No list of New Orleans restaurants would be complete without Commander's Palace. Voted “Best Restaurant in the United States” in 1996, this fine southern establishment lives up to its reputation with exceptional cuisine and a dining experience you will not soon forget. One piece of the package here is the wait staff; the efficient servers are attentive rather than officious. Dining rooms vary in size from large to intimate in this modified 1880s Victorian house. Commander's Palace is particularly known for its turtle soup. Other standouts include the Mississippi Roasted Quail Stuffed with Creole Crawfish Sausage and for dessert, the Creole Bread Pudding Souffle. There is also an excellent wine list with suggestions for each entree.
At NOLA, owned by famed chef Emeril Lagasse is all about creating the best patron experience possible. This means that the service, decor and most importantly, the food, most all work off of each other. NOLA accomplishes this and more, with a beautifully decorated dining area complemented by impeccable service and a diverse offering of seafood dishes. NOLA is short for New Orleans, and is an appropriate moniker as this restaurant nicely captures the essence of the Big Easy.
Acme Oyster House has been a mainstay in the NoLa dining scene since its inception in 1910. This iconic restaurant, with its vintage neon signboard, serves up a unique take on local flavors. Their signature raw oysters are a must have, followed by coastal specialties like Poopa, French bread canopy stuffed with sausage and shrimp gumbo.
A part of the Brennan family, Mr. B's Bistro features Creole cuisine served in an upscale ambiance. It has earned many accolades for its authentic menu and tantalizing flavors. Try the panko crusted jumbo shrimp or the Gumbo Ya Ya, both of which are traditional favorites. The heartwarming score on the live piano provides a pleasant backdrop to the meal.
Situated in a quaint cottage, Bayona charms diners with its picturesque decor consisting of flower arrangements, murals and photographs. Serving Louisiana cuisine with a bit of a twist, Chef Susan Spicer puts together an inviting meal. Sit in the courtyard amid the plants or enjoy the ambiance of the romantic indoor dining hall. The desserts are a must try to finish off your meal.
Located in the heart of the business district, August is a major New Orleans culinary delight. This historic venue offers French dishes with a distinctive Louisiana flair. Chef John Besh has helped to create an elaborate menu including dishes such as "Salade August" (salad with candied pumpkin seeds and Point Reyes blue cheese), Parmesan-crusted blackfish with lobster, whipped potatoes and bouillabaisse jus, and pork belly and lobster "en barigoule." A wine room and private dining options are also available.
Palace Cafe was once the Werlein's music store, and is now home to the flavor of New Orleans. Making its debut in 1991, Palace Cafe has been under the direction of Chef Gus Martin, directing yet another Brennan family culinary creation. The restaurant is filled with beautiful iron work, vaulted archways and lively artwork. The menu is classic Louisiana cooking with an innovative flair. Two of the many signature dishes are Crab Meat Cheesecake and Oysters Pan Roast.
Ralph Brennan, of the city's well-known restaurant clan, owns this casual, high-energy grill. This festive atmosphere holds true to the city it inhabits. A large central dining room is surrounded on three sides by banquettes, and a huge oyster bar is covered with images of the seafood that is also the focus of the menu. The kitchen produces a delicious barbecue shrimp po'boy, seafood gumbo with nuggets of alligator sausage and baked oysters on the half shell. The signature dessert is a variation of bananas foster.
Bourbon House is a many-leveled restaurant renowned for its fresh seafood delicacies cooked in a delectable cross between colonial French and southern American styles. The main dining room and the private dining rooms are done in beautiful wrought iron, reminiscent of the European architectural legacy left behind. When you are at Bourbons you could always let the Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch tingle your insides with fresh sea fare for company.
This creation by a younger member of the Commander's Palace clan specializes in steaks and chops with that special New Orleans touch. Dark cherry walls, tile floors and antique brass fixtures add to the resounding masculine charm that collaborates so well with the assortment of steak options. The wines are all red but then again, what else would you have with red meat? Steaks are made divine with a variety of light seasonings, butter sauces, garlic rubs and mushroom peppercorn crusts. Never fear if you are not a big steak fan, the menu also features excellent renditions of typical New Orleans foods and desserts.