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LOUISIANA CONTEMPORARY

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ANNADELE PLANTATION
71495 Chestnut St., Covington (985) 809-7669; www.annadeles.com
Not many restaurants can boast a plantation setting, and that's only one of the high points of eating at Pat Gallagher's Northshore restaurant. The other is the food. The menu reads like an homage to America, featuring Wisconsin duckling, prime Colorado lamb chopsHarry's Creole turtle soup. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat., brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

BRIGTSEN'S
723 Dante St. 861-7610; www.brigtsens.com
Everyone is glad to hear that Frank Brigtsen's back. Though the menu changes daily, all the favorites are back, too. Chef Frank still shows his culinary flair with entrees like the braised rabbit in phyllo with creamed spinach, bacon, mushrooms, leeks and white truffle oil. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

CAFé VOLAGE
720 Dublin St. 861-4227; www.cafevolage.com
Not wanting to be pigeonholed, the cuisine here is all over the place, with Catalan, French, Italian, Creole and American dishes. Chef Gallerani likes veal and offers it many ways: veal Marsala, veal meuniere, veal piccata, veal cordon blue and even Veal Liver A La Joe. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CHOPS BISTRO
111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 218-8967
Vegans beware, this place serves up beef in a big way. Chef Sean Holtgreve's menu holds no surprises and offers hulking sirloins, rib-eyes and grilled veal chops. The martini bar is a real draw for the see-and-be-seen Metairie crowd. Reservations accepted. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

COPELAND'S
680 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 809-9659; 1700 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey 364-1575; www.copelands.net
These two locations are back to seven days of operations and a full menu. Now's the time to try the eggplant pirogue, three slices of Cajun-fried eggplant stacked with crab claws and smothered with an au gratin cream sauce over angel hair pasta. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

THE DAKOTA
629 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 892-3712; www.thedakotarestaurant.com
Chef Kim Kringlie uses fresh local ingredients every chance he gets, and it reflects in the haute menu offerings. From the roasted rack of lamb to the seared duck breast, each dish is cooked as if you were the only guest. It only gets better when you see the commendably extensive wine list. Reservations recommended. Lunch Thu.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

DANTE'S KITCHEN
736 Dante St. 861-3634; www.danteskitchen.com
Among the myriad restaurant choices in Riverbend, Dante's Kitchen's most distinctive feature is its outdoor patio, which is a sweet hang on fair days. On Sundays, you don't mind the line to get in because you know the ultra-creamy stone-ground grits are worth the wait. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Thu.-Mon. Credit cards. $$

DICK & JENNY'S
4501 Tchoupitoulas St. 894-9880
Dick and Jenny were quick to reopen their eponymous restaurant, and their loyal fans were right there to greet them. The wait for a table is long, but you can pass the time with a cocktail or a reasonably priced bottle of wine on the patio. Once seated, the braised brisket will melt your troubles away. No reservations. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ETOILE
407 N. Columbia St., Covington (985) 892-4578
Acclaimed artist James Michalopoulos is quite the Renaissance man as a painter, rum distiller, Francophile and restaurant owner. His heavily stylized Northshore restaurant-bar-lounge is a dream come true for oenophiles and offers an impressive wine list to accompany the French-inspired cuisine. Reservations recommended for parties of five or more. Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

HILLERY'S ON TOULOUSE
827 1/2 Toulouse St. (Hotel St. Marie) 571-2888; www.hotelsmarie.com
Hillery's is exactly what you've come to expect from a French Quarter Creole dining establishment, with a courtyard and a classically decorated dining room. Chef Hillery Moise cooks solid versions of all the standards, including chicken Creole, crawfish pasta and andouille-encrusted pork. No reservations. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

JACQUES-IMO'S CAFÉ
8324 Oak St. 861-0886; www.jacquesimoscafe.com
A favorite of locals and tourists alike, Jacques-Imo's has returned with a vengeance, and cooks are furiously browning their famous fried chicken to keep up with the demand. Skillets are sizzling with blackened lamb sirloin, which is served with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in a luxurious demi-glace. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

LE PARVENU
509 Williams Blvd., Kenner 471-0534
Haute cuisine is alive and well in Kenner as Chef Dennis Hutley proves with his menu offerings. The highlight is the lobster Le Parvenu, a paneed lobster tail stuffed with fresh seafood drenched with a lobster-tail cognac cream sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

LOUISIANA BISTRO
337 Dauphine St. 525-3335
Chef Mars couldn't wait to get back into the kitchen to feed the hungry folks in the Quarter. He whips out house specialties like the Creole surf and turf, a pan-seared filet mignon with crawfish-tail scampi. Reservations accepted. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$$

MARIGNY BRASSERIE
640 Frenchmen St. 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.com
Finally, somewhere to eat on a Sunday or Monday. Café standards are Chef Seth Smith's specialty seven nights a week, from his rosemary roasted Cornish hen to the braised pork shank. Live music and a stylish bar make this the place to be for Sunday brunch. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

NAPOLEON HOUSE BAR & CAFÉ
500 Chartres St. 524-9752; www.napoleonhouse.com
This long-standing atmospheric fixture in the Quarter would rather open for lunch than not open at all. It closes at 6 p.m., so you can linger long after the lunch hour sipping a Pimms cup or a creamy Italian soda. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Wed. Credit cards. $

PERISTYLE
1041 Dumaine St. 593-9535; www.wolfesneworleans.com
Contented diners seated on leather banquettes eat happily in true Francophile fashion, chewing garlicky escargot. Hanger steak, rabbit chausseur, mussels, foie gras or sweetbreads — they're all here on the authentically French menu. Attentive service and a vast wine list make it a place you can rely on. Reservations required. Lunch Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

QUARTER SCENE
900 Dumaine St. 522-6533; www.quarterscene.com
All the things you'd expect to find in a French Quarter restaurant — crab cakes, po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo — are here. Tourists and early-rising locals stop by to fuel up for the day with the pain perdu or a fluffy omelet. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

RESTAURANT AUGUST
301 Tchoupitoulas St. 299-9777; www.restaurantaugust.com
Chef John Besh refuses to offer diners anything less than the freshest ingredients. His attention shows in the variety of a la carte offerings. In this post-Katrina world, when you see sheepshead, grouper cheeks, blackfish or guinea hen on the menu, it looks like things are getting back to normal. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

RESTAURANT CUVEE
322 Magazine St. 587-9001; www.restaurantcuvee.com
Wine, wine and more wine. Cuvee's wine list rivals any other in the city. Oh yeah, then there's the wonderfully executed entrees. The Kobe beef meatloaf or the salmon with crab crown are examples of the chef's creative ability. Atmospheric space and gracious service are the proverbial icing on the cake. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

TABLE ONE
2800 Magazine St. 872-9035
Chef Gerard Marais is back at it, and this time with a new hit restaurant Uptown. He uses fresh ingredients from his organic farm on the Northshore to create original French Creole fare. The wild mushroom soup is creamy and elegant, and the seared rib-eye can hold its own against any steak in the city. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

VIZARD'S ON THE AVENUE
2203 St. Charles Ave., 529-9912
A neat little corner space in the Garden District Hotel provides the location for the new Vizard's on the Avenue, where well-known chef Kevin Vizard crafts dishes such as the duck and mushroom crepe with Bing cherry sauce and satsuma-glazed pork osso bucco with sweet potato risotto. Patio dining will eventually be available; until then, gaze out of tall windows onto the avenue. The bar is open late. Reservations recommended. Delivery available within the hotel. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

WOLFE'S IN THE WAREHOUSE
859 Convention Center Blvd. 613-2882; www.wolfesofneworleans.com
Tom Wolfe's third restaurant venture, located inside the Marriott Convention Center Hotel, was only open a month before Hurricane Katrina hit, but he's up and running again, serving three meals a day, seven days a week. Menu items that you have come to expect from Wolfe are here, from Kobe beef ribs to an assortment of duck entrees. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

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