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LOUISIANA CONTEMPORARY 

124 RESTAURANT AND SPIRITS
124 Gerard St., Mandeville
(985) 727-7995
www.124restaurantandspirits.com
The dining room of this converted house lends itself to romantic evenings, and Chef Chuck Fisher's menu guarantees there'll be plenty to talk about. The pecan-crusted rabbit tenderloin is served with cous-cous and beurre blanc, and the grilled tuna comes with yellow curry sauce and caramelized shrimp. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

201 RESTAURANT AND BAR
201 Decatur St. 561-0007
Check out the Louisiana sausage du jour, served with caramelized leeks and Creole mustard, or the grilled quail and spinach salad, tossed with spiced pecans, mirliton and shaved manchego cheese. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Friday and Saturday. Credit cards. $$

ALLEGRO BISTRO
1100 Poydras St. 582-2350
Just like the musical style for which the bistro is named, meals here can be quick and light if that's the way you want it. Try the roasted garlic soup or the grilled gulf fish of the day. Other options which will stick to your ribs include barbecue shrimp, Prime filets and seafood gumbo. Lunch Monday through Friday. Credit cards. $$

ALONSO'S GRAPPA RESTAURANT AND BAR
587 Central Ave., Jefferson 733-2796
Taste the fire in the Italian spirit when you sip on grappa at this restaurant. If you're just in for a snack, hang by the oyster bar for succulent raw oysters on the half-shell. If you're looking for more, try a boiled seafood platter or the pork chop stuffed with crawfish and served with caramelized yams. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

ANNADELE'S PLANTATION
71495 Chestnut St., Covington
(985) 809-7669

www.annadeles.com
With a beautiful view of the Boguefalaya River, Annadele's offers a romantic dining experience. Chef Pat Gallagher keeps them coming back with appetizers such as Pat's Crab Cakes Grand Isle and entrees such as the Gulf Fish Wellington (trout with crabmeat stuffing in a delicate puff pastry, baked and topped with Choron sauce). Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, dinner Saturday, brunch Sunday. $$$

ARTESIA RESTAURANT & INN
21516 Hwy. 36, Abita Springs
(985) 892-1662
www.artesiarestaurant.com
Fine dining and a romantic and secluded atmosphere are the hallmarks of this sophisticated restaurant, set in a 100-year-old Creole mansion. This winter, try the fried buster crabs, seasoned with a house spice blend and basil and served with goat cheese, rice cakes and a roasted garlic sauce. Lunch Friday, dinner Thursday through Sunday and brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

BARATARIA
900 Harrison Ave. 488-7474
The new owners of this Lakeview dining destination bring fresh seafood, certified Angus beef and a Friday and Saturday Prime rib night to an already established menu. Check out the oysters Quinella, a sampling of oysters including the oysters Barataria Bay (smoky and garlicky) and the oysters Bay Ronquille (blue crabmeat and a special sauce). Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

BEGUE'S
300 Bourbon St. (Royal Sonesta Hotel) 553-2278
www.royalsonestano.com
The Friday seafood luncheon buffet offers a guided tour to the freshest seasonal seafood, and the deluxe menu has such delights as lamb with wilted spinach, pine nuts and goat cheese. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, champagne brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

BRIGTSEN'S
723 Dante St. 861-7610
www.brigtsens.com

Chef Frank Brigtsen's commitment to freshness means that the menu changes often, but winter usually brings favorites like the butternut squash and shrimp bisque and roast duck with cornbread stuffing and honey pecan gravy. The penchant for invention doesn't stop at dessert; try the cafe au lait creme brulee or the peanut butter mousse sandwich. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE VOLAGE
720 Dublin St. 861-4227
The popular osso buco features a braised veal shank in a demi-glace of scallion, mushroom and red wine, served with fettuccine Alfredo. The Sunday brunch menu boasts 10 entree choices, dessert and all-you-can-drink champagne for $17.95. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

THE CHEF'S TABLE
2100 St. Charles Ave.
525-CHEF (2433)
www.ci-no.com/restaurant.html

Take advantage of the Culinary Institute's chefs-in-training by eating at their reasonably priced practice restaurant. For a Louisiana classic, try the speckled trout pecan, for a taste of fusion try the fried green tomatoes with a shrimp and Thai remoulade. There are also a specialty deli counter, a bakery, and a culinary shop with cookbooks and spices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Friday and Saturday. Credit cards. $$

COPELAND'S
680 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 809-9659
701 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 831-3437
1001 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson 733-7843
1337 Gause Blvd., Slidell (985) 643-0001
1700 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey 364-1575
4338 St. Charles Ave. 897-2325
This branch of Al Copeland's culinary empire serves Louisiana cuisine at a price that families can afford. The eggplant pirogue is a house special, with fried eggplant topped with shrimp, crab claws and au gratin sauce and served over angel hair pasta. The rich chocolate fudge cake means you'll go home happy. Reservations recommended. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

DAKOTA'S RESTAURANT
629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 892-3712
www.thedakotarestaurant.com

This Northshore sister restaurant to Restaurant Cuvee shares a desire to combine global and Louisiana flavors on the plate. Chef Kim Kringlie has wowed the crowds with appetizers such as lump crabmeat and brie soup and lamb nachos with Roquefort cheese, tomato chutney and sweet potato chips. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, dinner Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

DANTE'S KITCHEN
736 Dante St. 861-3121
www.danteskitchen.com
Sunday brunch includes corn pancakes served with Steen's cane syrup and brandy milk punch to help you open your eyes, and lunch and dinner menus bring all manner of haute cuisine. Reservations recommended for parties of six or more. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

DICK AND JENNY'S
4501 Tchoupitoulas St. 894-9880
Dick Benz is the man behind those crabcakes, tournedos, and sweetbreads, while Jenny runs the house. For a rich treat, try the grilled pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese and pine nuts. No reservations. Dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$

DOC SMITH'S
1009 Poydras St. 561-0528
If you love the plush atmosphere at Smith & Wollensky's but don't have the energy to tackle a whole slab of beef, come to this offshoot, where the beer and cocktails flow freely and the plasma screen TVs are tuned to ESPN. There's plenty of finger food and snacks to share, including mini burgers, muffalettas, crabcakes and crawfish hush puppies. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

EMERIL'S
800 Tchoupitoulas St. 528-9393
www.emerils.com
For an appetizer, try the corn cakes topped with caviar or the savory lobster cheesecake, and the bacon-wrapped trout with horseradish-potato puree is a popular entree. If you can't decide, ask for the Menu Degustation for a six-course sampling of the freshest fish, meat and veggies available that day. Reservations required. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, Credit cards. $$$

EMERIL'S DELMONICO RESTAURANT
1300 St. Charles Ave. 525-4937
www.emerils.com
This Uptown member of the Emeril empire gives the chef a chance to get back to Creole favorites, although he couldn't resist adding his special gourmet touch. The wealth of seafood options include the grilled fish of the day and a pan-fried redfish, served either meuniere or amandine. The bourbon vanilla creme brulee is a popular dessert option. Reservations recommended for lunch, required for dinner. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, jazz brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

ETOILE
407 N. Columbia St., Covington
(985) 892-4578
This Northshore bistro has a new menu and a new chef, Kevin Cadow. One of his seasonal creations is the
mussels with spicy dill in a white wine cream broth and served with sweet potato French fries. Treat yourself by having the apple tart with almond creme. Reservations accepted for parties of six or more. Lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

FQB
921 Canal St. (The Ritz Carlton Hotel) 524-1331
www.ritzcarlton.com
Chef Matt Murphy has created daily specials with a distinctly regional flair. Pork chops with oyster andouille dressing, Muscovy duck and wild mushroom gumbo or redfish and shrimp court-bouillon are examples of daily offerings. Live local music sets the mood. Reservations recommended Thursday through Saturday. Lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner and late-night daily, brunch Sunday. $$

GABRIELLE RESTAURANT
3201 Esplanade Ave. 948-6233
Chefs Greg and Mary Sonnier invite you to their elegant and intimate restaurant in the historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, near the Fair Grounds. The Sonniers recommend the Mojo Marinated Pork Rib Chop with stuffed Anaheim pepper and root beer-glazed apples. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday through Saturday, lunch Friday. Credit cards. $$$

GAUTREAU'S
1728 Soniat St. 899-7397
www.gautreaus.net
Chef Mathias Wolf has impressed many with his interpretation of French cuisine and his delicate touch with fish. The roasted rack of veal with braised veal cheeks and a vegetable ragout is but one example. Reservations recommended. Dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

GIROD'S BISTRO
500 Chartres St. 524-9752
Girod's Bistro, located in the center of the historic Napoleon House, kicks up the elegance a notch with its typically classy menu (which is going through a revision this winter). No reservations. Dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $

HILLERY'S ON TOULOUSE
827 Toulouse St. (Hotel St. Marie) 571-2888
www.hillerysontoulouse.com
Chef Ed and Hillery Moise have created a menu of diverse dishes with local flavor. Featured entrees include the pan-seared hanger steak with Southwest seasoning, served with roasted garlic and mashed potatoes. A spin on New Orleans barbecue shrimp is the shrimp Luis, served with jambalaya. Louisiana pecans are featured in the pecan pie for dessert. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IGOR'S GARLIC CLOVE
2135 St. Charles Ave. 522-6602
Watch the streetcar rumble by as you enjoy local flavors such as the rabbit in Cajun picante sauce or the Cajun seafood pasta salad, served cold with calamari, shrimp, scallops and bow-tie pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

JACQUES-IMO'S CAFE
8324 Oak St. 861-0886
They never stop lining up for this popular Riverbend spot just a stone's throw from the Maple Leaf, thanks to Chef-owner Jack Leonardi's whimsical persona and zany efforts such as the fried roast beef po-boy appetizer (that's right). Or try the smothered pork chop: double-cut pork chop stuffed with beef and shrimp and smothered in mushrooms and brown gravy. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more. Dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

LAFITTE'S RESTAURANT
2031 St. Charles Ave. (Pontchartrain Hotel) 524-0581
www.pontchartrainhotel.com
Look for Lafitte's to change its name soon to Cafe Pontchartrain in honor of its home hotel. Start meals with the sampler platter, which comes with a crab cake, voodoo shrimp and baby back ribs, all served on a bed of lettuce. The popular Mile High Pie, the mammoth dessert, is scheduled to be featured soon on the Food Network. Reservations recommended for four or more. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LOUISIANA HERITAGE CAFE SCHOOL OF COOKING
321 N. Peters St. 299-8800
Class is definitely in session in this restaurant inside the former Gamay Bistro, with such popular regional fare such as pan-seared beef tournedos, with wild mushroom potato hash and red wine reduction. Also try the mahi mahi, topped with crabmeat on a bed of roasted corn grits crowned with lemon butter. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and travelers' checks. $$

MARIGNY BRASSERIE
640 Frenchmen St. 945-4472
www.cafemarigny.com
Locals and tourists alike visit this bustling restaurant on the edge of the bustling Frenchmen Street scene for the Brasserie's New Orleans contemporary cuisine with a seasonal twist. Daily lunch specials include the roasted scallops with shrimp over an asparagus tomato risotto with crispy parsnips and covered with a Creole cream sauce. There are daily fish, foie gras and soup du jour offerings. Reservations accepted. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Sunday through Saturday, Sunday brunch. Credit cards. $$

MAT & NADDIE'S RESTAURANT
937 Leonidas St. 861-9600
One favorite is the homemade ricotta and butternut squash cannelloni with figs, Gorgonzola cheese, and Grand Marnier sage brown butter sauce, served up with grilled beets and endives. Reservations recommended. Lunch through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Credit cards. $$.

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE
801 Chartres St. 568-1885
www.muriels.com
Observe the bustling life of Jackson Square from inside Muriel's or ask for a courtyard seat where you can quietly enjoy redfish Napoleon sauteed and speckled with sweet pea potatoes and served with an amandine butter. Another option is grilled tuna with gnocchi (potato dumplings), tossed with wild mushrooms, bacon, onions and Pinot Noir sauce. For dessert, there's the creative Peanut Butter Bomb, now available with caramel filling. Reservations recommended. Lunch, dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

NAPOLEON HOUSE CAFE
500 Chartres St. 524-9752
The Napoleon House is as venerable a French Quarter spot as you'll find, the place where they're still waiting for the little general to begin his exile here. Till then, we get to enjoy the Italian muffalettas, which at the Napoleon House is heated to let the cheese soften and the flavors blend. Or try the Pasta Fruits De Mer: shrimp, crabmeat and scallops in a spicy tomato-sherry cream with Crimini mushrooms and penne pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Friday and Saturday. Credit cards. $$

PERISTYLE
1041 Dumaine St. 593-9535
The stellar menu at nationally acclaimed Chef Anne Kearney's highly touted restaurant changes every few weeks to capitalize on seasonal ingredients. A current offering is the double-cut venison chop, which features a pan-seared cabernet-marinated venison chop served with a grilled mushroom and wild rice croquette, wilted Louisiana greens and a huckleberry-flecked demi reduction. Reservations recommended. Lunch Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

QUARTER SCENE RESTAURANT
900 Dumaine St. 522-6533
www.quarterscene.com
This is a good place to meet a friend or date for affordable local cooking, such as the shrimp bordelaise with white rice and gumbo, or yellowfin tuna in raspberry vinaigrette with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. Reservations recommended for parties of six or more. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RALPH'S ON THE PARK
900 City Park Ave. 488-1000
Ralph's on the Park has taken over the old Tavern on the Park location and offers contemporary Louisiana/French specials such as grilled herb-crusted lamb chops featuring tender ³domestic' lamb chops grilled with a mustard-herb crust. They're served with a natural sauce, ³satin potato' and wilted spinach. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, dinner Saturday and Sunday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT AUGUST
301 Tchoupitoulas St. 299-9777
Chef John Besh updates his menu often, so take advantage of the season's offerings, such as the Gulf oysters topped with ginger-lavender sorbet. Foie gras comes prepared three ways on one plate. Reservations required. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CUVEE
322 Magazine St. 587-9001
www.restaurantcuvee.com

Executive Chef Bob Iacovone's menu offers choices such as the sea scallop-crusted Gulf fish selection, which comes over braised fennel and salsify with an orange-vanilla gastrique. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

STELLA!
1032 Chartres St. 587-0091
www.restaurantstella.com
True to his reputation for constantly changing innovations, Chef-owner Scott Boswell has found some delectable replacements. Try the honey-braised Australian lamb shank with heirloom beets, truffled with potatoes and natural lamb reduction. Or, order the wild mushroom-crusted squab in seared Hudson Valley foie gras with house fettuccine, Italian pancetta, chiffonier of fresh sage and Parmesan-Reggiano. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, except Tuesday. Credit cards. $$$

STIXX RESTAURANT
535 E. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette 276-2742
Contemporary Creole dishes include Stixx's feature dish, the chicken Louisiane, a paneed chicken breast served over angel hair pasta with crawfish cream sauce. Menu surprises include sushi rolls and sashimi. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

SUGAR HOUSE
315 Julia St. (Embassy Suites Hotel) 525-1993
www.embassysuites.com/es/neworleans
This restaurant serves up a number of innovative dishes such as the Sugar House Pork Medallions, grilled and served with an orange brown sugar sauce. Other delights include the popular crabmeat-stuffed shrimp, baked and topped with coconut sprinkles. Lunch buffet Monday through Friday, dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SUGAR MAGNOLIA
1910 Magazine St. 529-1110
www.sugarmagnoliarestaurant.com
Owner Steve McKenna invites you to dine in this renovated 1820 farmhouse, which celebrates the New Year with an expanded menu. Among the new treats are a wasabi-crusted ahi tuna with soy glaze over a warm shitake mirliton bed. Reservations recommended for six or more. Lunch Monday through Sunday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, brunch Saturday and Sunday. Credit cards. $$

WOLFE'S OF NEW ORLEANS
7224 Pontchartrain Blvd. 284-6004
www.wolfesofneworleans.com
One of Chef Tom Wolfe's most popular -- and elaborate -- dishes is potato-wrapped Maine lobster, in which the lobster is parboiled, wrapped in shoestring potatoes and pan-seared to a crisp. It's served with a smoked mussel torte, sweet vermouth butter sauce, grilled asparagus and garlic chips. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, dinner Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

click to enlarge BROKEN EGG CAFE offers popular breakfast items in - a warm, family environment on the Northshore. - DONN YOUNG
  • Donn Young
  • BROKEN EGG CAFE offers popular breakfast items in a warm, family environment on the Northshore.
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