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In her farewell 'Food News' column as Gambit Weekly's restaurant critic, Sara Roahen mentioned 10 restaurants she'd never had the opportunity to review and 10 new restaurants to watch out for. In these 20 restaurants alone, you can see the culinary diversity of the city: the French bistro fare of La Crepe Nanou, the contemporary Louisiana of Jacques-Imo's, the history of Galatoire's, the Panasian delights of Sweet Ginger, the Southwestern sass of Vaqueros. If variety is the spice of life, New Orleans restaurants form one moon-sized spice rack.

Of our four season dining guides, the Winter Restaurant Guide is the most focused in celebrating the myriad influences on this city's culture -- by cuisine. If we are not a continental city, we are certainly a city of continents, taking our culinary cues from all corners of the world and making them, one way or another, uniquely New Orleans. It's why we don't just say something is 'Creole' or Cajun'; there's also 'Louisiana Contemporary.' It's where the line sometimes blurs between 'American Contemporary' and 'Intercontinental.' And it's where 'Chinese,' 'Japanese,' 'Indian' and 'Thai' dance around the word 'Panasian.'

So if you're wondering what's for dinner tonight, here's a little -- OK, a lot -- food for thought.

African | American | American Contemporary | Bagels| Bar & Grill | Barbecue | Belgian | Brewpub | Burgers | Cafe | Cajun | Caribbean | Chinese | Coffee & Dessert | Creole | Crepes | Deli | Diner | French | Gourmet-to-Go | Greek | Indian | Intercontinental | Italian | Japanese | Latin American | Louisiana Contemporary | Mediterranean Mexican & Southwestern | Middle Eastern | Music & Food | Neighborhood | Panasian | Pizza | Sandwiches & Po-Boys | Seafood | Soul Steakhouse | Tapas | Thai | Vegetarian & Health Food | Vietnamese

PRICE KEY: $ -- $5 to $10 $$ -- $11 to $20 $$$ -- $21 or more

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