My little guide to New Orleans bars & restaurants

Some of my favorite conversations happen when people are geeking out. Whether it be about cycling, skincare, fly fishing, gaming, the quantified self, [fill in the blank], I enjoy conversing with passionate people who do their research. It’s a hell of a lot better than small talk and it most always teaches me something new about being human.

One subject that ignites my personal geekdom: New Orleans dining. I have a list of bars and restaurants by neighborhood that I take supreme joy in curating. It’s comprised of places I enjoy, I’m willing to give a second chance to or I’m interested in trying. I use it as a reference point any time the ubiquitous “Where do you want to go tonight?” question arises. I love researching bars and restaurants before determining whether I want to spend time and money there.

I also use this list any time out-of-town friends or family members are looking for recommendations. Because it’s proved useful to them, I am hoping it may prove useful to you. Establishments on this list are open and operational or will soon be open and operational. I remove restaurants that have closed or that I simply wouldn’t recommend. The listed neighborhood names are overarching and do not reflect the unique coordinates and crannies that define New Orleans. Have additions, criticism or questions? Leave a comment or email me!

Disclaimer: I am no Todd Price or Brett Anderson (mad respect, gentleman). This list could easily be created by anyone with the internet and an affinity for the dining and restaurant review sections of local news sites like NOLA.com, Eater NOLA, The Gambit, etc.

UPTOWN
La Crepe Nanou
Boucherie
Patois
St. James Cheese Company
Oak
Bouligny Tavern
Gautreau’s
Clancy’s
The Columns Hotel
Noodle & Pie*
Snake & Jake’s
Maple Leaf Bar
Brigtsen’s Restaurant
Ba Chi Canteen
Cowbell
ManhattanJack
Baru
Satsuma
Jacques Imo’s
Avo
Pizza Domenica
Carrollton Market
La Petite Grocery
Jamila’s
Tartine
Shaya
Breads on Oak
Cavan Co.
Maysville
Altamura

FRERET
Ancora
High Hat
Publiq House
Midway
Cure
Gasa Gasa
Company Burger
Humble Bagel

GARDEN DISTRICT
Coquette
Maya’s
Eleven79
District
Stein’s
Dat Dog
NOLA Smokehouse
Square Root/Root Squared
Commander’s Palace
Aline Street Beer Garden

CENTRAL CITY
Belle Garde Bakery
Church Alley
Maïs Arepas
Purloo
Primitivo
Casa Borrega

MID CITY
Katie’s
Betsy’s Pancake House
Dooky Chase’s
Pearl Wine Co.
Pal’s
Rue127
Mid City Yacht Club
Cafe Degas
MoPho
Parkway Bakery
Biscuits & Buns on Banks
Lola’s
Toup’s Meatery
Finn McCool’s
Namese
Treo
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Milkfish
Brown Butter
1,000 Figs
Kin
Pagoda Cafe

GENTILLY
The Munch Factory

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT & CBD 
Herbsaint
La Boca
Domenica
Ruby Slipper Cafe
Peche
Borgne
Root
Cochon/Butcher
Rusty Nail
Circle Bar
Tivoli & Lee
Loa
Carmo
Lüke
Sazerac Bar
Swizzle Stick Bar
Balise
Cellar Door
Pulp & Grind
Wood Pizza
Sac-A-Lait
Merchant
Le Foret
Ursa Major
Rebellion
Compere Lapin

FRENCH QUARTER
Bayona
Cafe Amelie

Petite Amelie
Irene’s
GW Fins
SoBou
Erin Rose Bar/Killer Poboys
Bennachin
Cane & Table
Eat
Preservation Hall
MRB
Tujague’s
La Rivera
Italian Barrel
Cosimo’s
Yo Momma’s
Molly’s at the Market
Latitude 29
Little Vic’s
Croissant d’Or
Green Goddess
Bombay Club
Tiki Tolteca
Angeline
Salon by Sucre
9 Roses Cafe
Sylvain

May Bailey’s

Bar Tonique
Marti’s
MeauxBar

MARIGNY
Three Muses
Hi Ho Lounge
Lost Love Lounge
Mimi’s in the Marigny
Feelings Café/Bhava
Paladar 511
Langlois
Lil Dizzy’s

BYWATER
Markey’s
Bacchanal
Pizza Delicious
Maurepas Foods
The Country Club
Vaughan’s
Mariza
Booty’s
Oxalis
Siberia
Press Street Station
The Franklin
St. Roch Market
The Joint

WEST BANK
Photau Bay
Tan Dinh
Saffron
Bananas Blossom

METAIRIE
Deutsches House
Kanno

LAKEVIEW
Mondo
Mizado

hump day treat: fajita burgers & black bean hummus

Happy hump day, folks! How was your Mardi Gras? Splendid, I hope! But does anyone else feel like they need to get back on track after some serious Fat Tuesday indulgence? This recipe for fajita burgers with black bean hummus is quite fitting for you then–tasty enough to help ease your way back into healthy eating, but still a far better alternative to the jambalaya, etouffee and king cake that we so often feast on during this celebratory season. Hope you enjoy!

Fajita burger with black bean hummus

For fajita burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ medium avocado (optional topping)

Directions

Makes 4 turkey burgers

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then form into four patties.

Thinly coat a sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side (I cooked mine in a George Foreman grill for 5 minutes in total).

Serve with black bean hummus.

Sprinkle with cilantro if so desired.

For black bean hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients until they form a smooth paste.

Serve with pita chips if so desired.

*Recipe adapted from Just a Taste’s Fajita Burgers & Black Bean Hummus

hump day treat, super bowl style

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

hummus recipe

Wrap the bulb in foil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, then roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

hummus recipe

After scraping blended ingredients into a bowl, mix in sun-dried tomatoes.

hummus recipe

Top with olive oil and paprika.

Roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato hummus. Honestly, you can stop right there. Nuff said. I’m a total goner for hummus. This was my first attempt at a homemade recipe, and now, I’m a believer. It’s just better, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I find this hump day treat appropriate because it’s easy to make ahead of time and maintains its freshness for up to a week, thus making it a delicious (and healthy) addition to your Super Bowl party table. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained
  • 1 teaspoon flake salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium bulb roasted garlic
  • 3 to 4 cloves of raw garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomato
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Sweet paprika
  • Paprika & Olive oil (for topping)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

Wrap the bulb in foil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, then roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once garlic is roasted, toss it in food processor (a blender doesn’t really work here I’m afraid) with tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

Blend until you have a pretty uniform mixture, then scrapes the sides and add the chickpeas.

Blend until combined thoroughly, adding water, more olive oil, or lemon juice as needed to achieve your desired texture.

Scrape hummus into a bowl and top with olive oil and paprika.

*Recipe adapted from I Like This

Quote of the day:

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.” –Mark Twain

hump day treat: bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese ingredients

Spaghetti Bolognese ingredients

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese sauce =  delicious, comforting yummyness. The taste is complex and impressive enough to serve to guests, but it also hearkens to the spaghetti sauce of your childhood. I really hope you enjoy this hump day treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chuck or lean ground beef (lean ground beef is the lighter option)
  • ½ pound bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown the ground meat and sausage in oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat

Drain the fat and return to pan

Mince the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a food processor.

Add to browned meat and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes

Stir in the tomatoes, wine, milk, tomato paste, vinegar and seasonings; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

If you are serving the Bolognese over pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta (pasta of your preference) according to package directions while sauce simmers.

If you are serving the Bolognese over spaghetti squash (like I did), click here for directions on how to cook spaghetti squash.

Finish the sauce with mascarpone, parsley, salt and pepper.

Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.

Quote of the day:

“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

baton rouge restaurant week

Baton Rouge Restaurant Week brought to you by DIG Magazine

Baton Rouge Restaurant Week brought to you by DIG Magazine

Baton Rouge Restaurant Week begins today, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy some of the Capital City’s tastiest offerings at irresistible price points. A uniquely crafted, three-course menu begins at $15 per person, with $35 per person as the top billing (Seriously?! I paid more than that for two martinis when living in NYC…literally. And yes, I understand that that confession may be a poor reflection on me).

To see a full list of participating restaurants and their pre-set menus, visit eatbr.com.

So which restaurants look most tempting? Well you cannot go wrong at Bistro Byronz, in my opinion. Their blue cheese chips really are that good; and the French-style bistro, with its quaint yet charming atmosphere, is always a go-to for date night. Other than that, I’m thinking I may splurge at one of the top-billed restaurants. After all, when else can you get an app, your choice of steak, fish or duck, and dessert at a place like Stroubes,  Doe’s Eat Place or Le Creole?  I’ve also been dying to try Nino’s Italian. Owners Elton Hyndman and wife Randee are known for their avid support of the local farm-to-table movement, and I hear their hand-rolled pasta is unsurpassable.

So which restaurants/menus look most appealing to you? If you have a delicious meal at any of Restaurant Week’s 25 participating restaurants, please leave a comment below or tweet me a photo. It may help this indecisive betch determine where to go.

Hope your week is off to a great start! I’ll see you back here Wednesday with a hump day treat.

Baton Rouge’s best king cake

Baton Rouge king cake: Who makes the best one? (Photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE)

Baton Rouge king cake: Who makes the best one? (Photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE)

Carnival season, better known by the day it culminates in–Mardi Gras–is upon us. And what does that mean? KING CAKE! Sure, throws from parade floats and court presentations at balls are neat, but I’m most interested in the season’s tastiest treat (rhyme intended).

So who makes the best king cake in Baton Rouge? NOLA.com/baton-rouge entertainment writer Chelsea Brasted and I are determined to find out, so much so that we’re conducting a blind taste test this Monday in the lobby of One American Place (our office building). If you’re in the area, you should stop by, taste some king cake and cast your ballot. But first, click here to vote in the Baton Rouge king cake poll I  created and learn more about the blind taste test. Your votes will help determine which bakeries we include in the taste test.

I hope you find yourself eating king cake this weekend! See you back here Monday.

Quote of the day:

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people. It does for me.” –Audrey Hepburn

hump day treat: zucchini, squash & feta fritters

In this hump day treat, zucchini and squash are paired with feta (and all of its tangy-creamy goodness) as well as fresh dill. You can shred the zucchini and squash using the shredder attachment on a food processor, or a cheese grater will do a fine job as well.

To keep these fritters from falling apart while cooking, and to ensure they develop an attractive brown crust, I rid the zucchini and squash of excess moisture by salting them, putting them in a colander to drain, and then wringing them out with clean paper towels.

These fritters, which can be eaten warm or at room temperature, pair well with a light salad.

Combine zucchini, squash, cheese, scallions, dill, eggs, garlic and pepper in bowl.

Combine zucchini, squash, cheese, scallions, dill, eggs, garlic and pepper in bowl.

Using your hands, form golf-ball-sized portions of the zucchini-squash batter. Then roll balls in flour-breadcrumb mixture until coated.

Using your hands, form golf-ball-sized portions of the zucchini-squash batter. Then roll balls in flour-breadcrumb mixture until coated.

Zucchini, squash & feta fritters

Ingredients:

Makes 8 to 9 fritters

  • 1 pound zucchini, trimmed and shredded
  • ½ pound yellow squash, trimmed and shredded
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 200°F

Toss zucchini and squash with salt and let drain in strainer or colander for 30 minutes. Then place zucchini and squash on clean paper towels and wring out excess moisture.

Combine zucchini, squash, cheese, scallions, dill, eggs, garlic and pepper in bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs and lemon zest.

Using your hands, form golf-ball-sized portions of the zucchini-squash batter. Then roll balls in flour-breadcrumb mixture until coated.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. To know when the oil is ready for cooking, simply splash it with a few droplets of water to see if it sizzles.

Drop four balls of batter into skillet and reduce heat to medium.

Using the back of a spoon, press balls into 3-inch-wide fritters. Fry until golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes per side).

Transfer fritters to paper towel-lined baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm.

Repeat 2 more times with remaining oil and batter. Serve with lemon wedges.

*Fritters were served over Bibb lettuce tossed in a soy-mayo dressing (Michael’s concoction. He suggests you start with 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part mayonnaise, and adjust from there to your liking).

*Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Quote of the day:

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” –Tom Peters

hump day treat: new year’s eve cocktails

Mud & Water's signature holiday cocktail Driftwood

Mud & Water’s signature holiday cocktail Driftwood

The melancholy associated with Christmas’ end is transformed when one realizes that the merry-making isn’t over yet. Excitement and anticipation set in as the new year steadily approaches. It’s another reason to gather and celebrate, not that we in the south ever really need a reason to do either of those things.

Still, we’ll take the reason handed to us and raise a glass (or two) to 2013. My colleague Chelsea Brasted and I already began cheers-ing in the new year last week. We spent the better part of a day at local bars like Radio Bar, Mud and Water, and Hotel Indigo, videoing bartenders as they made their favorite holiday/NYE cocktails. The results were so splendid that I feel compelled to share the article with you.

The above photo is just a teaser from our video shoot. For a link to Chelsea’s full story/video series entitled “New Year’s Eve cocktails: Recipes from three Baton Rouge bartenders,” click here.

In the meantime, check out some other NYE cocktail ideas from Bitsy & Boo:

French 75

Rose French 75

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

Starlight Royale

Blackberry Gin Fizz

Pear Thyme Fizz

Cheeky Rose Cocktail

Quote of the day:

“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.” –Charles Lamb

christmas cookies

So if you’re a procrastinator like me, you’ve probably just gotten around to thinking about (let alone making) Christmas cookies. But, my fellow put-off-til-tomorrowers, the time is upon us to get to baking. After all, Santa will be coming to collect tonight.

My coworker Chelsea Brasted (@cabrasted) gave me the most scrum-diddly-umptious cookies for Christmas, but I’m afraid I ate them all myself, saving nil for Mr. Claus. Fortunately, Chelsea sweetened the holiday gift even further by providing me with the recipe. I want to share it here in case some of you are still looking for baking inspiration this Christmas Eve.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.

Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

*Recipe adapted from About.com’s peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Quote of the day:

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” –Dr. Seuss

new orleans food & drink highlights

PART 3

The holiday weekend is steadily approaching, and my wish for you is quality time with family and friends, sans computer screen. But before you sign off, I’d like to share with you the final segment of scrumptious eats from Michael and I’s New Orleans weekend. Today, I want to share photos from two FAN-tastic hotspots in the Central Business District (CBD): Ruby Slipper Cafe and Herbsaint.

Both harbored their own atmospheric charm and inventive dishes. And both left me completely satisfied, which doesn’t happen that often. Check out the photos below and let me know what you think…

Ruby Slipper Cafe

Bananas Foster Pain Perdu

Bananas Foster Pain Perdu: Traditional French toast with rum-flambéed bananas & raisins, served with applewood-smoked bacon

 

Eggs Cochon: A pair of poached eggs over apple-braised pork debris and an open-faced buttermilk biscuit, finished with Hollandaise

Eggs Cochon: A pair of poached eggs over apple-braised pork debris and an open-faced buttermilk biscuit, finished with Hollandaise

Photo courtesy of southerngumbotrail.com

Photo courtesy of southerngumbotrail.com

 

Gnocchi Bolognese with Parmesan

Gnocchi Bolognese with Parmesan

 

Butter poached gulf tuna with pickled chillies and mint

Butter poached gulf tuna with pickled chillies and mint

Fried brussel sprouts

Fried brussel sprouts

 

Slow cooked lamb neck with saffron fideo and tomato confit

Slow cooked lamb neck with saffron fideo and tomato confit

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Quote of the day:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” –Henry David Thoreau