Broussard’s. French Quarter: 819 Conti. 504-581-3866.
Creole French Restaurants

Broussard’s. French Quarter: 819 Conti. 504-581-3866.

Broussard’s French Quarter: 819 Conti. 504-581-3866. Map.DressyAE DC DS MC V Website ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS Broussard’s has a legitimate claim to the soubriquet of grand dame restaurant, which puts it in the same category as Antoine’s, Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s and Brennan’s. That has certainly been true since the magnificent rebuilding of the restaurant in 1974, but it was highly thought of since the day in 1920 when it first appeared. With the century birthday in the foreseeable future, Broussard’s owners in the last three years are making much of it–particularly with…

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Balise. CBD: 640 Carondelet St. 504-459-4449.

DiningDiarySquare-150x150 The Central Restaurant Frontier in New Orleans has pushed noticeably upstream in recent years. Large new buildings and renovations of old ones invite sophisticated new places to eat in a part of town where there were only blue-collar lunch houses for decades. The entire process can be summed up by what became of Ditcharo’s, at the corner of Carondelet and Girod. “The Ditch,” as the place was called by its regulars, was a utilitarian lunch place with a bar full of regulars for many years. But absorbing energy from many new restaurants in the area, it has become a gourmet bistro, complete with an original menu and a two columns of specialty cocktails and wines. And a five-star chef-owner: Justin Devillier, of La Petite Grocery fame. This is real progress.

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Galatoire’s. French Quarter: 209 Bourbon. 504-525-2021

#2 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries

The first generations of the Galatoire family had the knowledge and taste to set a standard that lives on today. The food and service are simple, relying on local ingredients of excellent quality (especially seafood) and recipes refined through decades of natural selection. Meanwhile, the waiters perform organically with the kitchen and the customers to deliver the best to those who know how to enjoy it. Truth be told, the food here is brilliant in only a small percentage of its long menu catalog. That doesn’t matter, because if you understand Galatoire’s–something not possible on a first visit–you also know what and how to order. More to come. . .

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Franklin. Marigny: 2600 Dauphine. 504-267-0640.

CremeDeLaCremeSquare-150x150Most restaurants in the exceedingly fertile Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods have leaned heavily on the inventory of old, funky and industrial buildings in that district. Excepting only the French Quarter, this is the only major restaurant concentration that has a more or less uniform environmental style. The Franklin breaks out of that convincingly, and already has attracted many diners who previously might not have entered the area. More to come. . .

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Arnaud’s. French Quarter: 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433.

Arnaud’s French Quarter: 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433. Map.Dressy.AE DC DS MC VWebsite ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS The apparent death of Brennan’s–which must be footnoted by saying that Ted Brennan still says the restaurant will return–left a big gap in the brunch category of your restaurant guide. Although lots of restaurants offer that Sunday celebration, Brennan’s was always in a class by itself, particularly in the atmosphere and history departments. The only credible rivals to Brennan’s were Commander’s Palace and the less well appreciated Arnaud’s. WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Always among the big names…

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Little Gem Saloon. CBD: 445 S Rampart St. 504-267-4863.

Little Gem Saloon CBD: 445 S Rampart St. 504-267-4863. Map.Nice Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS It’s frustrating that the two most famous elements of New Orleans culture have only rarely come together in one venue. In restaurants with live music or music clubs with food, either the food or the music will be distinctly inferior to the other. So it took equal measures of guts and capital for Dr. Nicolas Bazan to build and open the Little Gem. WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The Little Gem serves two very different…

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Tujague’s. French Quarter: 823 Decatur. 504-525-8676.

New Orleans’s stock of century-old restaurants barely escaped a major loss last year. Tujague’s the second-oldest restaurant here, came close to a shuttering in a real-estate slippage. The fans of Tujague’s–many of whom hadn’t dined there in decades–rallied around the restaurant. The closing was averted at the last minute, and the whole story was reported widely. Part of it was the passing away of longtime owner Steven Latter, whose son Mark stepped in boldly. For those of us actually interested in dining at Tujague’s, that’s where the story really begins. Mark made many changes in the restaurant. We didn’t know how much they were needed until they were done. The redecorating of the dining room and the quadrupling of the menu constitutes a great advance. Tujague’s future now seems assured. Read More. . .

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Patois. Uptown: 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441.
Creole French Restaurants

Patois. Uptown: 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441.

Patois Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441. Map.Nice Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A good restaurant close enough to Clancy’s to catch that ultra-popular bistro’s overflow could be expected to do well. But that’s not the reason why having dinner at Patois requires advance planning. Chef Aaron Burgau’s food is brilliantly flavorful, and different enough from that of other restaurants in the category to stand out. The premises have just the right tough of neighborhood-cafe informality to make locals comfortable. WHAT’S GOOD While we’ve seen…

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La Petite Grocery. Uptown: 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377.
Creole French Restaurants

La Petite Grocery. Uptown: 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377.

La Petite Grocery Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377. Map. Nice Casual. AE DC MC V Website WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY One of the two or three brightest lights on the brilliant Magazine Street restaurant row, the Grocery has matured into a reliable, comfortable, sophisticated bistro. Behind the illusion of French technique are first-class local groceries, and the originality and fluidity that keeps things interesting. La Petite Grocery was the last vestige of the old Peristyle dining experience, but it has moved on to establish its own style. WHAT’S…

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Flaming Torch. Uptown: 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900.
Creole French Restaurants

Flaming Torch. Uptown: 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900.

Flaming Torch Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900. Map.Nice CasualAE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The Flaming Torch has evolved farther than most French bistros hereabouts, its style landing about midway between those of the traditional La Crepe Nanou and the stridently nouvelle Lilette. The food has incorporated a lot of Creole flavors over the years, but the menu both talks and walks the French line. It’s a shade more expensive than most Uptown bistros, but the plates are a bit more generous. WHAT’S GOOD Most of…

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Michael’s. Slidell: 4820 Pontchartrain Dr. 985-649-8055.
Creole French Restaurants

Michael’s. Slidell: 4820 Pontchartrain Dr. 985-649-8055.

Michael’s Slidell: 4820 Pontchartrain Dr. 985-649-8055. Map.Nice CasualAE DC DS MC V WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Slidell has not been a particularly successful market for white-tablecloth restaurants. Among the few that have made a go of it, Michael’s has consistently been the most impressive. With a casual dining room but an adventuresome kitchen, it’s in a league with the better gourmet bistros in New Orleans. WHAT’S GOOD The menu reads like something out of of the mid-1980s. But that was a delicious time for New Orleans restaurants, and too few restaurants…

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Herbsaint. CBD: 701 St. Charles Ave. 504-524-4114.
Creole French Restaurants

Herbsaint. CBD: 701 St. Charles Ave. 504-524-4114.

Herbsaint CBD: 701 St Charles Ave. 504-524-4114. Map.Nice CasualAE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Few other restaurants run in Herbsaint’s groove. Its menu is a unique pairing of gourmet Creole-French bistro main items with decidedly country-style garnishes. So you get duck confit with dirty rice. Grilled chicken with blackeye peas. But that’s not all. Pasta appears more than you’d expect, along with Italian tinges. The cooking defies category. It is, however, always full of interesting options, and is so intriguing that the place is a great success in…

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Feelings. Marigny: 2600 Chartres St. 504-945-2222.
Creole French Restaurants

Feelings. Marigny: 2600 Chartres St. 504-945-2222.

Feelings Marigny: 2600 Chartres. 504-945-2222. Map.Nice CasualAE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A fine-dining pioneer in the Marigny, Feelings serves a unique menu that blends French and Creole cooking in a style reminiscent of three or four decades ago–although lately many new dishes have been added. The premises have an antique New Orleans style that’s more often seen in movies than reality, but that’s one of the attractions of the place. The food is good but never brilliant, but nevertheless this is a very pleasant place to dine….

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Court of Two Sisters. French Quarter: 613 Royal. 504-522-7273.
Creole French Restaurants

Court of Two Sisters. French Quarter: 613 Royal. 504-522-7273.

Court of Two Sisters French Quarter: 613 Royal. 504-522-7273. Map.Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Despite romantic impressions to the contrary, the French Quarter has few restaurants offering courtyard dining. Of them the most beautiful and famous is the Court of Two Sisters. Except when the weather is unbearable, they serve in the lushly-planted, expansive, brick-surrounded courtyard year round. The distinctly French Quarter environment and Creole food provide a unique taste of the city, and the service staff is welcoming and entertaining. WHAT’S GOOD After Katrina, the Court…

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Bistro Daisy. Uptown: 5831 Magazine. 504-899-6987.
Creole French Restaurants

Bistro Daisy. Uptown: 5831 Magazine. 504-899-6987.

Bistro Daisy Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 5831 Magazine. 504-899-6987. Map.Nice Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Bistro Daisy modest size and playful name understate its excellence to passers-by, who may drive in front of the place hundreds of times without giving it a second thought. (The non-availibility of obvious parking spaces doesn’t help.) However, we find food at least on a par with that of the best small restaurants around town, and better than many of the big ones. Its kitchen is just hip enough, and uses…

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Antoine’s. French Quarter: 713 St. Louis. 504-581-4422.
Creole French Restaurants

Antoine’s. French Quarter: 713 St. Louis. 504-581-4422.

Antoine’s French Quarter: 713 St Louis. 504-581-4422. Map.DressyAE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Even when Antoine’s was at its worst (about ten years ago), it remained an essential restaurant for a lot of New Orleans people. We’d put up with the maddening quirks and inconsistencies just to be there. Particularly around the holidays. Since the hurricane, Antoine’s has polished its act so well it’s almost hard to believe. A thorough restoration, a new bar, and new special menus are succeeding in attracting people who have not dined there…

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