613 Rue Royale, 522-7261, CourtOfTwoSisters.com
Dining at The Court of Two Sisters is like taking a bite out of history. It doesn’t matter if you choose one of the elegant indoor dining rooms or the city’s largest courtyard. It is just as good if you enjoy the city’s only daily jazz brunch – featuring more than 80 items – or prefer to indulge in their gourmet Creole à la Carte dinner. Now there’s yet another way to enjoy the place: Throughout August they’re running a $35 COOLinary menu. It is a fantastic value when one considers it features fried oysters, seafood étouffée and their famous Courtyard Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce.
A True Neighborhood Treasure
7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313, Metairie; 4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-2984, VincentsItalianCuisine.com
When you think of Italian cooking in New Orleans, you probably think of Vincent’s. With two locations, one Uptown on St. Charles Avenue and one in Metairie, they represent the epitome of the perfect neighborhood restaurant. Started by Vincent Catalanotto in 1989, the menu is based on original Sicilian family recipes using fresh daily produce, seafood, meats and cheeses. This, combined with a comfortable, relaxed setting and friendly service, means customers can’t stop going back. With private dining and off-site catering services, Vincent’s deserves the clutch of awards that have been bestowed upon it.
The Best of Old and New
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 681-4444, HotelMonteleone.com/Crillo
There has been a lot of buzz about Criollo, the new restaurant at the Hotel Monteleone. Why? Well, it has a beautiful setting next to the newly renovated Carousel Bar. It also has Joseph Maynard as chef de cuisine; he brings a stellar track record including stints at Miami’s Mondrian Hotel and our own Windsor Court. However, perhaps most importantly, Maynard has created a menu that pulls together all the historic culinary flavors of the city – French, Italian, Spanish, Caribbean and African – and serves them up with contemporary flair. With a seasonal, ingredient-driven menu, which draws on land and sea items from the Gulf Coast, you start to understand the excitement.