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Contemporary

THE AMERICAN SECTOR The National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., 528-1940; www.nationalww2museum.org Innovative updates on Americana classics are the focus at John Besh's restaurant inside the National World War II Museum. Lamb meatballs top ricotta-stuffed tortellini with tomatoes and mint pesto. Beef short ribs are served with macaroni and cheese and Southern greens. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BAYONA 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455; www.bayona.com Chef Susan Spicer's menu change combines long-standing favorites and changing specials. Start with the oyster and Italian sausage gratin with spinach, fennel and Parmesan breadcrumbs. A combination of chorizo-stuffed rabbit roulade and paneed leg is served with toasted angel hair escarole and sherry garlic sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Sat., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BOMBAY CLUB 830 Conti St., 586-0972; www.thebombayclub.com Chef Ricky Cheramie is at the helm of this elegant restaurant and martini lounge. The menu features modern takes on Creole dishes like eggplant stuffed shrimp Creole and Bombay drum with sauteed crabmeat and grilled asparagus. The cowboy steak is a 22-oz grilled bone-in rib-eye topped with foie gras butter, mustard greens and red wine braised mushrooms. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BOUCHE 840 Tchoupitoulas St., 267-7485; www.bouchenola.com The menu at this restaurant and wine bar features an array of seasonal contemporary Creole dishes. The chili-cocoa grilled salmon is served with fried spinach and hot mustard. Cheese plates feature selections from St. James Cheese Company. Reservations recommended. Dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

BOULIGNY TAVERN 3641 Magazine St., 895-1810; www.boulignytavern.com This elegant wine bar is open late, serving small plates like gougeres, small puff pastries with comte cheese, as well as fries with aioli and charcuterie boards. The 7-oz. grilled sirloin burger is served with arugula, roasted tomatoes and herb aioli. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAPDEVILLE 520 Capdeville St., 371-5161; www.capdevillenola.com This stylish pub attracts a business lunch crowd and after-work scene. Try a duck confit club sandwich with lettuce, tomato and roasted garlic aioli on brioche or sourdough bread. Roasted pork tenderloin medallions are glazed with pepper jelly and served with Abita Amber-braised mustard greens. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHAD'S BISTRO RESTAURANT AND CATERING 3216 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 838-9935; www.chadsbistro.com Chad's offers an extensive menu of seafood, steaks, pastas, pizza, sandwiches and salads. The seafood boat features fried shrimp, oysters and catfish in a bread bowl. Reservations accepted. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

COWBELL 8801 Oak St., 298-8689; www.cowbell-nola.com At his new restaurant, Chef Brack May gets creative with American comfort food. The natural beef burger is topped with Gruyere and Zinfandel bacon and onion compote and served with hand-cut fries and Agogo sauce. Grilled skirt steak is served with black bean sauce, roasted plantains and Fidel's mango salsa. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CURE 4905 Freret St., 302-2357; www.curenola.com Gourmet bar snacks and small plates boost a menu of craft cocktails. Albondigas sliders are spicy pork meatballs on brioche with house-made tomato chutney and baby spinach. Cheese plates feature artisanal cheeses from St. James Cheese Company. No reservations. Dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

EIFFEL SOCIETY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 2040 St. Charles Ave., 525-2951; www.eiffelsociety.com The Eiffel Society is an upscale watering hole in a landmark building on St. Charles Avenue. Small plates and tapas style dishes include hanger steak, chicken and waffles, plantain tostones with smoked pork and queso fresco, cheese plates and Parmesan fries. Reservations accepted. Dinner Wed.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FEAST NEW ORLEANS 200 Julia St., 304-6318; www.feastneworleans.com Feast specializes in rustic European fare, particularly traditional British dishes. Crispy roasted pork belly is served with braised red cabbage and a potato cake. The "Cock-a-Leekie" appetizer features braised chicken with cream, leeks, bacon, plums and red potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

THE GREEN GODDESS 307 Exchange Alley, 301-3347; www.greengoddessnola.com The creative cooking at Green Goddess combines classic techniques, exotic ingredients and culinary wit. Try the Mofongo de Camarones, a grilled mashed plantain cake with sauteed honey-lime shrimp, topped with tequila crema and crunchy bacon. The Louisiana "Bangers & Mash" has Marciante's duck sausage and mashed sweet potatoes, with hints of orange and roasted garlic, finished with Steen's cane syrup. No reservations. Lunch and brunch Wed.-Mon., dinner Thu.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE GRILL ROOM AT THE WINDSOR COURT 300 Gravier St., 522-1994; www.grillroomneworleans.com Chef Drew Dzejak prepares dishes like grilled Hudson Valley foie gras and Niman Ranch rack of lamb. For weekend brunch, try the grilled Ashley Farms chicken breast and white sausage gravy over a waffle, or the marinated Louisiana Gulf shrimp and crab salad with avocado, tomato and croutons. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

IRIS 321 N. Peters St., 299-3944; www.irisneworleans.com Start a meal with well-crafted original cocktails and settle in for Iris' new American cooking. Lamb meatball soup is made with fresh herbs, braised greens and basil oil and served with kalamata olive tapenade. Niman Ranch pork osso buco is served au jus with roasted butternut squash, cauliflower and gremolata. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Wed.-Sat. $$$

JACKSON RESTAURANT 1910 Magazine St., 522-5766; www.jacksonnola.net The creative menu at Jackson includes savory appetizers like Gorgonzola cheesecake made with a cheese cracker crust, a Gorgonzola and soft cream cheese filling and toasted walnuts on top. Baked oysters Jackson are served on the half shell, topped with sauteed shrimp and finished with Worcestershire and Tabasco butter and Parmesan shavings. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LE MERITAGE Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800; www.lemeritagerestaurant.com Chef Michael Farrell has organized his imaginative menu around food and wine pairings, available in small and large plates. Light white wines are suggested with dishes like the pan-roasted striped bass with chive potato cake, applewood-smoked bacon and lump crabmeat. A fruity red is recommended for the duck two ways with fig compote, foie gras and butter potatoes. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

M BISTRO Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com The Ritz-Carlton's M Bistro is named for executive chef Matt Murphy. Blackened redfish is served with saffron crab risotto, asparagus and blue corn bisque. Locally accented dishes include duck and Northshore mushroom gumbo and New Orleans barbecue shrimp with Abita beer and cane syrup sauce. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MAT & NADDIE'S 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600; www.matandnaddies.com Settle into one of the cozy dining rooms and sample the cafe's innovative cooking. Veal schnitzel and duck liver roulade is topped with poached celery, Herbsaint, bacon and mushroom cream. Braised Eden Farms Berkshire pork shank is served with herbed dumplings and fire-roasted pepper. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon. and Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MESON 923 923 S. Peters St., 523-9200; www.meson923.com Chef Baruch Rabasa's menu changes often and features refined dishes like braised veal cheeks with homemade herbed pappardelle pasta, haricots verts, black trumpets, shiitake mushrooms, chanterelles and veal jus. The tuna tartare tops sushi-grade tuna with Asian pears, kimchi, seaweed and a raw quail egg. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

MONDO 900 Harrison Ave., 224-2633; www.mondoneworleans.com Chef Susan Spicer's Lakeview cafe offers upscale takes on comfort food from around the globe. Thai shrimp and pork meatballs on lemongrass skewers are served with sweet and spicy chili dipping sauce. Pork shoulder is slow roasted in a wood-burning oven and served with black beans, plantains, pico de gallo and chipotle lime crema. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat., bunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

PETUNIA'S PLACE 2020 Hwy. 59, Mandeville, (985) 674-3436: www.petuniasplace.com This cozy neighborhood restaurant cooks up a variety of tempting dishes like bourbon pork tenderloin accompanied with baby potato cakes and topped with a drizzle of bourbon sauce. Or try house specialties like hand-battered onion rings or the Sunday-only special of barbecue chicken and homemade mac and cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch Thu.-Tue., dinner. Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

PRAVDA! 1113 Decatur St., 581-1112; www.pravdaofnola.com Pravda! is known for its Soviet kitsch and selection of absinthes. The kitchen offers Eastern European-style pierogies, or dense dumplings, with different fillings. There also are vegetarian and vegan dishes. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

RIB ROOM 621 St. Louis St., 529-7046; www.ribroomneworleans.com Prime rib arrives sizzling at your table at this French-style rotisserie and prime rib juggernaut. The house specialty, prime rib, is roasted for three hours and served au jus with horseradish sour cream and a baked potato. Blackened Atlantic salmon is served over stone ground grits and Tabasco sweet and sour butter. Andouille mac and cheese is topped with pit-roasted shrimp. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ROYAL PALM 1901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 644-4100; www.royalpalmrestaurant.com Try appetizers like calamari Italiano, which is fried squid and zucchini sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan and served with marinara dipping sauce. Royal One is a bone-in 22-oz. certified Angus beef rib-eye served with roasted garlic, red-skinned mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RUE 127 127 N. Carrollton Ave., 483-1571; www.rue127.com French onion soup and steamed muscles in white wine sauce are specialties at this cozy bistro. Citrus-glazed duck is served with caramelized fennel, potato puree and orange supremes in a Louisiana citrus jus. Yellowfin tuna is served with sauteed Broccolini, herbed gnocchi and sherry emulsion. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

THE SAZERAC RESTAURANT Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., 648-5486; www.therooseveltneworleans.com There's more than cocktails at the Sazerac. Try dishes such as Colorado lamb chops with creamed shallots and pepper jus, steak frites with green peppercorn sauce and grilled tuna with bean ragout and lemon and parsley relish. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

STELLA! 1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com The menu at Stella! changes often but diners can always expect to find creative global influences with a touch of Louisiana flair. Try miso and sake-glazed Japanese Mero sea bass with udon, green tea and soba noodles, Canadian lobster, blue crab and shrimp broth. Chef Scott Boswell offers a seven-course tasting menu. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

SYLVAIN 625 Chartres St., 265-8123; www.sylvainnola.com This new gastropub offers craft cocktails and gourmet pub fare. The menu features hearty dishes like pappardelle pasta with bolognese sauce and shredded Brussels sprouts with apples, hazelnuts and Pecorino cheese. Daily specials include seafood dishes. Reservations accepted. Lunch Fri.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ZEA ROTISSERIE AND GRILL Citywide; www.zearestaurants.com Zea's menu revolves around slow-roasted meats from the rotisserie and features creative takes on American and Asian favorites. There is everything from Thai ribs to American Kobe beef burgers to roasted crispy duck to local seafood dishes. Reservation policies vary by location. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $$

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