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BAYONA
430 Dauphine St. 525-4455
www.bayona.com
Chef Susan Spicer made her name inside the charming French Quarter cottage that houses this restaurant, and it's worth going by to see how she does it. The exciting offerings include a crawfish curry with lime pickle, a crispy smoked quail salad, and salmon with sauerkraut and wine sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

BLUE TOMATO
4404 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson 734-3000
The Blue Tomato brings you a mixed menu of Mexican, American and old-style Italian dishes to please any palate. Whether you bite into a 12-oz. burger, grab a slice of pizza or nibble on the quesadillas, you'll enjoy the funky decor and lively atmosphere. The chimichangas are a house specialty, where a beef or chicken burrito is fried crispy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

DOMINIQUE'S
1001 Toulouse St. (Maison Dupuy Hotel) 522-8800
www.dominiquesrestaurant.com
Chef Dominique Macquet serves an intoxicating blend of French and Louisiana cuisine in this romantic and elegant restaurant. He recommends the Trio of Lamb: grilled double chop of lamb, Merguez sausage, lamb confit, goat cheese and Malanga Terrine, and a chorizo spiced tropical ratatouille with lamb jus. Reservations recommended. Breakfast and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$$

LA COTE BRASSERIE
700 Tchoupitoulas St., Renaissance Arts Hotel, 613-2350
La Cote serves elegant French fusion cuisine in an intimate setting in the burgeoning Warehouse District dining scene. Prince Edward Island mussels, steamed in a red curry coconut sauce, are served with a basmati rice bread pudding. The crispy shrimp brochette are tempura fried on bamboo skewers and completed with Creole remoulade sauce. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MOONLIGHT CAFE

1921 Sophie Wright Place 522-7313
If your taste buds and hunger come alive in the wee hours, check out Moonlight Cafe, which specializes in late-night dining. The extensive menu includes such munchies as chicken fingers and shish kebobs, ribs, burgers, cheese fries and gyros. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner, and late-night daily. Credit cards and checks. $

THE NEW ORLEANS GRILL
300 Gravier St. (Windsor Court Hotel) 522-1992
www.windsorcourthotel.com
Along with taking a new name, the restaurant formerly known as The Grill Room has redesigned its dining room as well as its menu. Original takes on classic dishes include the braised filet of turbot, prepared with baby leeks, poached oysters, truffle ravioli, choucroute (French for sauerkraut), and Gewurztraminer sauce. The menu also offers a wide selection of vegetarian meals. Reservations required. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Saturday, brunch and dinner Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

THE PELICAN CLUB RESTAURANT & BAR

615 Bienville St./312 Exchange Alley 523-1504
www.pelicanclub.com
The Trio of Duckling is a combination of Peking duck leg confit, Chinese barbecue duck and Maigret duck breast, served with a honey and Louisiana navel orange sauce and accompanied by three-potato mash and baby vegetables. There's also an expansive wine menu and music in the piano bar on weekends. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

RIOMAR
800 S. Peters St. 525-FISH (3474)
www.riomarseafood.com

Travel international oceans under the guidance of Chef Adolfo Garcia. He creates a Peruvian-style fish with a tomato-cilantro sauce and jalapenos, Ecuadorian-style shrimp tossed with citrus and tomatoes, and Panamanian-style fish with onions and habanero chiles. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

SARA'S
724 Dublin St. 861-0565
www.sarasrestaurant.com

Sara's takes a global view of cuisine, offering Thai, Indian, Caribbean and Creole fusion dishes. The honey-ginger scallops are pan-seared and served over sesame angel hair pasta. Other inventions include the Louisiana crawfish egg roll and the shrimp satay: pan-seared prawns served in a spicy peanut sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$

SEMOLINA
100 Tyler Square, Covington (985) 898-0004
1121 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey 361-8293
1503 Gause Blvd., Slidell (985) 641-3456
2999 Hwy. 190, Mandeville (985) 626-8923
3226 Magazine St. 895-4260
3501 W. Chateau Blvd., Kenner 468-1047
4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Clearview Shopping Center) Metairie 454-7930
5080 Pontchartrain Blvd. 486-5581
www.semolina.com
Semolina focuses on pasta dishes -- everything from traditional red-sauce pasta with meatballs to macaroni and cheese cake. Entrees range from veal Parmesan to chicken Florentine to Java Pork Chops -- three marinated and peanut-crusted chops, pan-seared and served with a noodle and spicy vegetable stir-fry. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

SUN RAY GRILL
619 Pink St., Metairie 837-0055
1051 Annunciation St. 566-0021
2600 Belle Chasse Hwy. Gretna 391-7406
www.sunraygrill.com
The fare at all three locations ranges from grilled pork chops to fresh seafood and gourmet-style fajitas. Visit the Sun Ray Web site for a ³recipe of the month² and separate menus for each location. The owner's ³aggressive expansion projects² for 2004 include plans to open a Mid-City restaurant this summer. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VEGA TAPAS CAFE
2051 Metairie Road, Metairie
836-2007
www.vegatapasafe.com
Vega recommends the house-smoked and grilled duck breast with sun-dried cranberry and goat cheese couscous and the coriander seared tuna served with avocado and tomato relish with chile-cilantro vinaigrette. Reservations recommended. Dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$

VERANDA RESTAURANT
444 St. Charles Ave. (InterContinental New Orleans) 585-4383
www.new-orleans.intercontinen tal.com

Help yourself to the lunch buffet or order something from the menu, such as the braised lamb shanks or the wiener schnitzel. Tuesday's special, seafood crepes laced with a lobster sherry sauce, is a downtown favorite; Wednesdays feature osso buco. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

VIC'S KANGAROO CAFE
636 Tchoupitoulas St. 524-4329
This Warehouse District outpost is home to a hearty Guinness shepherd's pie and other foods, including pizzas, sandwiches and bar munchies. Be sure to ask for Vic's list of Australian wines. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

click to enlarge Owner Doson Ha and daughter Alison provide a - family atmosphere at DOSONS NOODLE HOUSE in - Riverbend. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Owner Doson Ha and daughter Alison provide a family atmosphere at DOSONS NOODLE HOUSE in Riverbend.
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