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$$

MOTHER'S RESTAURANT 401 Poydras St., 523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.netAll Mother's meats — including the beef and ham for the Famous Ferdi special — are cooked in house. Mother's Creole soul food specials include Mae's file gumbo and Jerry's jambalaya. Start your day with a crawfish etouffee omelet. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

MULATE'S CAJUN RESTAURANT201 Julia St., 522-1492; www.mulates.comLive Cajun music and traditional Cajun cuisine go hand-in-hand at this rustic-styled restaurant. Try grilled alligator, fried seafood platters or crabmeat-stuffed catfish. Gumbo, pasta, burgers, chicken and salads round out the menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE 901 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com This attractive restaurant on the corner of Jackson Square boasts a menu of contemporary Creole cooking. The wood-grilled double-cut pork chop is topped with sugar cane apple glaze and served with pecan sweet potatoes and Southern-style greens. Crawfish and goat cheese crepes are topped with Louisiana crawfish in buttery Chardonnay sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

click to enlarge Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery serves knishes, matzo ball soup and deli sandwiches like the J&N. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery serves knishes, matzo ball soup and deli sandwiches like the J&N.

N'TINI'S2891 Hwy. 190, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 626-5566; www.ntinis.comN'tini's fish of the day ranges from pan-roasted tilapia with garlic beurre blanc to grilled mahi mahi. Seasonal soup options include seafood gumbo, French onion and red bean. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri. dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NACHO MAMA'S MEXICAN GRILL1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 736-1188; 3242 Magazine St., 999-0031; 6325 Elysian Fields Ave., 286-1805; www.nachomamasmexicangrill.comNacho Mama's serves Tex-Mex favorites and specialty margaritas. Mamachitas feature a spicy blend of roasted jalapeno, serrano and habanero peppers fried and served with habanero sour cream. Popular items include mahi mahi tacos with mango salsa, and tilapia tacos topped with pickled slaw. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NAKED PIZZA6307 S. Miro St., 965-0244; 701 Metairie Road, 935-0066; www.nakedpizza.bizProbiotic- and prebiotic-rich, multi-grain crusts make Naked Pizza a healthy option for pies, but that doesn't mean there's no meat. The Omnivore features pepperoni, ground beef, ham, bell peppers, mushrooms and black olives. The Ragin' Cajun is loaded with chicken, sausage, garlic, peppers and onion. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NAPOLEON HOUSE BAR & CAFE500 Chartres St., 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.comThe charming and historic Napoleon House offers a slate of casual New Orleans favorites including po-boys, red beans and rice and chicken and sausage jambalaya. The specialty is the muffuletta, which is heated through, softening the cheese and blending flavors. Seafood gumbo is filled with shrimp, crab and okra. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., late night Fri. and Sat. Credit cards. $$

NATHAN'S RESTAURANT 36440 Old Bayou Liberty Road, Slidell, (985) 643-0443; www.nathansrestaurant.net This Slidell restaurant serves a mix of seafood, Creole and Italian dishes. Tuesday's Italian night special includes Italian salad and small portions of spinach cannelloni, lasagna and chicken parmigiana. Wednesday's surf-and-turf special includes a 6-oz. steak, a lobster tail and a side of potatoes in bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., Sun. brunch. Credit cards. $$$

NEW ORLEANS CAKE CAFE & BAKERY2440 Chartres St., 943-0010; www.nolacakes.comFresh cakes, breads, bagels and biscuits are this cozy Marigny cafe's specialty. For breakfast, try dishes like boudin and eggs. Lunch specials include the crab sandwich with spinach, Brie and bacon. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

NEW ORLEANS FOOD & SPIRITS208 Lee Lane, Covington, (985) 975-0432Voodoo eggrolls stuffed with crawfish start things off at this casual eatery. Catfish is fried or grilled and topped with crawfish etouffee. Blackened chicken is served with creamy Alfredo sauce over pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NEW ORLEANS HAMBURGER & SEAFOOD COMPANY Citywide; www.nohsc.comChoose from 10 different half-pound burgers, including the Ragin' Cajun topped with wing sauce, jalapenos, grilled onions, banana peppers and pepper Jack cheese. Specialty sandwiches, po-boys, salads, seafood platters and local favorites like red beans and rice round out the menu. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEW YORK PIZZA4416 Magazine St., 991-2376; www.newyorkpizzanola.comNew York Pizza serves thin-crust pies whole or by the slice. The Big Apple pie is loaded with everything, and anchovies and jalapenos are optional. Find borough-centric pies like the Brooklyn, Bronx or Queens, which has spinach, artichoke, mushrooms and mozzarella and feta cheeses. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NEYOW'S CREOLE CAFE 3340 Bienville St., 927-5474 Smothered okra, jambalaya, barbecue chicken breasts and po-boys are menu staples at Neyow's. Daily specials include Southern fried chicken and Pasta on the Bayou featuring sauteed shrimp and crawfish in cheesy butter cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

NINJA SUSHI8433 Oak St., 966-1119; www.ninjasushineworleans.com Ninja features an extensive list of sushi, sashimi, rolls, soba and udon noodles, soups, salads and other dishes. There also are vegetarian and gluten-free items. The Smokey Bear roll bundles baked smoked salmon, green onions, cucumber, smelt roe and egg sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

NIRVANA INDIAN CUISINE4308 Magazine St., 994-9797; www.insidenirvana.comNirvana offers traditional Indian curries and tandoori items as well as seafood, vegetarian and rice dishes. The lamb achar is a spicy and tart curry. Murgh sonya is a chicken breast stuffed with nuts, raisins, herbs and farmers cheese. Lunch is served buffet style. Reservations recommended for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

NOLA BEANS762 Harrison Ave., 267-0783; www.nolabeans.comStop in for breakfast sandwiches, pancakes or an omelet at NOLA Beans. Lunch items include soup, salad, sandwiches and wraps, like the Argonne which is filled with roasted turkey, sprouts, Havarti cheese, avocado and tomato. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

NOLA RESTAURANT534 St. Louis St., 522-6652; www.emerils.comChef Emeril Lagasse's French Quarter restaurant serves a menu of modern Louisiana dishes. The grilled pork chop is served with brown-sugar-glazed sweet potatoes, toasted pecans and caramelized onion reduction sauce. The hickory-roasted duck is served with whiskey-caramel glaze, buttermilk cornbread pudding, haricot verts and fire-roasted corn salad, natural jus and candied pecans. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

NONNA MIA3125 Esplanade Ave., 948-1717; www.nonnamia.netThis cafe and pizzeria serves gourmet pies, pasta, paninis and salads. The Divine Portobello appetizer combines mushrooms, grilled chicken and spinach with creamy, spicy red pepper sauce. The fish of the day might be mahi mahi, salmon or tilapia served with sauteed vegetables and lemon-caper sauce or lemon beurre blanc. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$ ­

NONNA'S ITALIAN BAKERY & CAFFE2033 N. Hwy. 190, Suite 5, Covington, (985) 993-1488; www.nonnarandazzo.comKing cakes are baked year-round at this Northshore bakery. Also available are fresh pastries, cookies, cakes and bread. The lunch menu features soups, panini and salads. No reservations. Breakfast Tue.-Sun., lunch Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NOR-JOE IMPORT COMPANY 505 Frisco Ave., Metairie, 933-9240; www.norjoe.com Nor-Joe is an Italian grocery stocked with olive oils, cheeses and cured meats. It combines those items to create its only prepared food item, a muffuletta. No reservations. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NOSH219 Dauphine St., 581-6674; www.noshnola.comNosh offers pancakes, omelets and breakfast casseroles in the morning. For lunch, try the Reuben, with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss and Thousand Island dressing on griddled rye bread. Hand-cut fries are topped with home-made chili and cheddar cheese. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner and late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

NUVOLARI'S 246 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; www.nuvolaris.com Open since 1983, this Mandeville mainstay focuses on Creole cuisine. Try char-grilled redfish topped with lump crabmeat and citrus meuniere sauce or lobster, shrimp and crab served with sherry cream sauce over linguine. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$$

O'BRIEN'S GRILLE2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., Terrytown, 391-7229; www.obriensgrille.comO'Brien's is a steakhouse offering steaks, chops and seafood dishes. Savory artichoke cheesecake is topped with oysters sauteed in butter, garlic and white wine. Skin-on snapper is seared crisp and served with brabant new potatoes, grilled asparagus, lump crabmeat and Creole beurre blanc. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

O'DONNELL'S RESTAURANT131 S.W. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, (985) 386-4077O'Donnell's features contemporary Creole dishes like a grilled double-cut pork chop over a crisp potato cake with sauteed spinach. Seared Wisconsin duck breast is served with braised collard greens, baby sweet potatoes and blackberry cassis reduction. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

O'HENRY'S FOOD & SPIRITS632 S. Carrollton Ave., 966-9741; 9859 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 461-9840; www.ohenrys.comO'Henry's offers seafood platters, sandwiches, salads and burgers. The classic deli patty comes topped with pastrami and melted Monterey Jack cheese and is dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Other specialty burger toppings and sauces include horseradish aioli and the southwest cilantro sauce. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OAK8118 Oak St., 302-1485; www.oaknola.comThis wine bar offers small plates and live musical entertainment. Gulf shrimp fill tacos assembled in house-made corn tortillas with pickled vegetables, avocado and lime crema. The hanger steak bruschetta is topped with Point Reyes blue cheese and smoked red onion marmalade. No reservations. Dinner and late-night Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

OAK STREET CAFE8140 Oak St., 966-8710; www.oakstreetcafe.comThis all-day breakfast joint serves classic diner fare. The Florentine scramble mixes three eggs, spinach, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, mozzarella and feta cheeses and is served with grits or potatoes and a biscuit or toast. The Gallina sandwich combines chicken, guacamole, salsa fresca, feta cheese, lettuce, tomato and green onion on wheat toast or French bread. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Wed.-Mon. Credit cards and checks. $

OCEANA GRILL 739 Conti St., 525-6002; www.oceanagrill.com This restaurant puts a twist on seafood favorites. "Jazzy" crab cakes are topped with crawfish cream sauce. Eggs Melanzana features eggplant rounds with grilled ham and tomatoes, poached eggs and hollandaise. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

OKI NAGO JAPANESE SEAFOOD BUFFET2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 780-8588; www.okinago.comOki Nago's buffet includes some Chinese dishes in addition to the large selection of Japanese items, ranging from teriyaki, tempura-fried shrimp and vegetables, to cold noodle salads, sushi and rolls. Buffet meals include ice cream and salad. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE OLD COFFEEPOT RESTAURANT 714 St. Peter St., 524-3500; www.theoldcoffeepot.com The Old Coffeepot is known for calas — Creole rice fritters sprinkled with powdered sugar. The Fleur De Lis chicken is served with crabmeat and crawfish dressing and topped with beurre blanc. The menu also offers gumbo, crawfish etouffee and shrimp Creole. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OLIVE BRANCH CAFE1995 Barataria Blvd., Marrero, 348-2008; 3700 Orleans Ave., 302-1220; 5145 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 393-1107; www.olivebranchcafe.comChoose from sandwiches, wraps and entrees like chicken and artichoke pasta with sauteed red onions and mushrooms over penne tossed with garlic and olive oil. Shrimp Carnival features Gulf shrimp, smoked sausage, red onions and green peppers in garlic cream sauce over penne. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT204 Decatur St., 525-7734; www.olivierscreole.comOlivier's serves Creole dishes inspired by and named for family members and their recipes. Braised Creole rabbit is served with sage-seasoned oyster dressing. Crab ravioli are battered, flash fried with shrimp and crawfish, topped with spinach Alfredo and served with asparagus. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ONE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.comThis bustling Riverbend restaurant presents creative dishes such as pan-fried flounder atop spaghetti squash gratin, topped with julienned Brussels sprouts and Meyer lemon beurre blanc. Starters include char-grilled oysters with Roquefort cheese and red wine vinaigrette. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ORANGE COUCH 2339 Royal St., 267-7327; www.theorangecouchcoffee.comEnjoy coffee and baked goods such as fresh carrot cake. On Fridays, the cafe serves light Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls and bun. For an additional treat, try one of the Japanese mochi ice cream flavors like lychee or chocolate coconut. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

THE ORIGINAL PIERRE MASPERO'S 440 Chartres St., 524-8990; www.pierremasperosrestaurant.com Pierre Maspero's updates local classics. The "hot and blue" oyster po-boy is dressed with Tabasco mayonnaise and blue cheese. The cochon de lait gets spicy heat from garlic and jalapenos. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast Fri.-Mon., lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; www.orleansgrapevine.comJust off Bourbon Street, this bistro offers an extensive selection of wines by the glass and a menu of French-inspired dishes. Black mussels are served in tomato-saffron broth, and the herb-crusted rack of lamb comes with truffled mashed potatoes, baby vegetables and brandy-peppercorn demi-glace sauce. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

OSCAR'S RESTAURANT & BAR2027 Metairie Road, Metairie, 931-9540Oscar's offers standard pub grub, but it's known for the overstuffed baked potatos served with half-pound burgers. The restaurant also offers its take on the muffuletta, the Oscarlotta. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE Citywide; www.outback.comThis Aussie-accented chain offers a Down Under approach to steaks and other dishes, but the Bloomin' Onion and spicy Kookaburra chicken wings should seem familiar. Entrees include T-bones and rib-eye steaks, racks of New Zealand lamb and seafood items from tuna steaks to lobster tails. No reservations. Dinner daily, lunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

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