3811 St. Charles Ave. (Columns Hotel) 899-9308
New Chef Seth Smith will be tweaking the menu, which has traditionally offered a full Southern breakfast (7 a.m. to 10 a.m. only) during the week before the Sunday brunch. One thing that always remains the same at this New Orleans landmark is the Victorian-era antique furniture and the patio overlooking The Avenue. The brunch features music from such local faves as Nelson Lunding and Chip Wilson. Reservations recommended. Breakfast daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

713 St. Louis St. 581-4422
Baked, breaded or fried oysters are the perfect way to start a meal at this storied restaurant, which claims oysters Rockefeller as its invention. Relax with a cup of alligator and sherry bisque, then dive into the entrees: the Pompano Pontchartrain is a house specialty, where the grilled fillet is topped with crabmeat sauteed in butter. The wine room holds nearly 20,000 bottles. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$$

813 Bienville St. 523-5433
Open since 1918, Arnaud's is a popular French Quarter spot. Start with the foie gras in a port wine reduction or the escargot casserole, where the snails are baked in garlic herb butter and topped with pastry. Dinner brings on haute cuisine from steaks to sweetbreads, from Cornish hen to Creole bouillabaisse. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$


2120 Pakenham Drive, Chalmette 271-2500

On a warm day, families flock to Barrister's patio to soak up the sun and enjoy the generous and reasonably priced Creole classics. The tender eggplant Napoleon is topped with mozzarella and red sauce and accompanied by pasta and salad, and the catfish McInnis is a fried fillet stuffed with crabmeat dressing and topped with crabmeat bordelaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

2031 St. Charles Ave. (Pontchartrain Hotel) 524-0581
While the Bayou Bar is primarily a place to enjoy fine cocktails and shimmering conversation, those who get peckish can order food from Lafitte's Restaurant, also located in the hotel. The crawfish cakes with remoulade sauce are a great snack, or bite into a po-boy or the sweet potato souffle. No reservations. Lunch Friday through Sunday, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

417 Royal St. 525-9711
Breakfast at Brennan's is a religious experience for foodies, where you're encouraged to have a 14-oz. ribeye steak before noon. There are plenty of poached eggs, oysters and seafood. Don't forget the eye-openers: the gin fizz, brandy milk punch and mimosas all come highly recommended. Reservations required. Breakfast, brunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

819 Conti St. 581-3866
At this French Quarter gem, the sensory experience doesn't stop at the plate; Broussard's also prides itself on its wine list and a selection of fine cigars. Start with a seafood-stuffed mirliton or the Casserole Florentine, where crabmeat is baked in an artichoke brie bechamel. The specialty veal chop is seasoned with Creole mustard and topped with asparagus tips and a port wine demi-glace. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

300 Poydras St. 595-3305
This latest offering from the Commander's Palace Family of Restaurants takes its name from the Brennan family's beloved aunt, Adelaide Brennan, and is the group's first new restaurant in 12 years. Located inside the Loews New Orleans Hotel, the restaurant's menu features scallops and foie gras, as well as the West Indies crab salad. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1000 N. Peters St. 523-7418

Visitors and locals alike come to this cafe when the need for classic New Orleans cuisine overwhelms them. All the spicy necessities are here, including seafood gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp Creole, red beans and rice, fried okra and fried green tomatoes. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

601 Decatur St. 523-6250

This cafe is named after Pierre Maspero, who operated a coffee house in New Orleans' early days where Jean Lafitte's pirates are said to have congregated. Nowadays the customers are visitors and locals hankering for a massive plate of jambalaya or red beans and rice, or a giant muffaletta sandwich. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $ CAFE

546 St. Peter St. 522-1180

If the charming view of Jackson Square, used in the recent movie
Runaway Jury
, isn't enough to convince you to sit for a spell, one look at the bowls of steaming gumbo and the plates of blackened alligator should change your mind. If you come for brunch, start by sipping a mimosa and then move on to the excellent mint juleps and Bloody Marys. No reservations. Breakfast Saturday and Sunday, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1011 Decatur St. 522-5565

Upscale Creole food is the name of the game in this elegant dining room and on the balcony overlooking the French Market. Try the blackened redfish with corn macque choux and jumbo shrimp topping, or the pistachio and pecan crusted catfish with black-eyed pea relish. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily, jazz brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

131 SW Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula
(985) 386-4077

If you find yourself in the lovely little town of Ponchatoula, make a beeline for this restaurant serving Cajun and Italian cuisine. Try the crawfish lasagna, the seafood-stuffed filet mignon, or the fried chicken roulades, which are stuffed with spinach and andouille and topped with sun-dried tomato sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch daily, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$

3835 Iberville St. 482-4924
This renovated Lutheran church in Mid-City keeps the regulars' faith in Creole cooking firm and strong, thanks to the stuffed fish: fish fillet filled with crabmeat and shrimp stuffing, lightly battered, flash-fried, baked and served with a garlic-mayonnaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$$

6100 Annunciation St. 895-1111

This Uptown favorite brings connoisseurs to the bar to sample the fine Scotch collection and wine list, but everyone moves to the dining room sooner or later to feast on fried oysters with brie, paneed veal, lobster risotto and grilled fish. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $$

714 St. Peter St. 524-3500

Breakfast at the Coffee Pot is a brisk, lively, and generous affair. Get yourself some hot biscuits and gravy and grits and grillades, or move straight to lunch and dig into blackened redfish, shrimp Creole, or the seafood platter with fried oysters, shrimp, trout and softshell crab. Reservations required for large parties. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

1403 Washington Ave. 899-8221
Executive Chef Tory McPhail recommends the Grilled Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas: tender Wisconsin veal with goat cheese, stone-ground grits and brandied wild mushroom demi-glace. There are bargain lunches for the budget conscious and jazz brunches on weekends. Reservations required. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, jazz brunch Saturday and Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

500 St. Peter St. 522-2999

This French Quarter spot is open early and late for partiers and visitors who need their fix of New Orleans cuisine. For a snack that goes great with beer, try the battered and deep-fried pickles. If you need a more substantial meal, the blackened catfish over linguine or the fresh seafood sampler, which comes with raw oysters and a half-pound each of boiled crawfish and shrimp. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

613 Royal St. 522-7261

This elegant, historic French Quarter house offers the works with daily jazz brunches and fixed-price four-course dinners. Elaborate specialty entrees include the chicken Michelle, in which the chef stuffs a boneless breast of chicken with a seafood dressing and wraps it in phyllo dough before popping it in the oven, to be topped later with a Creole mustard hollandaise sauce. Reservations recommended. Jazz brunch, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

2500 Chartres St. 945-2222
Locals come to this friendly funky cafe for a break from the Quarter. On a nice evening, grab a table on the courtyard or balcony to dine on the oysters en brochette and pate de maison. For entrees, the fresh fish is classically prepared several ways with the seafood stuffed eggplant being the chef's specialty. Reservations recommended. Lunch Friday, dinner nightly, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$


1001 Decatur St. 525-7879
Listen to the sounds of New Orleans and watch the tourists ramble by at this long-standing French Quarter fixture. It's a great venue for al fresco lunching and a respite from the bustle of Decatur Street. Fine dining can be had upstairs on the balcony while Chef Rouby blackens snapper in the kitchen. Reservations accepted for five or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

209 Bourbon St. 525-2021
This venerable haute-Creole dining establishment was founded in 1905 and embodies the soul of New Orleans fine dining. Start with the classic shrimp remoulade, favored by loyal patrons. From the extensive menu, the poisson meuniere alamandine is praised followed by the delectable bread pudding for dessert. Jackets required for men after 5 p.m. and on Sundays; shorts prohibited. Reservations available upstairs. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

630 St. Peters St. 525-1486
Savor the flavor of historic New Orleans with traditional gumbos from the place famous for it. The Gumbo Shop takes advantage of seasonal ingredients and puts out a winter killer with a steaming bowl of smoked duck and oyster gumbo. Classic seafood gumbo can be enjoyed on the heated patio for French Quarter dining alfresco. Have a cup of gumbo and then order the chicken Espagnole, braised in a rich dark gravy of mushrooms, shallots, garlic and wine. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

214 Royal St. (Hotel Monteleone) 523-3341
A landmark hotel has to have a landmark restaurant, and the Hunt Room Grill lives up to that standard with international cuisine an added distinct New Orleans flair. Chef Randy Buck uses the freshest local ingredients in his ever changing menu selections. The chef recommends the grilled filet of beef on a fried eggplant crouton and roasted shallots in a Burgundy thyme sauce, served with a petite salad, vegetable and potato. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$


701 Poydras St. (One Shell Square) 522-0138

In a city known for its jambalaya, this restaurant can hold its own. Downtown worker bees file in for comforting bowls of seafood and chicken-andouille gumbo. The succulent pork roast, chicken stew with bacon gravy, and shrimp stew with fettuccine are dishes we'd all leave our offices for. No reservations. Lunch weekdays. Credit cards and checks. $

225 W. Harrison Ave. 486-7664
La Cuisine offers Creole, veal, steak, seafood and dishes. Lunch and dinner both serve the combination platter: paneed baby white veal and trout meuniere topped with eggplant dressing. Reservations accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Credit cards and checks. $$

509 Williams Blvd., Kenner 471-0534
This Cajun-Creole restaurant's menu is as elegant as the 50-year-old house where it is located. Management recommends the broiled Louisiana crabcakes with fettuccine Alfredo, and the shrimp, mirliton and crabmeat bisque. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

3 Lee Circle (Hotel Le Cirque) 962-0915
The lunch menu changes fairly often at this Creole hotspot, which has chic postmodern decor and a classy ambience. For dinner, check out the braised veal cheeks with pappardalle pasta and broccoli raab with Marsala cream sauce. Consider the Kentucky limestone Bibb salad with a black pepper vinaigrette, mission figs, prosciutto de parma and Bulgarian cheese. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, breakfast and dinner Monday through Saturday, dinner Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

201 Royal St. 523-2078
For the uninitiated, try the barbecue shrimp (available for lunch and dinner) where Gulf shrimp is cooked ³New Orleans style² and served in the shell with a peppery butter sauce and French bread on the side for dipping. Another signature dish is the renowned Gumbo Ya-Ya, featuring country style gumbo made with chicken and andouille sausage. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday, dinner Friday and Saturday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

729 Conti St. 529-3663
Seven is a lucky number at this cookery, which serves three meals seven days a week and features seven breakfast specials at $7 each, plus $7 lunch specials. Most requested on the regular menu is barbecue shrimp: large Gulf shrimp left whole and in the shell, sauteed in a beer-based sauce flavored with Cookery seasonings, rosemary, Lea & Perrin's and garlic, enriched with butter and served with steamed white rice. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. $$

204 Decatur St. 525-7734

Executive Chef Armand Olivier III and working Chef Damian Banks give you a guided tour of the Creole culinary landscape at this French Quarter restaurant. The gumbo sampler serves three demitasse cups filled with okra, Creole and file gumbo. The braised rabbit, served with a rich oyster dressing seasoned with sage, is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

137 Decatur. St. 581-1136
Enjoy dinner to the strains of a blues guitarist at this French Quarter restaurant, which features special dishes such as the 14-oz. steak Dianne, served with potatoes and vegetables; and veal Oscar, medallions of veal cooked with wine and served with a crawfish cream sauce, garlic potatoes and vegetables. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

605 Canal St. 523-1661
This Dickie Brennan-owned restaurant offers special prices on a selection of three-course early dinners in its current ³Supper Before 7² promotion. Or you can depend on standard favorites from the regular menu such as shrimp Tchefuncte, which consists of jumbo shrimp sauteed with garlic, green onion and roasted mushrooms in Creole meuniere sauce over Louisiana popcorn rice. There's also a live jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday. Credit cards. $$

2005 N. Broad St. 949-7970
Pampy's offers Creole cuisine such as a fried Cornish hen that's injected with Creole marinade before it's deep-fried to seal in the juices and presented with sides of mustard greens and candied yams. Buffalo shrimp or oysters are flash-fried and tossed in a spicy butter hot sauce, then served with blue cheese dressing. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

127 Cleveland Ave., Slidell
(985) 645-3600
Though not as old as the historic house it inhabits, Patton's has served the Northshore for more than 50 years. Consider The Saks appetizer of stewed crawfish stuffing wrapped in a crepe before it's fried and served with crawfish dill sauce. A popular entree is a fillet of red snapper crusted in andouille sausage and crackers with a spicy Creole sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Wednesday through Saturday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards and checks. $$


119 St. Charles Ave. 525-2901
A standard among the CBD crowd for decades, The Pearl serves po-boys of all kinds as well as non-sandwich fare such as grilled shrimp salad, etouffee, gumbo and turtle soup. Regulars with a taste for tradition -- The Pearl has sated hunger for 70 years -- like to finish the meal with bread pudding or turtle cheesecake. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$

741 Royal St. 581-4478
Dishes that show off local flavors such as the Seafood Pirogue reflect Pere Antoine's connection to New Orleans food. It's a casserole of crabmeat, scallops and shrimp blended with rice, white wine and a hint of spinach in a cheesy cream sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

817 St. Louis St. 522-6440
This Creole creperie is known for such delights as the St. Francis crepe with shrimp, crabmeat and ratatouille, or the St. Louis dessert flambe: vanilla ice cream with bananas, cherries and pecans served aflame at the table. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Petunia's offers a popular po-boy and salad menu to stave off hunger between lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended for dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

440 Chartres St. 524-8990
After working up a hunger strolling around Jackson Square, stop into Maspero's for classic New Orleans dishes such as crawfish etouffee, muffulettas, red beans and rice, and shrimp Creole. Another popular entree is the cappellini Maspero: pasta with shrimp, crawfish tails and cream sauce. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

1036 Lafayette St., Gretna 367-0935

Executive Chef Randy Barlow serves up savory creations such as the crabmeat au gratin (lump crabmeat in a mushroom cream sauce smothered in smoked Gouda cheese), and the eggplant Maple (eggplant topped with sauteed shrimp and black pepper sauce). Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

RIVER 127´
100 Iberville St. (Wyndham New Orleans at Canal Place, 11th floor) 553-5082
Enjoy the magnificent view of the Mississippi River as you sample a menu that is highlighted by such dishes as Pan-Fried Caminada Bay Oysters, served atop a spicy andouille cornbread cake. The Barataria Bay Crab Cakes rest on a celebrated New Orleans trio: seafood, spice and lots of butter. Reservations recommended. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

801 Decatur St. 525-4478
No matter what time it is, you can always enjoy breakfast items at River's Edge. Other offerings include local staples such as pain perdu (lost bread), gumbo, red beans and rice, seafood jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, po-boys, and fried seafood dinners. Their bread pudding and praline pecan pie are dessert favorites. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

123 Baronne St. (Fairmont Hotel) 529-4733
There's nothing like the famous New Orleans cocktail to whet your appetite for an elegant dinner. Signature dishes include the oyster-artichoke soup, grilled mahi-mahi, and seafood bouillabaisse. For dinner, the kitchen offers a chef's special. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and a la carte Sunday brunch. Credit cards. $$$

711 Bourbon St. 525-8379
There's all-you-can-eat boiled shrimp daily and barbecue ribs on Wednesdays and Sundays. On Mondays and Thursdays, go for the all-you-can-eat fish for $8.95. Zydeco, jazz and Cajun music from the 711 Bar complement the dining experience. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

823 Decatur St. 525-8676
Tujague's prix-fixe menu includes the time-tested shrimp remoulade, Tujague's own traditional beef brisket with Creole sauce, soup and dessert. Hot French bread accompanies every meal. The bread pudding and pecan pie are among the desserts offered. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

1413 Upperline St. 891-9822
For starters, spicy chilled boiled shrimp top cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes, all served on a bed of greens tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. Tom Cowman's Famous Roast Duck is half a bird rubbed in spices then slow-roasted until crispy outside, tender inside; the entree is served with a choice of garlic port or ginger peach sauce and is accompanied by fried sweet potatoes and green beans. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$$

8400 Oak St. 865-1559
Regulars come here for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, featuring a rotating list of local staples, or go to the menu to order favorites such as seafood gumbo, fried chicken and bread pudding. Sunday brunch features both breakfast and lunch items. Reservations accepted. Lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner Wednesday through Saturday, brunch Sunday. Credit cards. $$

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