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THE ALPINE 620 Chartres St., 523-3005; A series of dining rooms surround an inner courtyard at the Alpine, which specializes in Creole and Cajun cuisine. Tuna la Boheme is topped with barbecue shrimp. Blackened duck Boudreaux is served with jambalaya on the side. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; Opened in 1840, Antoine's is the oldest restaurant in New Orleans. The signature oysters Rockefeller, the pompano Pontchartrain and Baked Alaska remain classics. New twists include brunch on Sundays and three-course prix fixe lunch menu for $20.11. For a lighter sampling try the oyster Foch po-boy, available from the special menu at the Hermes Bar. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ARNAUD'S RESTAURANT 813 Bienville St., 523-5433; Dating back to 1918, Arnaud's is one of the grand New Orleans Creole restaurants. The menu is filled with traditional specialties, from the shrimp Arnaud with signature tangy Creole remoulade to the speckled trout meuniere and crawfish O'Connor. Sample one of mixologist Chris Hannah's refined cocktails at the French 75 bar while waiting for a table. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BISTREAUX 1001 Toulouse St., 568-8000; The casual bistro adjoining chef Michael Farrell's Le Meritage restaurant features New Orleans favorites such as jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, a cochon de lait sandwich and crab cakes with beurre blanc and a micro citrus salad. Other options range from crispy crab tacos to truffle fries with Parmesan and fresh herbs. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

BRENNAN'S RESTAURANT 417 Royal St., 525-9711; Tradition abounds at this French Creole stalwart, and the menu features many Brennan's originals, including eggs Hussarde and bananas Foster. The turtle soup with sherry is a classic starter. Shrimp Samantha features shrimp and andouille sauteed with fresh mushrooms, garlic, green onions and white wine, served on a bed of parsley rice. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

BROUSSARD'S RESTAURANT 819 Conti St., 581-3866; The dining rooms and courtyard at Broussard's exude old New Orleans charm, while the menu offers an innovative take on French-Creole and contemporary cooking. Grilled pompano Napoleon is served with shrimp, scallops and Creole mustard-caper sauce. Redfish Broussard's is a pan-fried fillet served with shrimp, crabmeat, crawfish and oyster mushroom etouffee. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE PONTALBA 546 St. Peter St., 522-1180 Holding down one corner of bustling Jackson Square, this eatery serves the most popular New Orleans dishes, including gumbo, po-boys and fried seafood. The shrimp and oyster platter piles on crispy shrimp and oysters with cocktail and tartar sauce on the side. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CHARTRES HOUSE CAFE 601 Chartres St., 586-8383; Enjoy traditional New Orleans fare at this corner cafe in the heart of the French Quarter. Crawfish cakes come three to a plate and are topped with crawfish sauce. Red beans are cooked slowly and served with smoked sausage and rice. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

CLANCY'S 6100 Annunciation St., 895-1111 This bustling Uptown gathering place has a changing menu that features a mix of steaks, chops and local seafood. Smoked pork loin is served with a green peppercorn demi-glace. The veal chop is served with roasted tomatoes and herb demi-glace. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

COMMANDER'S PALACE 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221; Chef Tory McPhail highlights Louisiana seafood in his innovative Creole cooking. Foie gras Du Monde includes seared foie gras, beignets, foie gras infused cafe au lait, Abita beer-braised apples, candied pecans, spiced sugarcane syrup and chicory coffee mist. Creole seafood courtbouillon combines Gulf fish, oysters and wild white shrimp simmered with tomatoes, Spanish saffron and herbs and served with Louisiana popcorn rice. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

COOP'S PLACE 1109 Decatur St., 525-9053; Rabbit and sausage jambalaya is a mainstay at this casual bar and eatery. The smoked duck quesadilla is a flavorful starter. Other options include Cajun fried chicken, redfish meuniere, shrimp Creole, red beans and rice, and pasta Opelousas. For breakfast, the Coop omelet is made with shrimp, ham and Swiss cheese and topped with Creole sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily. Credit cards. $

COPELAND'S RESTAURANT Citywide; Creative spins on classic Cajun and Creole dishes fill the menu at this local chain. Traditional offerings include shrimp Creole and etouffee as well as seafood combinations. There also are burgers and steaks, and many locations offer barbecue platters with ribs, pulled pork or brisket, and cornbread. A children's menu is available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

COURT OF TWO SISTERS 613 Royal St., 522-7261; Stop in at Court of Two Sisters any day for a jazz brunch complete with hot and cold buffet lines offering everything from boiled seafood to salad and fresh fruit. Dinner entrees include corn-fried Des Allemands catfish served with jumbo lump crabmeat, Napa slaw and green onions. Reservations recommended. Lunch, brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE CREOLE GRILLE & BAR 5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-7992; Appetizers at the Creole Grille include Louisiana blue crab dip and hot tamale chili nachos. The char-broiled bourbon-glazed pork chops are served with Creole blue potatoes. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CRYSTAL ROOM AT LE PAVILLON 833 Poydras St., 620-8899; Diners can feast on New Orleans and Southern favorites like gumbo, crab cakes and shrimp cocktail at this elegant establishment. Locals and hotel guests alike can enjoy the expansive breakfast buffet. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

DOOKY CHASE RESTAURANT 2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535 A Creole institution in Treme for more than six decades, Dooky Chase serves stuffed shrimp, gumbo, fried chicken, stewed okra and other classic dishes. The popular lunch spot offers a buffet and takeout until 4:30 p.m. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri. Credit cards. $$

DUNBAR'S CREOLE COOKING Loyola University, Broadway Activities Center, 501 Pine St., 861-5451 Located on Loyola's campus, Dunbar's kitchen serves signature fried or smothered chicken, red beans and rice, stuffed bell peppers and sticky bread pudding. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Thu. Credit cards. $ 

FEELINGS CAFE 2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; Extending throughout an old plantation house, Feelings' dining rooms exude warmth and charm. The Gulf fish Nicholas is served with grilled shrimp and creamed spinach. Seafood baked eggplant combines shrimp, crab and crawfish in a spicy casserole of dirty rice and sausage. Reservations accepted. Dinner Thu.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

GALATOIRE'S RESTAURANT 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; Galatoire's has been a bastion of Creole dining for more than a century. Many Galatoire's regulars start with the grand goute, a combination platter of shrimp remoulade and crabmeat maison, often including oysters en brochette. Pompano with crabmeat is a fixture, and the flaming cafe brulot makes a dramatic finale. Jackets required at dinner. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$$

GAZEBO CAFE 1018 Decatur St., 525-8899; The Gazebo features a mix of Cajun and Creole dishes and ice cream daiquiris. The New Orleans sampler rounds up gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice. Other options include salads, seafood po-boys and burgers. Reservations accepted. Lunch and early dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GUMBO SHOP 630 St. Peter St., 525-1486; Gumbo lovers have a choice of several varieties, including seafood, chicken and sausage, and meatless gumbo z'herbes. A popular entree is chicken espagnole, featuring half a chicken seasoned and broiled, then simmered in brown sauce with mushrooms, shallots, wine and garlic. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

IGNATIUS EATERY 4200 Magazine St., 896-2225 The menu at this casual cafe features updated New Orleans classics in a setting reminiscent of a corner grocery. The sauteed shrimp remoulade po-boy is stuffed with Gulf shrimp and remoulade. Creole crawfish etouffee is served over white rice. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon., brunch Sat.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

J. GUMBO'S 1169 Robert Blvd., Suite 1, Slidell, (985) 646-0017; J. Gumbo's serves spicy Cajun and Creole dishes like bumblebee stew, a creamy blend of yellow corn, stewed tomatoes, onions and black beans. The Voodoo Chicken is a spicy option featuring slow-cooked chicken in spicy Cajun tomato sauce with crushed red pepper and garlic. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Thu.-Sat. Credit cards. $

JACQUES-IMO'S CAFE 8324 Oak St., 861-0886; With its fast-paced, exposed kitchen, swamp murals, boisterous bar and seating everywhere, Jacques-Imo's provides dinner and a show. The shrimp and alligator cheesecake is filled with cream cheese, smoked Gouda, onions, peppers, shrimp and alligator sausage. Crab and chili hollandaise tops blackened redfish. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

JOE SEPIE'S CAFE 4402 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 324-5613 Joe Sepie's menu includes New Orleans classics like shrimp Creole, jumbo lump crab cakes, gumbo and seafood po-boys. The menu also offers soups, burgers, panini and pasta dishes. No reservations. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Wed.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LA BAYOU RESTAURANT 208 Bourbon St., 525-4755; Seafood stars in dishes like the Zydeco salad, featuring fried crawfish and shrimp over greens. The crawfish pasta features sauteed crawfish tails in Cajun cream sauce tossed with linguini and topped with crunchy fried crawfish tails and Parmesan cheese. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

LE CITRON BISTRO 1539 Religious St., 566-9051; Le Citron Bistro occupies a historic building in the Lower Garden Distric and offers a menu of Creole and Italian items. Popular dishes include duck gumbo, New Orleans- barbecue shrimp and ravioli stuffed with lump crabmeat. Whole Maine lobster is stuffed with crabmeat and topped with crabmeat hollandaise. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT 3800 Canal St., 482-9179; 4240 Hwy. 22, Suite 1, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; The original Mandina's is a Mid-City institution known for New Orleans dishes with an Italian flair. The trout meuniere, turtle soup and shrimp remoulade are popular choices. Try eggplant sticks with marinara dipping sauce or thick onion rings for a starter. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MARIGNY BRASSERIE 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; This eatery offers a modern take on classic Creole and Italian cuisines. New Orleans barbecue shrimp come atop stone-ground grits with smothered collard greens with andouille sausage. There also are salads, soups, po-boys and sandwiches. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE MARKET CAFE 1000 Decatur St., 527-5000; Indoors or out, dine on seafood fried for po-boys and platters or highlighted in dishes such as crawfish pie, crawfish etouffee, gumbo and shrimp Creole. Red beans and rice and bread pudding also are served. Sandwich options include muffulettas, Philly cheese steaks on po-boy bread and gyros. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MONTREL'S BISTRO 1000 N. Peters St., 524-4747 This casual restaurant in the French Quarter serves Creole favorites such as crawfish etouffee, boiled crawfish, red beans and rice and bread pudding for dessert. Outdoor seating is adjacent to Dutch Alley and the French Market. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE 801 Chartres St., 568-1885; This attractive restaurant sitting on the corner of Jackson Square boasts a menu of contemporary Creole cooking. A wood-grilled double-cut pork chop is topped with sugar cane apple glaze and served with pecan sweet potatoes and Southern-style greens. Shrimp and goat cheese crepes are topped with Louisiana shrimp in a buttery sauce of Chardonnay, onion, tomato and bell pepper. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

NATHAN'S RESTAURANT 36440 Old Bayou Liberty Road, Slidell, (985) 643-0443; Nathan's serves a mix of seafood, Creole and Italian dishes. Tuesday evening is Italian night, meaning customers can order an Italian salad with small portions of spinach cannelloni, lasagna and chicken parmigiana. Wednesday's surf-and-turf special includes a 6-oz. steak, a lobster tail and a side of thin-sliced potatoes in bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

NEYOW'S CREOLE CAFE 3340 Bienville St., 822-4529 Smothered okra, jambalaya, barbecue chicken breasts and po-boys are staples on the menu at Neyow's. Daily specials include southern fried chicken and Pasta on the Bayou: penne with sauteed shrimp and crawfish in cheesy butter cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Tue. Credit cards. $$

NUVOLARI'S 246 Girod St., Mandeville, (985) 626-5619; Open since 1983, this Mandeville mainstay focuses on Creole cuisine, including dishes like jumbo lump crabmeat cooked with pecans and topped with citrus meuniere sauce. Another popular item is grilled redfish served with a side of wild rice and sauteed haricot verts. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards and checks. $$$

OCEANA GRILL 739 Conti St., 525-6002; This restaurant puts a twist on seafood favorites. Crab cakes are topped with crawfish and mushroom sauce. Eggs Melanzana top eggplant rounds with grilled ham and tomatoes, poached eggs and hollandaise. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

THE OLD COFFEEPOT RESTAURANT 714 St. Peter St., 524-3500; The Old Coffeepot is known for calas — Creole fried rice cakes sprinkled with sugar. The menu also offers gumbo, crawfish etouffee and shrimp Creole. The fleur de lis chicken is served with grilled shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish dressing on a bed of asparagus. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OLIVIER'S CREOLE RESTAURANT 204 Decatur St., 525-7734; Olivier's serves Creole dishes inspired by and named for family members and their recipes. Braised Creole rabbit is served with sage-seasoned oyster dressing. Crab and salmon cakes combine poached salmon and blue crab and come with green onion aioli. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

THE ORIGINAL PIERRE MASPERO'S 440 Chartres St., 524-8990; Maspero's updates local classics. The "hot and blue" oyster po-boy is dressed with Tabasco mayonnaise and blue cheese crumbles. Cochon de lait is stuffed with garlic and jalapenos. Reservations recommended for large parties. Breakfast Fri.-Mon., lunch and dinner daily, late-night Fri.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

ORLEANS GRAPEVINE WINE BAR AND BISTRO 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930; Just off Bourbon Street, this bistro offers an extensive selection of wines by the glass and a menu of French-inspired dishes. Black mussels are served in tomato-saffron broth, and the chipotle crab cakes come with caramelized oranges. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

PALM COURT JAZZ CAFE 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200; Traditional New Orleans jazz holds court at this jazz club and Creole cafe. Shrimp ambrosia features shrimp sauteed with fennel and light Pernod cream sauce over pasta. Other options include crawfish pie, jambalaya and oysters bordelaise. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

PALMETTOS ON THE BAYOU 1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell, (985) 643-0050; Palmettos features traditional Louisiana seafood dishes like seafood gumbo and corn and crab bisque. Other options include chicken Alfredo and a daily fish special. A children's menu is available. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

PASCAL'S MANALE RESTAURANT 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877 The calling card at this New Orleans classic is its barbecue shrimp, served in buttery garlic sauce and requiring a bib. There are other seafood options, grilled fish and a menu of veal and steaks, including a 14-oz. New York strip. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

PERE ANTOINE 741 Royal St., 581-4478; This French Quarter restaurant serves New Orleans fare with some Cajun spice. The bayou bowl is a meal of shrimp scampi, barbecue shrimp and fried Gulf shrimp, served with the chef's special Cajun shrimp rice. Catfish Antoine is a blackened catfish fillet topped with crawfish reduction sauce and served with rice and vegetables. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

THE PRALINE CONNECTION 542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934; Stick-to-your-ribs Creole soul food is the draw at this Marigny spot. You need look no further for home-style red beans and rice, file gumbo, stuffed bell peppers and sides like mac and cheese, fried okra and fried pickles. Fried soft-shell crawfish are served with sweet and spicy cocktail sauce and fried pickles. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE ROYAL SONESTA 300 Bourbon St., 553-2278; Sunday brunch is popular at the Royal Sonesta, which rolls out standard breakfast fare and elaborate New Orleans dishes like eggs Sardou and Creole crab Benedict. The lush courtyard provides a beautiful backdrop as diners sip champagne cocktails. Reservations recommended. Brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

SEYMOUR'S RESTAURANT 2216 Hickory Ave., River Ridge, 737-3148 Seymour's specializes in Creole and Italian fare. Menu options include the fried soft-shell crab atop crabmeat fettuccine and grilled mahi mahi topped with shrimp and crabmeat. The Chill Down Plate combines shrimp salad, shrimp cocktail, shrimp remoulade and potato salad. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TUJAGUE'S RESTAURANT 823 Decatur St., 525-8676; Tujague's embraces old Creole dining traditions with its six-course table d' hote menu. Dinner includes its signature beef brisket with Creole sauce, shrimp remoulade, a choice of entree and bread pudding for dessert. Dark-roast coffee, microbrewed Tujague beer and hot French bread complement the meal. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

UPPERLINE RESTAURANT 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822; Owner JoAnn Clevenger's menu weds down-home country dishes such as turtle soup and gumbo with sophisticated Creole classics like sweetbreads. The popular fish piquant with "hot and hot" shrimp is grilled baby drum accompanied by shrimp cooked with jalapeno peppers and served with a habanero sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

YE OLDE COLLEGE INN 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683; The famous po-boys on Leidenheimer bread at Ye Old College Inn range from chicken-fried steak to shrimp. The most popular po-boy features oysters, Havarti cheese and bacon. Steaks, gumbo, seafood and chicken entrees also are available. Try the fried bread pudding for dessert. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

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