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New Orleans Best of Dining 2012

Top Places, People and Discoveries

(page 9 of 9)

Bistro of the Year | La Crêpe Nanou

What started as a casual dessert crêpe place in 1983 has over the years evolved into one of the city’s most beloved bistros.
Romantic, bustling, quintessentially French, yet unpretentious all at the same time, La Crêpe Nanou gets our vote for Bistro of the Year. And if the long line scares you off, keep in mind they now offer lunch on Fridays, the perfect time to slip in for a bowl of Moules Marinières.

– J.F.

La Crêpe Nanou, 1410 Robert St., 899-2670, LaCrepeNanou.com

Doughnut Shop of the Year | Blue Dot Donuts

A good doughnut is the perfect comfort food, but good doughnuts are hard to find. Fortunately for residents of Mid-City, Brandon Singleton, Dennis Gibliant and Ronald Laporte opened Blue Dot Donuts on Canal Street in April 2011. Their specialties include a maple and bacon long-john; a peanut butter and jelly doughnut; and freshly cut and fried glazed doughnuts. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave happy.

– R.P.

Blue Dot Donuts, 4301 Canal St., 218-4866, BlueDotDonuts.com

Raw Bar of the Year | LÜKE

With John Besh, it’s never just what you expect, which is always wonderful. It is the unexpected that brings so much pleasure. The seafood bar at Lüke amazes. Even though it appears to be an afterthought, taking valuable space on the cocktail bar, you’ll be amazed at the fresh seafood selection of crab, mussels, shrimp, ceviche and oysters from every corner of America, including the coast of Louisiana. During Happy Hour, those are 50 cents each. Tell anybody on the West Coast you’re eating oysters in a John Besh restaurant for 50 cents each. They will tell you to your face you’re a liar. You are not.

– T.M.

Lüke, 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840, LukeNewOrleans.com

Middle Eastern Restaurant of the Year | Mona’s on Banks Street

Tucked away on an oak-shaded stretch of Banks Street in Mid-City is Mona’s. While there are others scattered around town, there’s something about this one’s relaxing surroundings that set it apart. Or perhaps it’s the attached Middle Eastern grocery store, stuffed with hard-to-find ingredients and exotic spices. Enjoy a sweet glass of Lebanese tea with a vegetarian platter while reclining in a booth, all at prices that will leave change to shop next door afterward.

– J.F.

Mona’s Café, 3901 Banks St., 482-7743

Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year | Liuzza’s

Liuzza’s has been serving fried seafood, poor boys and Creole Italian specialties at the corner of Bienville and North Telemachus streets since 1947. The frozen schooners of beer and soft drinks served at Liuzza’s are almost as iconic as the white stucco structure that houses the restaurant. Though the restaurant has changed hands over the years, the food and friendly service have remained consistent.

– R.P.

Liuzza’s, 3636 Bienville St., 482-9120, Liuzzas.com 

Continental Italian Restaurant of the Year | The Italian Barrel

In this city in the South, settled over the years mainly by Italians from the Southern end of their peninsula, the Northern Italian cuisine of The Italian Barrel, beautifully created and served by chef and owner Samantha Castagnetti, a lady of Verona, is pure magic.

Authentic dishes of lighter sauces, cheeses, meats, fish and vegetables are a treat for the palate and the nose. The place is intimate in both size and service. Reservations are always necessary. A very good sign.

– T.M.

The Italian Barrel, 430 Barracks St., 569-0198, ItalianBarrel.com 

Breakfast Restaurant of the Year | Ruby Slipper Café

The Ruby Slipper Café is proof that a restaurant doesn’t have to be old to be a classic. Since Jennifer and Erich Weishaupt opened the small Mid-City café in 2008, it’s been wildly popular. The café is committed to using fresh, local products and serving excellent food. Though their lunch is also a hit, the Ruby Slipper stands out at breakfast.

– R.P.

Ruby Slipper Café, 139 S. Cortez St., 309-5531, TheRubySlipperCafe.net       

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