Chef Brad McGehee’s farm-to-table diner food is a hit in Old Metairie
Old Metairie Road is one of the New Orleans area's last bastions of laid-back, old-school dining that can make a weeknight feel magical without breaking the bank. Interested in a freshly muddled cocktail but pinching pennies?
Sarah Baird on the haute hunting-camp food at this St. Charles Avenue hot spot
Hunting camp culture and its rituals of hearty, communal dining is not often the focal point of a haute cuisine restaurant. But Chef Jim Richard is changing that.
Sarah Baird finds kung pao pastrami and crawfish rangoon on St. Claude Avenue
Diners looking for Red's Chinese won't find a flashy neon sign or hand-scripted letters pointing them in the right direction. Instead, a giant red square hangs over St. Claude Avenue, luring curious diners to experience the city's most playful and inventive new Chinese food.
Sarah Baird on the Mid-City spot for vegan and vegetarian Indian food
Top-notch Indian food is one of New Orleans' few culinary blind spots, especially when it comes to dishes that are vegan or vegetarian. Eating lovingly prepared, meat-free Indian food can be a sensory delight, with aromas, textures and nuanced layers of flavor that can tempt even the most voracious carnivore.
The Fat Falafel’s brick-and-mortar restaurant on Bayou St. John sets the bar for New Orleans’ Mediterranean food
When New Orleans is hit with a cold snap, it's not difficult to begin fantasizing about locales that are less chilly — and offer the blossoming scents of sweet olive and fresh citrus. Unless you're able to hop a jet to Cyprus, 1000 Figs — the brick-and-mortar restaurant spawned by the success of the Fat Falafel food truck — is your best bet for an edible vacation.
Sarah Baird on a new option for Chinese food in the Faubourg Marigny
In the Faubourg Marigny, Bao & Noodle is helping lead a wave of next-generation Chinese restaurants in New Orleans. The restaurant's focus on serving fresh ingredients in a welcoming, neighborly atmosphere is energizing, and should help keep customers returning as the menu's flavor profile continues to find its feet.
Tequilas, mezcals, grasshoppers and more on John Besh and Aaron Sanchez’s daring Mexican menu
Thanks to Johnny Sanchez, 2015 may be the year New Orleanians embrace insects on their dinner plates. Between gobbling tacos and sipping mezcal, diners at Johnny Sanchez can scoop up chunky guacamole speckled with an unusual topping — chapulines.
Old-school dining in a new-school restaurant
If you're looking to escape to a realm of dark wood, plush curtain-lined booths and strong drinks, Richard Fiske's Martini Bar and Restaurant is the elegantly crafted step back in time you're seeking. Diners enter a world where it would seem unsurprising to see Bing Crosby at a nearby table or Etta James crooning to the sounds of the bar's tinkling piano.
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Cafe Adelaide300 Poydras St., (504) 595-3305www.cafeadelaide.comThe bananas Foster sundae features dark rum-cinnamon ice cream, bananas, crispy plantains and chantilly cream. Crepes a la Cart1039 Broadway St., (504) 866-2362www.crepecaterer.comThis crepe shop's sundae is a crepe filled with vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, chocolate chips and nuts.
Kingfish337 Chartres St., (504) 598-5005www.kingfishneworleans.comCochon de lait pot pie includes crab boil potatoes, English peas and carrots en croute. The Original
Pierre Maspero's440 Chartres St., (504) 524-8990www.originalpierremasperos.comThe restaurant's seafood version combines Gulf shrimp, blue crab, fresh herbs, Parmesan and cream sauce over a buttermilk biscuit.
Apolline4729 Magazine St.,
(504) 894-8881www.apollinerestaurant.comA pork chop is served with marchands de vin, smashed potatoes and fried onions. GW Fins808 Bienville St.,
(504) 581-3467www.gwfins.comA Niman Ranch pork chop comes with sweet potatoes, balsamic strawberries and bourbon-
Bayona430 Dauphine St., (504) 525-4455www.bayona.comSmoked quail salad includes pears and bourbon molasses dressing. Louisiana Bistro337 Dauphine St., (504) 525-3335www.louisianabistro.netThe Farmhouse salad combines mixed greens, grilled pear, blue cheese, spicy pecans, bacon
and chive vinaigrette.
Carrollton Market8132 Hampson St., (504) 252-9928www.carrolltonmarket.comOysters Goodenough features flash-fried oysters topped with bacon, creamed leeks and bearnaise. Lilette3637 Magazine St., (504) 895-1636www.liletterestaurant.comChicken broth is served with leeks, tomato and a soft-poached egg.
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The familiar aqua exterior of a long-standing restaurant remains largely unchanged, except for one recent improvement: the neon sign that reads "Charles Sea Foods" is lit up again. Charles Seafood (8311 Jefferson Highway, Harahan, 504-405-5263; www.charlesseafood14.com) celebrated its one-year anniversary Jan. 17 under the new ownership of Shawn and Patti Kelley.
Not long ago, going out to dinner in New Orleans fit into a very specific set of parameters. A meal typically consisted of heading to a brick-and-mortar space with standard hours and a tried-and-true menu of appetizers, main courses and desserts.
Bennachin1212 Royal St., (504) 522-1230; www.bennachinrestaurant.comThe restaurant specializes in dishes from western and central Africa. Vegetarian jama jama ni makondo features sauteed spinach with fried plantains and coconut rice.
3 Potato 42727 S. Broad St., Suite 102, (504) 298-7761; www.3p4shop.comThe vegan restaurant focuses on baked potatoes and offers gluten-free baked sweet potatoes, which are waffle-cut and served with chipotle mayonnaise. Other dishes include coconut milk-based ice cream and vegan three-bean chili.
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Hundreds of places in New Orleans to get your drink on, organized by neighborhood
It's always happy hour somewhere in New Orleans, whether the occasion (or non-occasion) calls for an upscale craft cocktail, a night of playing games and drinking beer, a romantic atmosphere, a bar with a full-service restaurant or a cozy dive with unlimited people-watching and cheap drinks.
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Warehouse District workers have another way to rise and shine in the morning with the arrival of Pulp and Grind (644 Camp St., 504-510-4037; www.pulpandgrind.com). Owned by Peter and Cassi Dymond, the team behind Bywater and Uptown favorite Satsuma Cafe (3218 Dauphine St., 504-304-5962; 7901 Maple St., 504-309-5557; www.satsumacafe.com), the restaurant kicked off opening day Feb. 19 with half-off coffee drinks.
Boucherie, the Riverbend restaurant showcasing Chef Nathanial Zimet's contemporary Southern cuisine, reopened at its new location (1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-862-5514; www.boucherie-nola.com) Feb. 19. The menu remains the same, but the new space is bright and breezy, with exposed brick and a reclaimed-wood bar anchoring the back of the restaurant.
Lower Garden District coffee spot Reservoir Cafe (2045 Magazine St., 504-324-5633; www.reservoircafe.com) closed in January and will reopen as a creperie. The cafe is trading in its breakfast tacos and sandwiches for Parisian flair, following in the footsteps of its French Quarter sister restaurant De Ville Coffee House & Creperie (508 Dumaine St., 504-309-6015; www.facebook.com/devillenola).
"Frozen plain Zapp's
potato chips. There's
something about when you freeze them."
The 2015 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence (www.jamesbeard.org) semifinalists were announced last week, and the list includes five New Orleans chefs in the Best Chef: South category. Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery (4238 Magazine St., 504-891-3377; www.lapetitegrocery.com); Slade Rushing of Brennan's (417 Royal St., 504-525-9711; www.brennansneworleans.com); Alon Shaya of Domenica (123 Baronne St., 504-628-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com); Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette (2800 Magazine St., 504-265-0421; www.coquettenola.com); and Isaac Toups of Toups' Meatery (845 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-252-4999; www.toupsmeatery.com) are among the 20 semifinalists in the category.
The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) Institute's Boxcar food truck hit the streets one year ago. Its Press Street Station (5 Press St.; www.pressstreetstation.com) restaurant was set for a soft opening with a limited menu Feb. 14.
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Retail $19-$21 British engineer Sir Edmund J.P. Norton founded Bodega Norton in 1895 and planted vines imported from France.
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Last August, Cooter Brown's Tavern (509 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-9104) opened Snooty Cooter, a special bar inside the tavern, that focuses on craft beers. It debuted with 20 taps offering local, American and international craft beers.
Bayou Teche Brewing announced the upcoming release of Dat Beer, which it brewed in collaboration with local sausage chain Dat Dog. The beer will be available at three Dat Dog locations (601 Frenchmen St., 504-309-3362; 3336 Magazine St., 504-324-2226; 5030 Freret St., 504-899-6883).
When RateBeer.com recently published its list of 100 Best Brewers In the World, some local craft beer fans complained about beers they want to try not being available in the New Orleans area. But five years ago, the landscape was far less rich than it is now; there were no local spots to find Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Stateside Saison, Lagunitas IPA or Bruery's Saison Rue.
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Talking with the owner of the cookbook store Kitchen Witch
Debbie Lindsey is the co-owner (along with partner Philipe LaMancusa) of Kitchen Witch Cookbooks (631 Toulouse St., 504-528-8382; www.kwcookbooks.com), a French Quarter bookshop specializing in rare, hard to find, out-of-print and used books on food and cooking. Lindsey spoke to Gambit about her favorite cookbooks and vintage cookbooks.
Talking with the bartender who’s creating his own line of homemade specialty syrups
Max Messier is the founder of Cocktail & Sons (985-503-7636; www.cocktailandsons.com), a line of handcrafted, all-natural syrups for cocktails and sodas. Messier spoke with Gambit about the company's origins and making drinks with his line of syrups.
Talking with an herbalist about using spices in your food to boost health
Jen Stovall is the co-owner of Maypop Community Herb Shop (1036 Franklin Ave., 504-304-5067; www.maypopherbshop.com), which offers spices, teas and medicinal herbs. Stovall spoke with Gambit about teas, making "fire cider" and using spices in healthier cooking.
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