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4250 Hwy. 22, Suite B, Mandeville, (985) 624-2300;
On Saturday nights, dance your meal away at D. Lamarque's, which offers Italian food with a twist. The elegant, extensive menu boasts chicken cacciatore, lasagna and fra Diablo, a dish of jumbo shrimp, sausage, mushrooms, feta and marinara sauce. Try the homemade tiramisu or molten chocolate cake for dessert. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, (985) 892-3712;
Regulars of this acclaimed Covington dining destination often start their meals with the Dakota's famous brie and crab soup, but it is always worth giving the menu a close look. For instance, there's the roasted lobster cocktail or the lamb nachos complete with tomato chutney, sweet potato crisps and blue cheese for inspired appetizers. Entrees include beef short ribs osso buco style and salmon poached in olive oil. Reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

Danny & Clyde's made its name with big po-boys and sandwiches. Fried seafood, muffulettas and roast beef are the mainstays. Danny & Clyde's also offers them in wraps for the carb conscious. Dinner plates are available, accompanied by your choice of two sides. Breakfast sandwiches can be served on as small a platform as a biscuit or on a large po-boy roll. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

736 Dante St., 861-3121;
The blackboard near the front door lets guests know right away just how many local farmers and food suppliers this intimate Riverbend cottage is using from day to day. That local commitment shows up in the Louisiana flavors of the menu, from the grilled Gulf shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille red-eye gravy to the housemade patŽ to the redfish topped with crabmeat and herbs. The lush patio is the perfect perch for brunch on nice days. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 831-4141;
The Giant Seafood Platter is aptly named. The bounty of fresh shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft-shell crabs and crawfish dressing balls feeds four. Only two of you? Get the half-order. Other menu options include stuffed flounder, barbecue shrimp done the traditional way with the heads on, and the Bucktown Boil Pizza made with seafood, spices and mozzarella cheese. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Fri., and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

1715 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 830-0104
The Deckbar has a full menu of tasty bar food to snack on and entrees ranging from fried seafood platters to burgers. Homemade crab balls are the house specialty, also available as a platter with a salad and fries. Upgrade a burger to the Double Delight by adding a hot sausage patty. Daily specials include Southern comfort food like chicken and dumplings, smothered pork chops, meatloaf and pepper steak. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

400 Dauphine St., 523-1931; m
This 24-hour restaurant keeps 'em coming back with the DŽjˆ vu omelet, a three-egg omelet stuffed with bacon, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese both inside and melted on top. The DŽjˆ vu burger is a charbroiled half-pound patty that can be topped with American, Swiss, cheddar or pepperjack cheese, mushrooms, bacon or chili. There are also many overstuffed po-boys and appetizers like nachos, cheese sticks and Southwestern egg rolls. No reservations. Open 24 hours. Credit cards. $

3442 Delachaise St., 895-0858;
Inside its tiny, Art Nouveau-styled wedge of a building, the Delachaise pours distinctive wines, liquor and beer from around the world while the kitchen does some of its own globe-trotting. Chef Chris DeBarr started an online blog that details both his favorite menu items and the personality behind the plates. Try his deconstructed crawfish boil salad, cones of perfect pommes frites or the well-curated cheese selection. No reservations. Dinner nightly. Credit cards. $$

300 Bourbon St., 553-2281
The yellow light bulbs above its doorway spell out desire to the throngs passing by along Bourbon Street, but the seafood inside lures many in for a spell. This casual seafood restaurant in the Royal Sonesta Hotel at the corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets serves local oysters, shrimp and other fin fish in a wide variety of preparations, from gumbos to spicy New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

3712 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-6663
With a menu filled with pizza and pasta choices, Dia Roma offers a funky, innovative take on Italian classics. Pizzas make use of hand-tossed dough that's baked in-house each day. The spinach-artichoke pizza is made with butter garlic sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts and feta crumbles. For entrees, try the shrimp, chicken and artichoke combination served over angel hair pasta with sautŽed mushrooms. There are also salads and footlong sandwiches. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880;
The waiting list that builds up in the quirky lounge area should be an indication that the food at Dick and Jenny's has remained as popular as ever. The spring menu includes dishes like Dynamite Napoleon, which stacks layers of fried green tomatoes with crawfish dynamite and serves them with tasso "tots" and roasted red pepper ketchup. The stuffed pork loin is a bronzed tenderloin packed with basil, pine nuts and goat's cheese served over sweet potato grits with a smoked pepper balsamic vinaigrette. The menu also has a vegetarian plate and children's entrees. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

716 Iberville St., 522-CHOP (2467);
Diners have a variety of cuts to choose from at this French Quarter steakhouse. The house filet is an 8-oz. cut served with creamed spinach and Pontalba potatoes. The steak is also topped with flash-fried oysters and finished with a bŽarnaise sauce. The barbecue rib-eye is a prime 14-oz. steak grilled over an open flame and topped with Abita beer barbecue shrimp and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Stand-out sides include onion rings with a Creole dipping sauce and a roasted sweet potato topped with warm pecan butter. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

1788 Carol Sue Ave., Terrytown, 392-7589; 3900 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, 367-0227
The house specialty muffuletta is served in small, large and half-size portions with housemade olive salad on toasted bread. Roast beef po-boys are generously piled with slow-cooked beef sliced thin and served with hot gravy. The Italian salad features grilled chicken on top of romaine lettuce with black olives, artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese and a light Caesar dressing. Hit the Terrytown location on Fridays for an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900
This Warehouse District bar offers hearty food at affordable prices. Burgers, cheesesteaks, chicken Caesar wraps, an Italian chicken sandwich and crawfish etouffee are some of the diverse offerings. There's also a martini menu with many choices. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

8160 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 393-1160;
Ditali's specializes in New York-style thin-crust pizza, hearty pasta entrees and succulent sandwiches. Sink your teeth into a Philly-style cheesesteak dripping with peppers, cheese and onions. Or make your own pizza from the variety of toppings. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

640 Carondelet St., 529-7102
Tucked away in the Warehouse District, Ditcharo's has been a reliable neighborhood spot for sandwiches and hot plates at lunch and more entrees and fancier dining in the evening. Try the Fire Shrimp, which is a dish of shrimp stir fried with garlic and black sesame seeds, topped with crushed peanuts and served with hoisin and spicy sriracha pepper sauce. The seared duck breast is brined first and then pan-seared and served with one of several changing sauces. Other specials include a traditional etouffŽe and Abita beer barbecue shrimp sautŽed in beer, spices and herb butter. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

110 Carondelet St., 523-6614There are Middle Eastern accents aplenty at this CBD mainstay. Sandwich options include gyros, souvlaki, falafel, koufta kebabs and hot sausage (stuffed into a pita and topped with diced salad and tahini sauce). Traditional po-boys and beignets are also available. Need a bite for breakfast? Try a cheese omelet, pancakes or Greek omelet with feta cheese and served with pita bread. No reservations. Delivery available. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

808 Iberville St., 565-5520
Slow-cooked barbecue invites hungry patrons to this countrified corner of the Quarter. The St. Louis spare ribs offer pork ribs dry-rubbed with Cajun spices and slow-smoked with hickory and pecan wood. Or try the cochon du lait, which is brined in a marinade for 48 hours before it is hit with a dry rub of seasonings and smoked for 14 hours. The menu offers half and full slabs of ribs, chicken, brisket, a few salads and sides like mustard greens, red potato salad and baked potatoes. Delivery available in CBD and French Quarter. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 736-9666
Dockside's new menu includes choice rib-eye, pork chops, fried chicken and a double-side seafood platter. However, you can still order a dozen glistening oysters on the half shell or get them fried and stuffed into a po-boy. Shrimp, catfish, and crab are also available in a variety of preparations, from boiled and spicy to golden-fried. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126
Po-boys are the name of the game at this neighborhood spot. Popular choices include fried shrimp or oyster sandwiches dressed with mayo, lettuce, pickles, ketchup and hot sauce. The roast beef is cooked in-house and is served in po-boys that are dressed with lettuce, pickles, yellow or Creole mustard and homemade gravy. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. Cash only. $

1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800;
Dominique Macquet, a classically trained chef and native of Mauritius, combines fresh local ingredients with exotic influences from around the globe for a distinctive cuisine at his namesake restaurant in the Maison Dupuy hotel. The trio of lamb includes a grilled, double-cut lamb chop, merguez sausage and lamb confit with goat cheese and three-potato terrine, a spicy ratatouille and lamb jus. The seared grouper is served on a fricassee of rock shrimp and hearts of palm with a lobster-lemon oil. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy., 254-0214
Dong Phuong is a centerpiece of the cohesive Vietnamese-American community in eastern New Orleans. It's the place where residents drop in throughout the week for fresh, Vietnamese-style French bread, savory pastries and colorful sweets. The banh mi sandwiches from the deli counter are fast, inexpensive and come stuffed with fresh vegetables and meats. In the restaurant area, customers linger over bowls of beef soup or noodle dishes. No reservations. Wed.-Mon. Credit cards. $

800 N. Rampart St., 596-6914;
Chef Charlie is back once again cooking at this popular Rampart Street bar and grill, which hosts some of New Orleans' hottest local jazz and brass bands. Home-cooked New Orleans soul food dishes like red beans and rice and the kitchen's renowned barbecue keep the bands and the patrons going till early morning. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Thu-Mon. Credit cards. $

4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1550
Don's has everything under the sea, or at least everything that the locals crave. There are the pre-requisite fried seafood platters, and also seafood salad with boiled shrimp, crawfish tails and lump crabmeat, a featured grilled fish of the day and soft-shell crabs either broiled or fried. Start your meal with one of the savory gumbos or the crawfish bisque. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216;
Juicy rotisserie chickens offer a quick meal solution for lunch or dinner while fresh daily soups, hot wings, sandwiches, quiche and lasagna provide quick meals to go. Don't pass up the landmark grocery's bakery near the prepared food section. The cakes, pastries and breads have people crossing town again and again to satisfy a sweet tooth. Plus, the store offers an excellent selection of wines. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7283
Doson Noodle House offers a mix of popular Chinese dishes and Vietnamese options like big bowls of pho soup served with bean sprouts, herbs and lime wedges and stir-fried dishes of chicken or shrimp with rice or noodles. Beef with lemongrass is a popular dish. Appetizers include spring rolls and soups. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

The bottomless coffee cups, excellent deals on breakfast plates such as the B1 (two eggs, grits and toast) and variety of lunches including burgers, sandwiches and sides make Dot's a favorite local diner across the metro area. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

8236 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 433-4333
Begin a meal at Double Dragon with hot and sour soup, crispy egg rolls and steamed dumplings. Then move on to the house-specialty seafood. Salt and pepper soft-shell crabs are one favorite. The whole deep-fried red snapper is served with Hunan sauce. For fowl, General Tso's chicken is another popular choice. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Sun.-Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $

348 Robert Blvd., Slidell, (985) 649-1805
A family affair run by Floyd Bealer Jr. and Floyd Bealer Sr., the restaurant first known as Doug's and more recently as Bealer's is now Doug's again. No matter what name it goes by, the restaurant still turns out the same French-Creole dishes that have been drawing regulars for years. Corn and crabmeat bisque and crabmeat au gratin are favorites here, as are the steaks and specialties like fried oysters with sautŽed artichokes, mushrooms and lemon-pepper sauce. No reservations. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and local checks. $$

3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 888-9254;
The char-grilled oysters are famous, but the menu is packed with local seafood dishes and live lobsters shipped fresh from Maine. Try the new fleur-de-lis shrimp, fried with red pepper aioli and peanuts. Non-aquatic entrees include the Shuckee Duckee, a blackened duck breast served over linguini with an oyster cream sauce. Or try sautŽed portobello mushrooms and beef tips. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

133 Delaronde St., 361-8240;
Hop off the Algiers Point ferry and into this neighborhood tavern where the kitchen turns out sandwiches, seafood platters, big salads and tempting bar munchies like mini-tacos and potato skins. The half-pound Bestbank burger is loaded with cheese, bacon, mushrooms and sautŽed onions. Entrees include crawfish pasta in a creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese as well as changing specials like blackened redfish. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit Cards. $$

501 Pine St. (Loyola University Broadway Activities Center), 861-5451
Renowned soul food chef Celestine Dunbar's famously filling meals of fried chicken, red beans, gumbo and breakfast pork chops are still available, even though her former Freret Street location was inundated after Katrina. She has set up shop in an activities center at Loyola University, which is open to the public. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $


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