Magazine Street and its environs were the birthplace of the gourmet Creole bistro, then and still the most exciting and interesting segment of the local dining market. Bistro Daisy is a textbook example of the genre. Chef-owned, smallish, a menu ever in flux, and patronized by a substantial cadre of regulars.
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 familiar local fresh foodstuffs in interesting but unpuzzling innovations.
Anton and Diane Schulte are a young couple with the added complication of a little kid (whose name is Daisy, like her grandmother's). They first turned up at Peristyle during the great Anne Kearney years, then developed the initial cuisine of La Petite Grocery. After a couple of years the Schultes went on their own, moving into the former Ristorante Civello. It was magic from there on.
Diane Schulte orchestrates service, the bar, and the wine collection. The trio of small dining rooms have high ceilings, wood-plank floors, a real fireplace with a fake fire (they can't afford to give up the table in front of it), and big windows. The ceilings are painted unusually in a trompe l'oeil manner. It's a superb example of a cottage-to-restaurant conversion--something that is more often wrong than right.
Parking requires at least a half-block's walk, if you're lucky. The best place to look for curbside spots is on Nashville Avenue, on the river side of Magazine. Reservations are a must; this is a small restaurant with many fans.