Restaurant August

301 Tchoupitoulas St

tel 1 504 299 9777

Since Restaurant August opened in October 2001 in a converted 1860s tobacco warehouse in the central business district (CBD), chef John Besh has been making food aficionados and critics sit up and take notice.

The menu ambitiously blends Besh’s creole background with German, Provençal and Asian influences. His sense of humour is evident in his signature BLT sandwich of Louisiana buster crab (instead of bacon), lettuce and tomatoes, and in Tongue and Cheek, a combination of foie gras, veal cheeks and beef tongue terrines, occasionally offered on the tasting menu. Pastry chef Kelly Fields’ fondness for savoury ingredients has resulted in surprising desserts like chestnut baklava with herbed poached pear filled with lemon-thyme ice cream.

Choose from several areas in this 697sqm space: the main dining room with its velvet banquettes and wraparound wine cellar, the corporate event-worthy penthouse or the banquet/reception floor that holds 120. The three-course prix fixe lunch at $20.04 per person is arguably the best deal in town.

Lunch for two with a bottle of wine, about $90. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, about $140. Lunch Mon-Fri11am-2pm. Dinner


Mon-Sat
5.30-10 pm.

 

Herbsaint

701 St Charles Avenue

tel 1 504 524 4114

Also on foodies’ radar, Herbsaint – after the anisette liqueur invented inNew Orleans– is earning a multitude of accolades. The warmth and relaxed charm of this CBD establishment draws an urbane crowd. The chef, Donald Link, lends a contemporary interpretation to French-American bistro fare. The tomato and shrimp bisque has an invigorating splash of the namesake drink, and in a town where gumbo is discussed as seriously as politics, Herbsaint’s gumbo of the day with andouille, duck and tasso ham is a stand-out. Also noteworthy are the chilli-glazed braised pork belly with beluga lentils and mint and the rabbit fricassee with wild mushrooms. Save room for the sublime banana brown-butter tart, which might be the best dessert you’ve ever tasted and is worth every calorie.

Lunch for two with a bottle of wine, about $70. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, about $90. Lunch Mon-Fri11.30am-2.30pm. Dinner daily5.30-10pm.

 

Bourbon House

144 Bourbon St

tel 1 504 522 0111

At Bourbon House, Dickie Brennan’s (of the famous family of restaurateurs) newest eatery in the French Quarter, the spotlight is on the freshest local seafood and classically prepared creole specialties. The large, open interior, with arched windows that span almost an entire wall, Art Nouveau lamps and wrought-iron chairs, is reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie. Despite its casual ambience, Bourbon House is grand enough for business powwows, and the staff are knowledgeable and friendly.

Start with the superb trio of oysters: Rockefeller (traditionally prepared), Bienville (sautéed with shrimp, bacon, bell peppers, onions, celery, and parmesan; thickened with roux; topped with bread crumbs; and oven roasted) and Fonseca (sautéed with tomatoes and peppers, topped with parmesan and roasted), then proceed to the day’s catch topped with pecans in creole meunière sauce or with a sauté of Gulf shrimp, oysters and artichoke hearts. Meat lovers will be sated by the 16-ounce Angus rib eye with pommes frites and andouille steak sauce. To finish, try a signature frozen bourbon-milk punch, homemade ice cream such as banana-pecan, or a selection from the extensive list of single-barrel bourbons.

Lunch for two with a bottle of wine, about $50. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, about $80. Lunch Mon-Fri11.30am-5.30pm. Dinner daily 5.30-11pm. Oyster bar daily 11.30am-midnight.

Café Adelaide

Loews New Orleans Hotel

300 Poydras St

tel 1 504 595 3305

Located in the elegant Loews New Orleans Hotel in the downtown warehouse district, Café Adelaide is operated by three members of the younger generation of the Brennan family. The restaurant, which was inspired by the gallery in the plantation-style home of the proprietors’ auntAdelaide, features faux tiger eye-maple walls, a rustic pickled-wood bar and floor-to-ceiling wine storage with library ladders to house the 120-bottle list.

The playful, imaginative tone carries over to the menu of updatedNew Orleansbistro fare. A popular lunch item is the BBQ shrimp po’boy – the best version I’ve tried. And how about the foie gras sandwich on brioche with orange and onion marmalade for a dinner appetizer? The traditionalNew Orleansbeignet with a cappuccino semifreddo becomes Coffee and Doughnuts, and the grown-up version of Milk and Cookies stars an icy brandy-milk punch ice cream.

Lunch for two with a bottle of wine, about $85. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, about $130. Lunch Mon-Fri11am-2.30pm. Dinner daily6-9.30pm.

TheNew OrleansGrill

WindsorCourtHotel

300 Gravier St

tel 1 504 522 1994

The New Orleans Grill is a showcase of refined luxury, from the gallery-quality murals by local artist Auseklis Ozols right down to the custom-woven carpets so plush that you sink with each step. The city’s movers and shakers discuss business while seated at well-spaced tables and are catered to with seamless service. Chef Jonathan Wright’s contemporary French cuisine incorporates organic, locally grown produce in dishes like crispy roast duck withLouisianapeaches. The most popular item on the menu is theWindsor Courtcrab cake, an updated take on a popular 20-year-old recipe.

With such exacting standards, whatever you order will be paired with the perfect wine from the 10,000-bottle cellar. This is the restaurant if you seek to impress or really want to close that deal. (Paul McCartney wooed future wife Heather Mills with a tune at the piano in the adjacent Polo Lounge.)

Lunch for two with a bottle of wine, about $125. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, about $175. Lunch Mon-Sat11.30am2pm.Dinner daily 6-10pm.