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216 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-1248
R&O's has returned to its original pre-flood menu, which contains everything from pizza (now in all three sizes!) and traditional Italian dishes to po-boys, fried seafood platters and the restaurant's famous hot tamales. Gravy fries are topped with brown gravy and roast beef debris. No reservations. Lunch Wed.-Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

249 Aris Ave., Metairie, 831-1537
Yes, it's a po-boy shop, but it is an eatery with a number of original po-boys like Don's Special Po-boy with chopped olive salad over homemade Italian sausage patties. Not to be outdone is the Joan's Special, shrimp sautéed with butter and herbs. The soups include white bean, shrimp, corn shrimp and gumbo. The cooler is stocked with 55 imported beers. Reservations accepted. Lunch and early dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

4960 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, (985) 792-1744
Everything is a touch old fashioned at Rag's. Bite into shrimp or roast beef po-boys dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Or check out the regular daily specials. Monday features red beans, Tuesday means pork chops, and of course its seafood on Fridays. Some regularly available dishes include the seafood gumbo, spaghetti and meatballs and stir-fried shrimp over rice or pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 454-2723
Ragusa's is a deli and bar known for its artichoke soup and artichoke bread. Favorite po-boys here include the fried shrimp, oyster and catfish varieties. Signature sandwiches like the Godfather, a ham, roast beef and provolone cheese combination is also recommended. Ragusa's offers changing daily specials like lasagna, red beans and catfish plates as well. It will soon offer pizza as well. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $

You probably would never have guessed that the chain is named for the founder's golden Labrador retriever, Cane, but there are some things you can always expect at the restaurant: chicken fingers are just about the only option and they come served with the restaurant's signature tangy sauce. Boxed meals are available with French fries, coleslaw and Texas toast. Party platters of 100 chicken fingers are also available. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

519 Toulouse St., 522-5226;
Ralph & Kacoo's original restaurant in the French Quarter serves local specialties such as shrimp remoulade, seafood gumbo and grilled redfish Atchafalaya topped with crawfish etouffee. Entrees include delicately grilled mahi mahi and certified Black Angus steaks. Reservations accepted for large groups. Lunch Sat.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

900 City Park Ave., 488-1000;
This historic and elegant building just across the street from City Park features a contemporary Creole menu by executive chef Gus Martin. Starters include Crystal oysters, which are andouille-crusted, fried and tossed in a Crystal butter sauce. For dinner, try pan-seared scallops with asparagus, sesame-crusted yellowfin served on seaweed salad or paneed veal with mushrooms. The dinner special offers three starters and a glass of wine for $25. Free valet parking is available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

852 S. Peters St., 593-9393;
The Red Eye offers a green light to hungry folks out for a night on the town. There's a menu of bar food classics and large burgers grilled before your eyes. Fried broccoli, meat pies and jalapeno poppers call out for the Red Eye's other major specialty -- cold beer. For the health-conscious, mixed greens can also be topped with grilled chicken or tuna, popcorn shrimp or a turkey burger. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

115 Bourbon St., 598-1200;
Fresh Gulf fish and shellfish are the main attraction at this end of Bourbon Street. There's a raw oyster bar to enjoy a dozen on the half shell before settling in at a table. The menu gives a nod to traditional fare like shrimp remoulade as an appetizer and pecan-crusted catfish for dinner. There are several redfish dishes to choose from. New menu items include crispy calamari over hothouse tomatoes in a basil pesto aioli. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935;
Red Maple has been a West Bank dining destination since 1963, serving steaks and Louisiana seafood in the heart of Gretna. The paneed baby white veal is augmented by jumbo lump crabmeat. Panko-crusted tuna offers an Asian take on Gulf fish. The Red Maple's bread pudding is the star of the dessert menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, late-night Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

8124 Hampson St., 872-0187
Refuel Coffee and Nosh ventures well beyond the world of pastries. Brunch includes a prime rib and egg sandwich served with a choice of hash browns or grits. Corned beef hash with eggs and huevos rancheros are popular selections. Salads and sandwiches are available for lunch and include vegetarian options. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and early dinner Tue.-Fri., brunch Sat-Sun. Credit cards. $

741 State St., 899-1414; 817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 712-6868; 3244 Magazine St., 895-7272; 5608 Citrus Blvd., Jefferson, 818-0111;
Reginelli's serves up a wide range of pizzas with different international flavors as well as salads and appetizers. The hefty Mediterranean pizza is loaded with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, spinach and roasted red peppers with a garlic herb sauce. Among the most popular salads is one featuring marinated chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with green apples, gorgonzola, roma tomatoes and roasted pecans tossed in a balsamic citrus vinaigrette. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

3001 Gen. DeGaulle Dr., 367-6013
The Rendez Vous features all-American fare all day long, starting with hearty standards like two eggs prepared any style with a choice of bacon, sausage or ham and golden hashbrowns or grits. A dinner favorite is the pork chops and onions, which includes two char-grilled pork chops topped with sautéed onions and accompanied by a choice of baked potato or mashed potatoes and either a soup or salad. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

600 St. Charles Ave., 274-0105
This elegant restaurant in the Lafayette Hotel is the work of Chef Raymond Toups, who serves a menu of Louisiana seafood and chop-house classics. The aged rib-eye, the filet mignon flamed with cognac, the roast loin of lamb and center-cut pork chop cover the turf side of the menu. The surf side includes seafood options like Gulf shrimp, Maine diver scallops and Atlantic salmon. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, (800) 298-0711;
Treasure Chest offers several dining options. The restaurant presents hearty American fare like the 16-oz. prime rib or changing specials including roasted chicken and turkey with gravy. For local tastes, there are dishes like redfish with a Creole seafood sauce. Friday and Saturday evenings focus on seafood, and there is always a large selection of desserts. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777;
Chef John Besh seemss to be the city's fastest rising culinary star these days and a visit to his CBD flagship shows the reasons for his ascent. The refined restaurant serves Besh's signature dishes like crabmeat truffle gnocchi, speckled trout Grenobloise and rabbit cooked two ways with muscadine reduction. For an extra-special indulgence, try Restaurant August's five-course tasting menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

322 Magazine St., 582-9001;
Soft brick walls and dark tones lend an Old World feel to a restaurant that features the contemporary cooking of chef Robert Iacovone. Start with a mushroom tasting including Chanterelle mushroom bisque, oyster mushroom panini and a black trumpet "lollipop" or try the spicy shrimp Napoleon. For entrees, the Gulf fish crusted with hushpuppies or the upscale version of chicken and waffles are memorable choices. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Thu., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

4426 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 885-6885
Though the atmosphere of this suburban restaurant is less formal than most venues for fine contemporary Louisiana cuisine, the kitchen uses a careful hand and fine ingredients with its creations. The veal is stuffed with both crabmeat and portobello mushrooms and the crab cakes are complemented by two sauces. The duck confit spring rolls with a rich mixture of cream cheese and caramelized onions are a house favorite. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

401 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8585
This Kenner standout features the cuisine of northern Italy. Pasta is made in-house with specialties including strozzapreti and tortelloni. The antipasti platter features imported cured meats. Meals start with a basket of the distinctive Italian flatbread called piadina. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

7163 Barataria Blvd., Crown Point, 689-7834
Located on Bayou des Familles and beneath a circle of oak trees, this beautiful restaurant has been luring guests out to Crown Point for the food as well as the atmosphere. Soft-shell crab Foster features lightly battered and fried soft shells topped with artichoke bottoms, mushrooms and green onions sautéed in a lemon-butter sauce. Pasta Lafitte binds crabmeat and shrimp in a spicy cream sauce ladled over angel hair pasta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

621 St. Louis St., 529-7045;
With its white linens and expansive setting, the Rib Room delivers elegant dining in a luxe Creole steakhouse style. Bayou turtle soup, seafood gumbo, shrimp remoulade and pan-seared redfish meuniere give the menu its distinctive New Orleans flavor. Slow-roasted meats, including prime rib and rotisserie chicken, are house specialties. Roasted prime rib is served with au jus and baked potato. The sautéed seafood platter includes Gulf fish, crab cakes with a meuniere sauce and wilted spinach. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

7801 Panola St., 314-1810
You can always get a hearty standard breakfast at Riccobono's, but why not broaden your choices by sampling the crawfish omelet or the crab cakes Benedict. Lunch options include burgers, red beans and rice and daily specials like hamburger steaks and fried catfish. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266
Riccobono is open all day, but is a favorite breakfast spot for many. Start the morning with an Eye Opener like a bloody Mary or Irish coffee. The crab cake Benedict includes two poached eggs nested on blue crab cakes topped with hollandaise. Reservations accepted for lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

228 Poydras St., 533-6117;
Housed in the ground floor of Harrah's hotel, Riche marks celebrity chef Todd English's first venture in New Orleans. In a grand dining room on Fulton Street, the restaurant features classic French cuisine and makes abundant use of local seafood. Sample the nightly "roasts du jour" or try entrees including bouillabaisse, whole-fish preparations, steak frites and other specials from the rotisserie like a bone-in rib-eye for two. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit Cards. $$$

800 S. Peters St., 525-3474;
New Orleans knows a thing or two about seafood, but RioMar takes diners on a different sort of fishing trip with Latin-influenced preparations of fresh local catches. The appetizer menu starts with four varieties of ceviche, which can be ordered together as a sampler plate, and the entrees include a generous cut of tuna wrapped in Serrano ham and escabeche of Gulf fish. Come at lunchtime for the tapas menu. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

5831 Magazine St., 899-6987
While fans of this Uptown Italian restaurant sing the praises of dishes like pompano with lump crabmeat and beef tournedos, the waiters themselves burst into song as part of Ristorante Civello's dining room entertainment. While soaking up the atmosphere of this converted Magazine Street cottage, try the house antipasti platter or the shrimp soprano pairing fried eggplant, shrimp and gorgonzola sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

205 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 875-1006
Tucked into the heart of Covington, Ristorante del Porto serves artful Italian cuisine. Homemade pastas and cheeses augment rustic grilled meat dishes and seafood specialties like seared sea scallops with wild mushroom risotto and lamb Bolognese with ricotta over tagliatelle. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

1917 Ridge Lake Drive, Metairie, 83
5-4008Many an Italian-style lunch or dinner at Ristorante Filippo gets a fresh start with an insalata Caprese with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. Meat lovers may go for steaks or the veal Sorrentina with eggplant, prosciutto and pasta marinara while seafood options include pan-fried red snapper with shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish in white wine sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

3449 River Road, Jefferson, 834-4938;
Overlooking the levee on River Road, the Rivershack has character to spare. Sort of a roadhouse, sort of a honky tonk, it's a casual spot to hear music, grab one of more than a dozen draft beers and have a bite. The kitchen features burgers, sandwiches, fun bar food like fried pickles and daily specials during weekday lunches. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

5016 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 885-7005;
Robert offers many New Orleans favorites to go. Some of the daily dishes include red beans and rice with smoked sausage on Mondays. Popular dishes include Jamaican jerk pork chops, Creole Chicken Grand with lemon and roasted garlic over linguine and spaghetti and beef daube with red gravy. Cornmeal-crusted catfish with jalapeno tartar sauce is available every day. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $

5209 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 885-3762
The Rock offers a range of dishes from steak to seafood. On the beef side, a choice filet of tenderloin is grilled and served with a choice of side dish. The barbecue shrimp are spicy and served with the Rock's signature cream sauce and French bread for dipping. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

2891 Hwy. 190, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 625-5566
For people who have discovered this Mandeville steakhouse, the word Rockefeller starts the mouth watering for sizzling beef. The slow-roasted, herb-crusted, boneless prime rib is one of the most popular dishes here. The seafood side of the menu features tuna, grouper and local shrimp. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

823 Fulton St., 581-7253;
Rock-n-Sake earned props last fall for quickly inventing sushi specials to honor triumphant New Orleans Saints players, but its regulars have long prized the lively Warehouse District restaurant for its inventive take on Japanese cuisine. The Hawaii 5-0 roll is stuffed with crunchy coconut-tempura shrimp and cream cheese. The volcano roll with crabstick, cucumber, spicy mayo and eel sauce is a menu heavyweight. No reservations. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

613 W. St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, 279-8323
Despite massive flood damage, Rocky & Carlo's reopened earlier this year to once again dispense the type of hearty, casual Creole-Italian food that has long made it a St. Bernard landmark. The restaurant has been completely rebuilt, and the long bar and cafeteria-style counter at the kitchen are back. Menu items include oyster po-boys, macaroni and cheese with gravy and the Italian salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue-Sat. Credit cards. $

3222 Magazine St., 891-5152
Rocky's serves knock-out pizzas with a New Orleans spin, with such specialties as the Magazine Street with pepperoni, sausage, tasso and mushrooms. The Irish Channel is offered with a choice of regular or whole wheat crust, red or garlic, butter and herb sauce and is topped with shrimp and crawfish sautéed in onions and topped with feta cheese. Sandwiches include the K&B with layers of smoked turkey and brie, roasted red peppers, red onion and raspberry mayo. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

One Shell Square, 701 Poydras St., 561-9800; 5409 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8373;
The options are dizzying at this rolled-sandwich shop, complicating lunch with a suddenly difficult choice. Options include the Peachtree Melt with baked ham, Swiss, brie, peaches and pepper relish, and is served with a side of fresh dill horseradish sauce. Vegetarians also can choose from a wide array of wraps stuffed with spinach, pineapple and cheese or hummus and provolone cheese. Soups and salads are also served. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

7329 Cohn St., 866-1166;
You can create your own version of the ultimate pizza or go with one of the kitchen's inspirations like the Roman Special Pizza with pepperoni, salami, ham, black olives and onions. Dinner entrees include lasagna, chicken with Alfredo sauce over pasta or a number of different salads. Or try the $4.95 lunch special sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

3410 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, (985) 727-1998;
From Tuscan chicken soup to tiramisu, Italian flavors fill the Macaroni Grill's menu. The pasta Milano serves bowtie pasta and chicken in a roasted garlic cream sauce with sun-dried tomatoes. Brick oven pizzas sneak some American toppings like barbecue chicken into the mix. New and classic Italian dishes range from lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs to lobster ravioli. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

133 N. Carrollton Ave., 483-1571
Sidewalk dining is increasingly popular here in warmer months, especially for Sunday brunch. But no matter what the weather is like, you can always get a cold beer and a good meal at Rooster's. There's breakfast all day and standard diner fare like burgers, sandwiches and fried appetizers. Rooster's offers barbecue shrimp, daily specials and seafood platters. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

444 Common St., 598-4839
Rosey's offers breakfast all day and daily lunch and dinner specials. Thick Belgian waffles are always popular. Try the burgers and red beans for lunch or dinner. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $

201 Decatur St., 948-3287;
Rotolo's 18-inch Five Pound Pizza is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, ground beef, bacon, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, black olives and cheddar cheese. For a local touch, there are both muffuletta pizzas and calzones, which include pepperoni, salami, Canadian bacon, olive salad and mozzarella cheese. The menu also features salads, sandwiches, wraps and a few Italian pasta dishes. Delivery available in the French Quarter and limited areas. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

500 Canal St., 595-5506;
Enjoy the view of bustling Canal Street from this raised gallery restaurant while you savor house favorites like the crawfish beignets in remoulade sauce or Roux's fancy variation on classic red beans and rice: red bean cassoulet with duck confit and duck sausage. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-7779; 621 Royal St., 523-2716
In addition to your java fix, Royal Blend's two locations offer plenty of ways to sate your appetite. Highlights include the baked potato salad and the chicken salad sandwich with bacon and avocado. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards and checks. $

1140 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-4343; 3121 Magazine St., 899-0242
These comfortable coffee shops offer a full range of house-roasted coffee and espresso drinks, layered lattes, flavored iced coffees and specialty teas. There also is a selection of pastries, croissants, cakes, biscotti and cookies. Sandwich options include a choice of bread, including the dark black forest and seven-grain bread, meats like roast beef, turkey or chicken salad and a range of toppings like peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and sprouts and a choice of cheeses. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $

8555 Pontchartrain Blvd., 282-9980
Russell's serves up a tasty, inexpensive menu of classics all day long, starting with dishes like eggs Benedict with a homemade hollandaise sauce as well as old standards like scrambled eggs, grits and ham. At lunchtime, try the seared ahi tuna entrée with a sweet-and-spicy plum sauce and a side of sweet potato fries. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily. Credit cards. $

3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-3600:
Steaks at Ruth's Chris go from the petit filet up to the porterhouse for two, and in between there are New York strips, T-bones, rib-eyes and bone-in cowboy steaks. Just add a little sizzling butter, a side of asparagus with hollandaise and steak fries or mashed potatoes. Appetizers include veal osso buco ravioli, blue crab cakes and fried oysters. For seafood, there are entrees of Maine lobster and ahi tuna. The créme brulee is topped with fresh berries and mint. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$


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