Scott Gold on the bakery and lunch spot in the Faubourg Marigny
New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery aims to be a quintessential Big Easy corner cafe, serving coffee, baked goods and extensive breakfast and lunch menus. Judging by the lines of patrons looking for doughnut and java fixes — or maybe a hearty Southern breakfast — locals appreciate what it has to offer.
Scott Gold on the Lower Garden District restaurant in a repurposed firehouse
After hearing some flattering words about Dijon, the Lower Garden District restaurant featuring contemporary Louisiana cuisine and promising "classical French and Creole influences," I had high hopes. The menu looked solid if not particularly novel or imaginative, and I couldn't have been more excited by the fact that the eatery resides in a converted firehouse.
Scott Gold goes Caribbean down on lower Decatur Street
Cane and Table opened several months ago to much discussion among the craft cocktail set about the Cure team's Caribbean-inspired venture and its bar stocked with enough rum to make even the saltiest sailor feel as though he'd been sent to Fiddler's Green. There would be drinks, of course.
Scott Gold on the Magazine Street neo-malt shop that serves donuts, coffee and sliders
For restaurants attempting to find innovative ways to stand out, one trend is to combine modern techniques and sophisticated flavor combinations with nostalgia. Notable local dishes in this arena recently have included foie gras cotton candy, sashimi ice cream cones and gourmet hot dogs, all of which pluck at childhood heartstrings while showing off something novel.
Scott Gold on Frenchmen Street's bustling Japanese restaurant
In Japan, an izakaya is a tavern that serves food and drinks. Izakaya diners typically sit for hours drinking beer, sake and other potent potables while sharing small plates from a large and varied menu.
Scott Gold samples a franks spot across from Armstrong Park
There was a time when if you wanted a hot dog in New Orleans, you got a link from Lucky Dogs, a Superdome dog or mass-market weenies from the grocery store. None of these dared approach anything that might even glancingly be labeled as "gourmet."
Scott Gold finds the venerable restaurant updated, but largely unchanged
New Orleanians are usually intrigued when a longstanding establishment declares a change of ownership and a new direction. Local ears perked up when Dick & Jenny's announced that it had a couple of new owners.
Scott Gold on the Mexican outpost on O.C. Haley Blvd. in Central City
Casa Borrega has been turning out authentic Mexican cuisine in Central City since July. What began with small plates and cocktails has now graduated to full lunch, dinner and brunch service.
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Cafe Amelie912 Royal St., (504) 412-8965www.cafeamelie.comSatsuma- and habanero-glazed grilled shrimp are served as
an appetizer. Chiba8312 Oak St., (504) 826-9119www.chiba-nola.comThe sushi restaurant's
combines scallops, yellowtail, wasabi tobiko, strawberry,
mango, jalapeno, tempura flakes and satsuma-ponzu sauce.
Bistro Byronz1901 U.S. 190, Mandeville,
(985) 951-7595www.bistrobyronz.comThe Caesar sandwich combines a Parmesan- and panko-crusted chicken breast, mozzarella, provolone, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and red onion. Lakeview Harbor911 Harrison Ave., (504) 486-4887www.neworleansbestburger.comFried chicken sandwiches can be topped with mushrooms, bacon or cheese, or all three.
Brigtsen's Restaurant723 Dante St., (504) 861-7610www.brigtsens.comIn chef Frank Brigtsen's tribute to the late chef Warren Leruth, baked oysters are topped with shrimp, crabmeat, onions, celery, scallions, parsley, cream, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Galatoire's 33
Bar and Steak215 Bourbon St., (504) 335-3932www.galatoires33barandsteak.comOysters Casino are topped with bacon, celery, peppers and onions.
Booty's Street Food800 Louisa St., (504) 266-2887www.bootysnola.comUsing a recipe inspired by the town
of Seto, Japan, Booty's serves pork broth ramen with a soft-poached egg and pork belly. Kingfish337 Chartres St., (504) 598-5005www.cocktailbarneworleans.comChef Greg Sonnier's signature duck
a la Saulnier is honey crab-boiled, boneless duck tossed with ramen noodles, roasted peppers, mushrooms and preserved lemon sauce.
The Bombay Club830 Conti St., 504-586-0972www.thebombayclub.comPrince Edward Island mussels are sauteed with bacon, garlic, thyme and cream and topped with french fries. Ciro's Cote Sud Restaurant7918 Maple St., 504-866-9551www.cotesudrestaurant.comDiners can order mussels and fries Provencal- or marinieres- style or topped with curry or blue cheese sauces.
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Let us help you drink with this guide to New Orleans-area bars, sorted by neighborhood
If you ask 50 New Orleanians to name their favorite bar, it's likely you
will get 50 different answers (or more if they recite their list of go-to bars based on mood, whether it's a date night or if they're going to watch a football game).
Opening an oyster bar in late September (the beginning of oyster season) in a seafood town seems like a low-risk venture. But when Chris "Bozo" Vodanovich offered to sell Ed McIntyre the popular seafood joint he'd run for the past 38 years, McIntyre was on the fence.
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For fans of Frankie & Johnny's (321 Arabella St., 504-243-1234), Black Friday was a very good day. After completing repairs and upgrades, the eatery's new owners reopened the casual seafood restaurant Nov. 29.
In a move that's more Silicon Valley than 9th Ward, Booty's Street Food (800 Louisa St., 504-266-2887; www.bootysnola.com), a Bywater spot for refashioned street food, is now accepting payment in Bitcoin. It becomes the first restaurant in New Orleans to embrace the electronic currency.
Major Bacon, the blues-rock band known for serving BLTs during Wednesday gigs at Banks Street Bar & Grill (4401 Banks St., 504-486-0258; www.banksstreetbarandgrill.com), has founded the Bacon Appreciation Club of NOLA (B.A.C.O.N.) with monthly meetings featuring bacon-themed food and drink. B.A.C.O.N. meetings are 9 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month at Banks Street Bar with free BLTs and praline bacon, and there are bacon cocktails and shots for sale.
"We're all in a play called New Orleans. We dress up and play the part, and
I assume the role
Dec 13 Sips of the Season and caroling
Atomic Burger (3934 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-309-7474; www.theatomicburger.com) joins the New Orleans area's growing stable of restaurants offering fast food with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Atomic follows a national trend of restaurants — including California's In-N-Out Burger (www.in-n-out.com), New York's Shake Shack (www.shakeshack.com), and of course New Orleans own Company Burger (4600 Freret St., 504-267-0320; www.thecompanyburger.com) — serving hamburgers, fries and other fast food favorites while still paying attention to quality sourcing and preparation.
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For nearly 20 years, I have greeted
the holiday season with the ultimate winter ale: Anchor Brewing's (www.anchorbrewing.com) Christmas Ale. This traditional release, which revived the American tradition of holiday beer in the post-Prohibition age, was first brewed in 1975, but every year both the recipe and label change.
On the heels of Gulfport, Miss. beer maker Crooked Letter Brewing (www.crookedletterbrewing.com) bringing its beers to the New Orleans market, two other well-respected and established breweries soon will sell their beers in Louisiana as well. Distributor Uncorked NOLA is bringing The Bruery (www.thebruery.com) from California's Orange County to markets throughout the state in mid-December.
Baton Rouge's Tin Roof Brewing Company (www.tinroofbeer.com) has been busy in recent months, introducing a new specialty beer, hosting gourmet beer dinners and expanding the brewery. In October, co-founders Charles Caldwell and William McGehee, brewmaster Tom Daigrepont and brewer Alex Daigrepont released Rougarou Imperial Black IPA as a limited-edition beer.
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Scott Gold talks to the tiki expert about his new book, Potions of the Caribbean
Local author, mixologist, rum expert and cocktail historian Jeff "Beachbum" Berry (www.beachbumberry.com) has written extensively about vintage tropical drinks and cuisine. His latest, Potions of the Caribbean, focuses not on the tiki culture for which he's known, but on the Caribbean.
Scott Gold talks to the butcher/purveyor behind Cleaver & Co.
It may have seemed a risky dive into antiquated waters when Cleaver & Co. (3917 Baronne St., 504-227-3830; www.cleaverand.co), decided to open a whole animal butcher shop Uptown.
Scott Gold talks with the Domenica man, whose Hanukkah menu has become a holiday staple
Besh Restaurant Group's four-year-old rustic Italian eatery, Domenica (123 Baronne St., 504-648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com), is known for wood-fired pizza, house charcuterie and handmade pastas, among other Italian specialties. Israeli-born, Philadelphia-raised chef Alon Shaya enjoys putting together special menus for Jewish holidays.
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