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Hot Picks: New Orleans, LA

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

New Orleans is a great culinary destination. It is one of the most unique and atmospheric of any cities in the US. The warmth, graciousness and conviviality of the city can be felt from the moment you arrive. The fine selection of lodging, restaurants and activities is dizzying. However long your stay, you will regret leaving so soon and vow to return. New Orleans captures and captivates.

Here are some options for your visit! Click on the picture to find the information you want.

 


Where to Stay

Where to Eat

What to Do

 

 

Where to Stay


 Soniat House, New Orleans


Looking for a quiet, hidden gem in the midst of the French Quarter? The Soniat House, one of the country's fine, small hotels fits the bill. Built in 1829, the house combines Creole style with classic Greek revival detail. You will experience all of the amenities of a luxury hotel with the personalized service of a guesthouse. The privacy and exclusivity of the property belie the location which is just three blocks from Jackson Square , the center of the French Quarter. The experience of this charming and romantic hideaway in the heart of the Quarter is unique and memorable.


This is one of the beautiful Soniat House's suites decorated in the grand style.

 

The Soniat House
1133 Charters Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(800) 544-8808

 

The Hubbard Mansion Bed and Breakfast, New Orleans

 


This Greek revival style mansion offers just the right combination of old world charm with its generational and Victorian antiques in a newly constructed home that offers all the modern conveniences. You will be graciously welcomed by your hosts, Don and Rosetta who have made their dream your reality while in New Orleans. Breakfast is a treat and a surprise as you await Rose's culinary inspiration of the day. The location on St. Charles Avenue is convenient to the trolley and just minutes away from any activity on your agenda for the day. The best part of the day may well be your return to the mansion!




This is one of the magnificent suites found at the Hubbard Mansion, New Orleans.

Photo by Michael


Hubbard Mansion
Bed and Breakfast
3535 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA
70115
(504) 897-3535

 

 

The Omni Royal Orleans, New Orleans


 


Located on legendary Royal Street, this beautifully renovated historic property offers the modern comforts of a world class hotel including fitness center, business center, pool, conference rooms, restaurant and bar while retaining some of the charm and history of the quarter. Although it is centrally and conveniently located in the heart of Royal St., it exudes a sense of calm. The rooms are comfortably appointed and well insulated from any street noise. The staff are gracious and accommodating. The Omni Royal Orleans is a great find.



This is one of the Omni Royal Orlean's elegant and comfortable rooms.

Omni Royal Orleans
621 St. Louis Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70140
(504) 529-5333

 

 

Hot Picks: New Orleans, LA

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Where to Eat

Bombay Club



Photo by Michael Reiss

With a much deserved reputation as the place to go for the best selection of martinis in town,The Bombay Club is now extending its reputation to fine food and great entertainment to make this your one stop for a memorable evening. The ambiance is "clubby", the welcoming vibes extended by Owners Richard and Willie Fiske are neighborhood friendly and the cuisine by Executive Chef Nick Gile is haute without being haughty.



The Bombay Club offers superbly prepared gourmet food, including this dish, "Horseradish Encrusted Fillet of Fresh Atlantic Salmon served with roasted red pepper risotto and blood orange buerre blanc."

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Oysters Rockefeller,Four Louisiana oysters broiled on the half shell, topped with baby spinach, smoked bacon, fresh parmesan and pernod
Flash fried Asian Calamari, tossed with seet chili sauce, served with Sambal sour cream

Favorite Entrees:

Horseradish Encrusted Fillet of Fresh Atlantic Salmon served with roasted red pepper risotto and blood orange buerre blanc
Filet Mignon on a bed of chive mashed potatoes and sauce bordelaise

Favorite Dessert:

Bread Pudding

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Along with outstanding creative bar drinks The Bombay Club offers excellent nightly entertainment.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Bombay Club
830 Conti St.
(504) 586-0972

Begues




Photo by Michael Reiss


 


If you are looking for a fine French meal with just enough Creole flair to remind you that you are in New Orleans, Begues at the Royal Sonesta Hotel fits the bill. French Maitre d Alain sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. Settle into the comfortable room with ample space between tables to allow for conversation and savor the unsweetened butter and chicken liver pate that accompanies the selection of breads served warm and crusty. Delight in the complimentary sorbet served between courses and know that you've experienced the best of France's culinary tradition.



This is the elegant interior of Begues at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Fresh Lump Crabmeat and Shrimp tossed in Creole Remoulade with Avocado
Seared Duck Foie Gras with Fig and Ginger Compote and grilled Flat Breads

Favorite Entrees:

Filet of Tilapia, Pan fried and accompanied by Sautéed Julienne Vegetables, Lump Crabmeat, Corn Blinis and Lemon Butter Sauce
Sautéed Breast of Duck with Vegetable Napoleon and Sun dried Tomato Sauce

Favorite Dessert:

Bread Pudding

 

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"Sautéed Breast of Duck with Vegetable Napoleon and Sun dried Tomato Sauce" is an example of the outstanding food served at Begues at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.


Photo by Michael Reiss

 


Begues

Royal Sonesta Hotel
300 Bourbon Street
504 553 2278

 

 


Alex Patout's Louisiana




Photo by Michael Reiss

 


This elegant, Cajun-Creole is an undiscovered gem. The value laden menu is filled with tried and true family recipes straight from the bayou. The traditional fare is served with style by the gracious waitstaff and if you are lucky enough to meet Alex, he will charm you with his warmth and his knowledge of the food that makes New Orleans unique.



This is the elegant dining room at Alex Patout's Louisiana Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Louisiana Won Tons stuffed with shrimp and crawfish on a bed of mango chutney and sweet soy
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Favorite Entrees:

Louisiana Seafood Pasta, fresh Louisiana Gulf Shrimp and crawfish with our own smoked tasso tossed with pasta in a cream sauce
Cajun smothered Roast Duck, cooked very slowly and placed on a bed of our oyster dressing, served with sweet potato praline casserole, Cajun rice and maque choux

 

Favorite Dessert:

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

 



This is an assortment of savory appetizers including "Louisiana Won Tons stuffed with shrimp and crawfish on a bed of mango chutney and sweet soy" at Alex Patout's Louisiana Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Alex Patout's Louisiana Restaurant
720 St. Louis St.
504 525 7788

Michaul's on St. Charles



Owner/Hostess, Michelle,
welcomes you to Michaul's at St. Charles.

Photo by Michael Reiss


 


If you want an authentic Cajun experience; food, ambiance, music, dancing and hospitality this is it! The Owner/Hostess, Michelle, who started the restaurant in 1986, will welcome you and orient you to an unforgettable evening. For starters, there are Cajun dance lessons in between sets of a lively Cajun band. The food is authentic and irresistible. The vibes are ever so welcoming and if you ever think about New Orleans Mardi Gras, this is party central! Don't miss this uniquely Cajun experience while in the "big easy".



Fun and Cajun dancing is all part of the evening at Michaul's at St. Charles.


Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

BBQ Shrimp, Fresh Gulf Shrimp simmered in our famous southern style BBQ sauce with a hint of Rosemary served with French Bread
Seafood Gumbo

Favorite Entrees:

Bronzed Catfish Alcide, catfish dusted with Cajun spices and topped with crawfish etouffee
Salmon Pecan, fresh salmon in seasoned egg batter and totally encrusted with roasted pecans fried to perfection and laced with lemon and butter sauce

 

Favorite Dessert:

Praline Cheesecake

 

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Irresistible down-home cooking is what you can expect at Michaul's at St. Charles.


Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Michaul's at St. Charles
840 St. Charles Avenue
504 522 5517

 

Court of Two Sisters




Photo by Michael Reiss

 


This is the quintessential place to go for a New Orleans jazz brunch any day of the week. With more than 80 buffet items to choose from, there is something for everyone from traditional brunch fare to Cajun and Creole specialties. The jazz band is smooth and moves often between the inside rooms and the famed courtyard seating to make for a lively, entertaining dining experience.



The smooth jazz band makes dinning at delight at the Court of Two Sisters.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Crawfish pasta salad
Sea slaw

Favorite Entrees:

Made to order omelets
Duck a l'orange

Favorite Dessert:

Bananas Foster

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80 buffet items make the Court of Two Sisters a favorite dinning spot.

Photo by Michael Reiss

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Court of Two Sisters
613 Royal St.

504 522 7261


 

 

The Grill Room at the Windsor Court



 


The understated elegance of the room itself is a counterpoint to the sophisticated, complex, Three- Star-Michelin quality of the cuisine. The new chef, Jonathan Wright, promises to maintain the restaurant's status while introducing some new innovative dishes to the menu. An added pleasure is the sommelier, Heather Schneider, whose knowledge of and enthusiasm for wine will no doubt enhance your wine selection. Overall, the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel is an experience of the highest caliber.

 

Favorite Appetizers:

Tian of Crab with Lemon Vinaigrette, Scallop Seviche with Oyster Beignets and Sevruga Caviar
Terrine of Lobster and Marinated Roma Tomatoes En Presse, Red pepper Jelly and Lobster Cream with Caviar

Favorite Entrees:

Roasted Atlantic grouper with a Tepanade crust, Crawfish and Clam Chowder, Confit Potatoes and Fennel, Roasted Garlic
Caramelized Artic Sea Bass with Seared Scallops, Artichokes Barigoule and Porcini Gnocchi, Chanterelles and Rosemary Scented Poultry Jus

Favorite Dessert:

Bananas Windsor
Pecan Crusted Bananas with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Fosters Sauce

 

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This is the elegant dining room at the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel.

 

Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel
300 Gravier St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 522-1992

 

 

 

Cuvee, New Orleans

Superlatives and surprises abound in the kitchen of Chef Bingo Star's Cuvee. The menu changes regularly, so, if you liked what you just ate, come back soon for another helping and then be prepared to be wowed again by something new! The Chef's range and creativity are only matched by his Sommelier, Jeff Kundinger's adventuresome wine pairings. The ever-changing "Tasting Menu" is a true value.


Cuvee's enormously talented and creative Chef "Bingo" Starr creates culinary magic.


Photo by Michael Reiss


 

Favorite Appetizers:

Spicy shrimp and mirliton Napoleon with tomato remoulade, cayenne butter and frisee.
Gratin of wild mushrooms and herbed gnocchi with white truffle oil and poached quail eggs

Favorite Entrees:

Sugar cane smoked duck breast and whole confit leg, with Cashel Bleu-walnut risotto, seared Hudson Valley foie gras and pear glace
Chili seared tripletail on roasted vegetables salsa with smoked corn cream, Mahogany clams and red pepper rouille

Favorite Dessert:

Chocolate hazelnut crepes with pear,dried cherry compote, chocolate and caramel sauce.


 

Cuvee
322 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 587-9014

 

Click here to see a companion article, " Cuvee Restaurant , New Orleans - Michelin-Star Excellence."

 

GW FINS



 

Chef Partner, Tenney Flynn and Managing Partner Gary Wallerman take the New Orleans obsession for seafood to new heights by ensuring that their seasonal offerings are flown in from around the globe daily. That commitment to freshness and unique variety does not go unnoticed at this popular establishment. The progressive wine list, offered on the reverse side of the menu, provides much appreciated assistance to both the novice and experienced wine lover who can easily discern from the list which wines match their taste preferences, with "light and fruity" at the top of the list to "robust and full bodied" near the bottom of the list.

Favorite Appetizers:

Crispy Fried Split Maine Lobster Tail with remoulade cole slaw
Sizzling Smoked Oysters

Favorite Entrees:

Bouillabaisse- Lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, fresh shrimp, white fish in a rich saffron lobster broth
Whole Roasted Striped Bass with curried basmant, grilled banana

Favorite Dessert:

Apple Pie with cheese straw top crust and vanilla ice cream for two

 

GW Fins serves a superb "Bouillabaisse" with lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, fresh shrimp, white fish in a rich saffron lobster broth.


GW FINS
808 Bienville St.
New Orleans, LA 70112

(504) 581-3467


 

 

Commander's Palace, New Orleans

If you want a quintessential New Orleans experience, try Commander's Palace for Sunday Brunch. As soon as you walk in the door of the turquoise mansion, the celebration begins! Each of the seven dining rooms is festooned with balloons and you are escorted to your table to the strains of a smooth jazz combo. You observe people clinking champagne glasses and the party continues. You are presented an enormous menu with every Creole item possible, all prepared in an original adventuresome tradition started by the Brennan family and continued by the current chef, Tory McPhail. Before you know it, you are talking and or toasting to the people at the next table. The vibes are pure new Orleanean hospitality, and the good times are rollin'.

 



This dish, "Shrimp and Tasso with Five Pepper Jelly," is one of the creative and exciting items served at Commander's Palace.


Favorite Appetizers:

Commander's Las Vegas Salad
Tender baby spinach tossed with shaved red onion, candied pecans, crumbled point reyes blue cheese and sugar cane vinaigrette
Shrimp Remoulade "Moderne"
Boiled Gulf shrimp and crisp greens layered with spicy mousse and Creole remouolade sauce- finished with salted lemon zest

Favorite Entrees:

Louisiana crawfish Maque Choux
Local crawfish tails smothered down with toasted garlic, sweet corn, onions, mixed peppered and a Creole crawfish bisque- served over basil infused popcorn rice
Shrimp and Tasso with Five Pepper Jelly

Truffled Jumbo Lump Crab and Eggs
Fluffy scrambled eggs, triple cream brie, local crabmeat and artisan bread - with a Champagne- Meyer lemon butter and crawfish boudin

Favorite Dessert:

Bread Pudding Soufflé

 

Commander's Palace
1403 Washington Ave.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
(504) 899-8221

 

Upperline, New Orleans

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Enter this restaurant-cum-art gallery and you will be greeted with the warmth that only Owner, Joann Clevenger, can impart. She exudes genuine hospitality and Southern charm and her food explodes with the true Creole flair that can only come from Chef Ken's constant experimentation with the dishes that have made this restaurant so popular among tourists and beloved among locals. It is difficult to try the specials because everyone has their favorites here. A sure bet is to try the "Taste of New Orleans," a sampling of seven favorites that you want to experience again and again. Upperline is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2003 and you can be sure the celebration will be worth a trip!

 



The warm and enthusiastic Owner of Upperline, Joann Clevenger, will make your visit memorable.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Duck and Andouille Etouffee with Corn Cakes and Pepper Jelly
The original Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Remoulade

Favorite Entrees:

Roasted Duck with Ginger Peach Sauce
Seared Salmon, Louisiana Oysters

Favorite Dessert:
Honey Pecan Bread Pudding, Toffee Sauce

Upperline
1413 Upperline St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-9822

 

Hot Picks: New Orleans, LA

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

What To Do


There is always plenty to do in New Orleans, even if you aren't there for a specific festival. One of the best times to be in the city is during the month of December. No other city celebrates Christmas like New Orleans. Besides discounted holiday "Papa Noel " hotel rates, there are daily food demonstrations and tastings from the top local chefs, nightly concerts in the cathedral, impromptu encounters with historical figures, street performers and artists, candlelight tours of historical homes and candlelight caroling. The annual holiday homes tour in the Garden District and the multicourse reveillon dinners offered by many of the top restaurants are "must do's" on your holiday list. For a complete listing of events for this and other festivals in the city, contact the New Orleans Tourism marketing Corporation at: www.info@notmc.com

 

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