7 on Fulton 701 Fulton St., 525-7555, CBD/Warehouse. B, L, D daily. Chef Justin Pittenger takes over the reins at this upscale and contemporary dining destination in the Warehouse District. $$$

9 Roses 1100 Stephen St., 366-7665, Gretna. L, D Sun-Tues, Thurs-Sat. The extensive Vietnamese menu specializes in hot pots, noodles and dishes big enough for everyone to share. Great for families. $

13 Restaurant and Bar 517 Frenchman St., 942-1345, Faubourg Marigny. L, D daily. Open until 4 a.m. Late-night deli catering to hungry club-hoppers along Frenchman Street. Bar and excellent jukebox make this a good place to refuel. $

Abita Brewpub 72011 Holly St., (985) 892-5837, Abita Springs. L, D Tue-Sun. Northshore microbrewery famous for its Purple Haze and Turbodog brews serves up better-than-expected pub food in their namesake eatery. “Tasteful” tours available for visitors. $$
Acme Oyster House 724 Iberville St., 522-5973, French Quarter; 3000 Veterans Blvd., 309-4056, Metairie; 1202 N. Highway 190, (985) 246-6155, Covington. L, D daily. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$

Andrea’s Restaurant 3100 19th St., 834-8583, Metairie. L Mon-Fri, D daily, Br Sun. Indulge in excellent osso buco and homemade pastas in a setting that is both elegant and intimate; off-premise catering. $$$

Antoine’s 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422, French Quarter. L Fri, D Mon, Thurs-Sat, Br Sun. This pinnacle of haute cuisine and birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller is New Orleans’ oldest restaurant. Private dining rooms are available. $$$

ARNAUD’S 813 Bienville St., 523-5433, French Quarter. D daily, Br Sun. Waiters in tuxedos prepare Café Brulot tableside at this storied Creole grande dame in the Quarter; live jazz during Sun. brunch. $$$

asian pacific 3125 Esplanade Ave., 945-1919, Mid-City. L Tue-Fri, D Sat-Sun. Asian fusion spot along historic Esplanade Ridge features sushi along with interesting Filipino-influenced dishes. $$

auguSt moon 3635 Prytania St., 899-5129, 899-5122, Uptown. L, D Mon-Sat. Lots of vegetarian offerings and reasonable prices make this dependable Uptown Chinese/Vietnamese a popular choice for students and locals alike. Take-out and delivery available. $

Austin’s 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., 888-5533, Metairie. D Mon-Sat. Mr. Ed’s newest upscale bistro serves contemporary Creole fare, including seafood and steaks. $$$

Bacchanal Fine Wines and Spirits 600 Poland Ave., 948-9111, Bywater. D Fri and Sun only. Esteemed local chef Peter Vasquez cooks tapas on Fri. and dinners on Sun. in the tropically-planted backyard of this wine shop. Bohemian feel and quasi-underground status make this a choice for people in the know. $$

BACCO 310 Chartres St., 522-2426, French Quarter. L, D daily. Ralph Brennan brings a New Orleans touch to traditional Italian cuisine; elegant surroundings and touches such as roasted garlic with bread sets this place apart. $$

Basil Leaf Restaurant 1438 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-9001, Uptown. D daily. Thai food with a contemporary spin is served in this date-friendly Riverbend establishment; private rooms available. $$

Bayona 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455, French Quarter. L Wed-Sat, D Mon-Sat. Chef Susan Spicer’s nationally acclaimed cuisine is served in this 200-year-old cottage. Ask for a seat on the romantic patio, weather-permitting. $$$

The BEach House 2401 N. Woodlawn Ave., 456-7470, Metairie. L Tue-Fri, D daily. Gumbo, steaks, lobsters, burgers and seafood are accompanied by live music each and every night. $$

Begue’s Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., 586-0300. Ext. 278, French Quarter. B, L, D daily, Br Sun. Classical French dishes prepared with New Orleans flair in a lush garden setting. The Fri. seafood buffet is popular, along with the Sun. champagne brunch. $$$

BESH STEAK Harrah’s Casino, One Canal Place, 533-6111, CBD/Warehouse District. D Thu-Mon. Acclaimed Chef John Besh reinterprets the classic steakhouse with his signature contemporary Louisiana flair. $$$

THE BISTRO AT MAISON DE VILLE 733 Toulouse St., 528-9206. L, D Tues-Sat. Chef and Owner Greg Picolo has a deft hand with delicate paneed frog legs at this historic New Orleans institution. Other good choices include his house-smoked salmon rillettes and his duck sampler. $$$

BISTRO DAISY 5831 Magazine St., 899-6987. D, Tues-Sat. Chef Anton Schulte and his wife Diane’s bistro, named in honor of their daughter, serves creative and contemporary bistro fare in a romantic setting along Magazine Street. The signature Daisy Salad is a favorite. $$

Bluebird Cafe 3625 Prytania St., 895-7166, Uptown. B, L Wed-Sun. Get in line at this popular breakfast joint whose dishes will fill you up for the whole day. Be sure to save room for their signature creamy grits. $

The Bombay Club Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St., 586-0972, French Quarter. D Tues-Sat. Popular martini bar appointed with plush British décor features live music during the week and late dinner and drinks on weekends. Elegant nouveau Creole menu includes items such as Apple and Creole-Mustard Soaked Pork Loin. $$$

Bon Ton Cafe 401 Magazine St., 524-3386, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Fri. A local favorite for the old-school business lunch crowd. Specializes in local seafood and Creole dishes. $$

BRIGTSEN’S 723 Dante St., 861-7610, Uptown. D Tue-Sat. Chef Frank Brigtsen’s nationally-famous Creole cuisine makes this cozy Riverbend cottage a true foodie destination. $$$

BRoken Egg Cafe 200 Gerard St., (985) 624-3388, Mandeville. B, Br, L daily. Breakfast-centric café in turn-of-the-century home offers a sprawling assortment of delicious items both healthy and decadent. $  

Broussard’s 819 Conti St., 581-3866, French Quarter. D Tue-Sat. Chef-owner Gunter Preuss brings his remarkable pedigree and years of experience to the table in offering up some of the city’s best Creole cuisine in an opulent French Quarter setting. $$$

Byblos 1501 Metairie Road, 834-9773, Metairie; 3218 Magazine St., 894-1233, Uptown. L, D daily. Upscale Middle Eastern cuisine featuring traditional seafood, lamb and vegetarian options. Save room for the belly dancers. $$

Café Adelaide Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305, CBD/Warehouse District. B Mon-Sun, L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. This offering from the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants has become a power-lunch favorite for businessmen and politicos. Also features the Swizzle Stick Lounge. $$$   

Café Burnside Houmas House Plantation, 40136 Highway 942, (225) 473-9380, Darrow. L daily. Historic plantation’s casual dining option features dishes such as seafood pasta, fried catfish, crawfish and shrimp, gumbo and red beans and rice. $
Café Degas 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635, Mid-City. L Wed-Sat, D Wed-Sun, Br Sun. Light French bistro food including salads and quiche make this quirky indoor/outdoor boîte a Faubourg St. John favorite. $$$

Café du Monde 800 Decatur St., 587-0835, French Quarter. This New Orleans institution has been serving fresh café au lait, rich hot chocolate and positively addictive beignets since 1862 in the French Market 24/7. Sightings of local wildlife a plus. $

Café Equator 2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 888-4772. L, D Mon-Sat. Very good Thai food across the street from Lakeside Mall offers a quiet and oft-overlooked dining option in a crowded part of town. Great appetizers include the beef and mint salad. $$

café freret 7329 Freret St., 861-7890, Uptown. B, L, D Fri-Wed. Convenient location near Tulane and Loyola universities makes this a place for students (and dogs) to indulge in decadent breakfasts, casual lunches and tasty dinners – and their A la Collar menu. $$

Café Luna 802 Nashville Ave., 269-2444, Uptown. B, L, D daily. Charismatic coffee shop in a converted house offers a range of panini sandwiches, caffeinated favorites and free Wi-Fi. Large veranda is a prime spot for people-watching along adjacent Magazine Street. $

Café maspero 601 Decatur St., 523-6250, French Quarter. L, D daily. Tourists line up for their generous portions of seafood and large deli sandwiches. $$
Café Pontchartrain Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581, Uptown. B, L, D daily. Traditional French-Creole dishes and great breakfasts are served in one of New Orleans’ most classic hotels. The ice cream and meringue Mile High Pie is a decadent dessert. $$

Camellia Grill 626 S. Carrollton Ave., Uptown, 309-2679. B, L, D daily, until 1 a.m. Fri-Sat. The venerable diner has finally reopened following an extensive renovation and change in ownership. Patrons can rest assured that its essential character has remained intact and many of the original waiters have returned. Also, credit cards now accepted. $

carmelo ristorante  541 Decatur St., 586-1414, French Quarter. L Fri-Sun, D Tues-Thurs. Italian trattoria in the heart of the French Quarter serves old world classics in a historic building overlooking the bustle of Decatur Street. $$
CASAMENTO’S 4330 Magazine St., 895-9761, Uptown. L Tue-Sat, D Thu-Sat. The family-owned restaurant has shucked oysters and fried seafood since 1919; closed during summer. $

cc’s coffee house Multiple locations in Kenner, New Orleans, Metairie and Mandeville. www.ccscoffee.com. Coffeehouse specializing in coffee drinks, pastries, salads, sandwiches and soups.  $

Chateau du Lac 2037 Metairie Road, Old Metairie. 831-3773. L, D Tue-Sat. The new location of this casual French bistro offers up classic dishes such as Escargot, Coq au Vin and Blanquette de Veau. A Provencal-inspired atmosphere and French wine round out the appeal. $$$

Chops Bistro and Martini Bar 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 218-8967, Metairie. L Mon-Fri, D Sat. Urbane steakhouse offers choice cuts in a sophisticated setting which overlooks the city from its perch along the Jefferson side of the 17th Street Canal. The martinis are dirty and the desserts are sweet. $$$

Clancy’s 6100 Annunciation St., 895-1111, Uptown. L Thurs-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Their Creole-inspired menu has been a favorite of locals for years. $$

Clementine’s belgian bistro 2505 Whitney Ave., 366-3995, Gretna. L Tue-Wed, D Thurs-Sat. Unbeatable mussels, crispy fries and dessert crêpes of all kinds from France’s northern neighbor. $$

Cochon 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski showcase Cajun and Southern cuisines at this Warehouse District hotspot. Boudin balls and pork dishes reign supreme here, along with real moonshine from the bar. $$

Cooter Brown’s 509 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9104, Uptown. L, D daily. Riverbend-area sports bar serves up the city’s largest selection of beers along with great bar food. The cheese fries are a rite of passage, and the Radiator’s Special poor boy makes for a great late night meal. $

Copeland’s 1700 Lapalco Blvd., 364-1575, Harvey. L,D daily, Br Sun. Al Copeland’s namesake chain includes favorites like Cajun Popcorn Salad and Shrimp Ducky. Popular for lunch. $$

COPELAND’S CHEESECAKE BISTRO 4517 Veterans Blvd., 454-7620, Metairie. L, D daily. Dessert fans flock to this sweet-centric Copeland establishment which also offers an extensive lunch and dinner menu. $$$

Corky’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant 4243 Veterans Blvd., 887-5000, Metairie. L, D daily. Memphis-based barbecue chain offers good hickory-smoked ribs, pork and beef in a family setting with catering service available. $

COURT OF TWO SISTERS 613 Royal St., 522-7261, French Quarter. Br, D daily. The historic environs make for a memorable outdoor dining experience. The famous daily Jazz Brunch buffet and classic Creole dishes sweeten the deal. $$

Crabby Jack’s 428 Jefferson Highway, 833-2722, Jefferson. L Mon-Sat. Lunch outpost of Jacques Imo’s Chef and Owner Jack Leonardi. Famous for its fried seafood and elaborate poor boys including paneed rabbit and roasted duck. $$

Crepes a la Carte 1039 Broadway St., 866-2362 Uptown. B, L, D daily. Open late. An extensive menu of tasty crêpes, both savory and sweet, make this a great spot for a quick bite for college students and locals alike. $

Crescent City Brewhouse 527 Decatur St., 522-0571, French Quarter. L Fri-Sun, D daily. Contemporary brewpub features an eclectic menu complimenting its freshly-brewed wares. Live jazz and good location make it a fun place to meet up. $$$

The Crystal Room Le Pavillon Hotel, 833 Poydras St., 581-3111, CBD/Warehouse District. L, D daily. Franco-American cuisine with Louisiana influences is served in the elegant environs of the Le Pavillon Hotel. The Southern-style breakfast features their decadent Bananas Foster Waffle Le Pavillon. $$$

Cuvée 322 Magazine St., 587-9001, CBD/Warehouse. D Mon-Sat. The elegant restaurant pairs an impressive wine cellar with “continental” Creole cuisine. $$$

dakota restaurant 629 N. Highway 190, (985) 892-3712, Covington. L Thurs-Fri, D Mon-Sat. A sophisticated dining experience with generous portions. $$$

THE DELACHAISE 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858, Uptown. D daily. Elegant bar food fit for the wine connoisseur; kitchen open late. Chef Chris DeBarr was New Orleans Magazine’s Best New Chef 2006. $

DICK AND JENNY’S 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880, Uptown. D Tue-Sat. A funky cottage serving Louisiana comfort food with flashes of innovation. $$

Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111, French Quarter. L, D daily, B Sat-Sun. Classic Creole dishes such as Louisiana Stuffed Redfish and Gulf Fish Amandine are served with classic Brennan’s style at this French Quarter outpost. Their extensive bourbon menu will please aficionados. $$$

Dickie Brennan’s steakhouse 716 Iberville St., 522-2467, French Quarter. L Mon-Fri, D daily. Nationally recognized steakhouse serves excellent USDA Prime steaks and local seafood in an elegant New Orleans setting with the usual Brennan’s family flair. $$$

DOMIlise’s 5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126, Uptown. L, D Mon-Sat. Local institution and rite-of-passage for those wanting an initiation to the real New Orleans. Wonderful poor boys and a unique atmosphere make this a one-of-a-kind place. $

DOMINIQUE’S Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800, French Quarter. D Tues-Sat. French-Caribbean menu includes Baby Conch Ceviche and Grilled Tamarind Glazed Whole Lobster. Desserts pack extra tropical punch with a Coconut and Mango Soufflé. $$$

Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery 14207 Chef Menteur Highway, 254-0212, N.O. East., L Wed-Sat. Vietnamese bakery and restaurant in the unique community of Versailles makes great Banh Mi sandwiches and interesting baked goods both savory and sweet. Unbeatable prices. $

Drago’s 3232 N. Arnoult Road, 888-9254, Metairie. L, D Mon-Sat. Fat City seafooder specializes in charbroiled oysters, a dish they invented. Raucous but good-natured atmosphere makes this a fun place to visit. Great deals on fresh lobster as well. $$
Drago’s HILTON RIVERSIDE HOTEL, 2 Poydras St., 561-0500, CBD/Warehouse District; 3232 N. Arnoult Rd., 888-9254, Metairie. L, D Mon-Sat. The famous Fat City seafooder now boasts an outpost in the CBD. The charbroiled oysters are even better than their reputation. $$

DRY DOCK CAFE 133 Delaronde St., 361-8240. Algiers. B Sun, L, D daily. Fancier daily specials have been added to the menu of this casual neighborhood seafood joint in historic Algiers Point near the ferry landing. Burgers, sandwiches and fried seafood are the staples. $$

El Gato Negro 81 French Market Place, 525-9752. B, Sat-Sun, L, D daily. Popular spot near the Frenchmen Street clubs serves up authentic Central Mexican cuisine along with hand-muddled mojitos and margaritas made with fresh-squeezed juice. The Pulled Pork Tamales are flavorful and if you want to go upscale you can have your corn tortillas stuffed with filet mignon. A weekend breakfast menu is an additional plus. $$

ELIZABETH’S 601 Gallier St., 944-9272, Bywater. L Wed-Fri, D Wed-Sat, Br Sat-Sun. This funky and eclectic local restaurant draws rave reviews for its Praline Bacon and distinctive Southern-inspired brunch specials. $

Emeril’s 800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393, CBD/Warehouse District. L Fri, D Mon-Sat. The flagship of superstar chef Emeril Lagasse’s culinary empire, this Warehouse District landmark attracts pilgrims from all over the world. $$$

FEELINGS CAFE 2600 Chartres St., 945-2222, Faubourg Marigny. D Thu-Sun, Br Sun. Romantic ambiance and skillfully created dishes, such as Veal D’Aunoy, make dining here overlooking the patio a memorable experience. A piano bar adds to the atmosphere as well. $$$

FELIX’S restaurant and Oyster bar 4938 Prytania St., 895-1330, Uptown. D Tue-Sun. Uptown location of this famous oyster bar adds a nice, casual option to a residential neighborhood. Fried seafood along with local classics like red beans and rice make this a safe bet for families and sports fans alike. $$

FELLINI’S CAFÉ 900 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-2155, Mid-City. L, D daily. With décor inspired by its namesake Italian filmmaker, this casual indoor/outdoor spot on Carrollton Avenue serves large portions of reasonably-priced Mediterranean specialties such as pizza, pastas and hummus. $

Fiesta latina 1924 Airline Drive, 469-5792, Kenner. B, L, D Tue-Sun. A big-screen TV normally shows a soccer match or MTV Latino at this home for authentic Central American food such as pupusas and baleadas. Tacos include a delicious, charred Carne Asada. $$

FIVE HAPPINESS 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935, Mid-City. L, D Mon-Sat. This longtime Chinese favorite offers up an extensive menu including their beloved mu shu pork and elegant house baked duck. Large and bustling, it’s a popular choice for families as well. $$

FLAMING TORCH 737 Octavia St., 895-0900, Uptown. L, D daily. French classics including a tasty onion soup make this a nice place for a slightly upscale lunch while shopping along Magazine Street. $$

FRANK’S 933 Decatur St., 525-1602, French Quarter. L, D daily. Locally-inspired Italian sandwiches such as Muffulettas and Genoa Salami poor boys are served here in the heart of the French Quarter. $$

Galatoire’s 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021, French Quarter. L, D Tue-Sun. Friday lunches are a New Orleans tradition at this world-famous French-Creole grand dame in the Quarter. Tradition counts for everything here and the Crabmeat Sardou is delicious. Note: Jackets required for dinner and all day Sun. $$$

GalLEY RESTAURANT 2535 Metairie Road, 832-0955, Metairie. L, D Tue-Sat. A great local place for seafood, both fried and boiled. Famous for its Softshell Crab Poor Boy, a Jazz Fest favorite. $$

Gautreau’s 1728 Soniat St.. 899-7397. Uptown. D, Tues-Sat. Elegant upscale destination serves refined interpretations of classics along with contemporary creations in a clubby setting nested deep within a residential neighborhood. $$$

Gelato Pazzo CaffÉ 8115 Oak St., 304-6908, Uptown.  L, D Mon-Sat. Newcomer to burgeoning Oak Street features real pressed Panini sandwiches along with its extensive selection of homemade gelato. $

GW Fins 808 Bienville St., 581-FINS, French Quarter. D Tue-Sun. Tenney Flynn’s menu changes daily to take advantage of the freshest seafood available from around the globe. However, both the Smoked Oyster and Lobster Dumpling appetizers are always offered and are consistently excellent. $$$

HERBSAINT 701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Enjoy a sophisticated cocktail before sampling Chef Donald Link’s menu that melds contemporary bistro fare with classic Louisiana cuisine. The Chocolate Beignets are a favorite dessert. $$$

HIP STIX ASIAN FUSION 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Fun and eclectic fusion menu features a mix of Thai and Vietnamese cuisines at this Warehouse District hotspot. Popular with both business lunch and evening crowd. $$

HOOKAH CAFÉ 500 Frenchmen St., 943-1101, Marigny. D daily.  Hookah Café features Indian dishes such as the fusion-styled Indian Burrito and Chicken Tikka Masala. After dinner, indulge in the bar and relax with a sweet-smoke hookah. $

horinoya 920 Poydras St., 561-8914, CBD/ Warehouse District. L, D Mon-Sat. Excellent Japanese dining in an understated and oft-overlooked location. The chu-toro is delicious and the selection of authentic Japanese appetizers is the best in the city. $$$

House of Blues 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE, French Quarter. D Tues-Sat and show nights. Surprisingly good menu makes this a great compliment to the music in the main room. Nice patio seating is available as well. $$

Hunt Room Grill Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 523-3341, French Quarter. D daily. Enjoy elegant dining and a great wine selection in the historic Monteleone hotel. $$$

Il Posto Italian Café 4607 Dryades St., 895-2620. B, L, D Tue-Sat, B, L Sun. Cheerful Italian Café specializes in pressed Panini sandwiches like their Milano featuring sopressata, Fontina, tomatoes and balsamic on ciabatta. Soups, imported coffee and H&H bagels make this a comfortable neighborhood spot to relax with the morning paper. $

Impastato’s 3400 16th St., 455-1545, Metairie. D daily. Bustling Italian on the edge of Fat City serves homemade pasta in a convivial atmosphere. Chef/Owner Joe Impastato greets guests warmly and treats them like family. The prix fixe options are a good way to taste a lot for not as much money. $$$

IRIS 8115 Jeannette St., 862-5848, Uptown. D Mon-Sat. This inviting Carrollton-area bistro offers sophisticated fare in a charming, converted house. The Veal Cheek Ravioli is a winner. New Orleans Magazine’s Best New Restaurant 2006. $$

Jack Dempsey’s 738 Poland Ave., 943-9914, Bywater. L Tue-Fri, D Wed-Sat. Local favorite nestled deep in the heart of Bywater is known for its Stuffed Flounder and
Baked Macaroni served in generous portions. $$

Jackson 1910 Magazine St., 529-9599, Garden District. D daily, B Sun, Closed Tues. Classic New Orleans meets contemporary cuisine with an extensive wine list. $$
Jacques-Imo’s Cafe 8324 Oak St., 861-0886, Uptown. D  Mon-Sat. Reinvented New Orleans cuisine served in a party atmosphere are the cornerstones of this funky Oak Street institution. The Deep-Fried Roast Beef Poor Boy is heart-stoppingly delicious. The lively bar scene offsets the long wait on weekends. $$

Jamila’s Café 7808 Maple St., 866-4366, Uptown. D Tue-Sun. Intimate and exotic bistro serving Mediterranean and Tunisian cuisine. The Grilled Merguez is a Jazz Fest favorite and vegetarian options are offered. $$

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Café 1104 Decatur St., 592-2565, French Quarter. L, D daily. Parrotheads and other music lovers flock to Jimmy’s outpost along the more local-friendly stretch of Decatur. Strong bar menu and stronger drinks keep them coming back. $$

Joey k’s 3001 Magazine St., 891-0997, Uptown. B Sat, L Mon-Sat, D Mon-Fri. A true neighborhood New Orleans restaurant with great daily lunch plates keeps it real along this rapidly-gentrifying stretch of Magazine Street. Red beans and rice are classic. $

The Joint 801 Poland Ave., 949-3232, Bywater. L Mon-Sat, D Wed-Sat. Some of the city’s best barbecue can be had at this locally owned and operated favorite in the Bywater. $

Juan’s flying burrito 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000, Uptown. L, D Mon-Sat. Hard-core tacos and super-massive burritos are served in an edgy atmosphere. $

Kabby’s Seafood Hilton New Orleans Hotel, 584-3880, Poydras Street at the Mississippi River. Br Sun. Great Sunday Jazz Brunch offers an excellent seafood menu in a picturesque setting overlooking the Mississippi River. Brunch offered on holidays as well. $$$

Kosher Cajun Deli and Grocery 3520 N. Hullen St., 888-2010, Metairie. L Mon-Fri & Sun, D Mon-Thurs. Great kosher meals and complete kosher grocery in the rear make this Metairie eatery a unique destination. The matzo ball soup is a winner and catering is available for parties of any size. $

K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen 416 Chartres St., 524-7394, French Quarter. D Mon-Sat. Paul Prudhomme’s landmark restaurant helped introduce Cajun food to a grateful nation. Lots of seasoning and bountiful offerings, along with reserved seating, make this a destination for locals and tourists alike. $$

Kyoto 4920 Prytania St., 891-3644, Uptown. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. A neighborhood sushi restaurant where the regulars order off-the-menu rolls.  $$

La Boca 857 Fulton St., 525-8205, Warehouse District. D Mon-Sat. This Argentine steakhouse in the blossoming Fulton Street corridor specializes in great cuts of meat along with inspired pastas and interesting wines. The provoleta appetizer is fantastic and the Vacio flank steak will ensure that you will be returning again, soon. $$$

La côte brasserie 700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350, CBD/Warehouse District. B, L, D daily. Fresh local seafood, international ingredients and a contemporary atmosphere fill the room at this chic hotel restaurant near the Convention Center. $$$

La petitE grocery  4238 Magazine St., 891-3377, Uptown. D Tue-Sat. Elegant dining in a convivial atmosphere quickly made this place an Uptown darling. The menu is heavily French-inspired with an emphasis on technique. $

LA PROVENCE 25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, (985) 626-7662. D Wed-Sun. John Besh upholds founder Chris Kerageorgiou’s vision of Provençal cuisine served in a warm and intimate atmosphere. Herbs and produce are grown on-site and the bar area makes for a relaxing place to socialize. $$$

La Thai Cuisine 933 Metairie Rd., 828-3080, Metairie. L, D daily. Thai technique meets local ingredients with a Cajun twist at this casually upscale fusion eatery on Metairie Road. $$

latil’s landing Houmas House Plantation, 40136 Highway 942, (225) 473-9380, Darrow. L Sun, D Thurs-Sun. Nouvelle Louisiane, plantation-style cooking served in
an opulent setting features dishes like Rack of Lamb and Plume de Veau. $$$

La Vita 3201 Esplanade Ave., 948-0077, Fairgrounds. L, D daily. Casual pizza and pasta spot located along scenic Esplanade Avenue. Menu offers some more sophisticated surprises. Casual ambiance and low prices make this a tasty option. $

Le Parvenu 509 Williams Blvd., 471-0534, Kenner. L Fri & Sat, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. The innovative and award-winning Creole menu changes nightly but includes dishes such as seafood crêpes and panned lobster. An excellent Sunday brunch is offered as well. $$$

Le Salon Tea Service Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 596-4773, CBD/Warehouse District. Tea Fri-Sun. Formal afternoon tea with a harpist or string quartet served in the sophisticated atmosphere of the Windsor Court Hotel. A local mother/daughter tradition. $$$

LIborio’s 321 Magazine St., 581-9680, CBD/Warehouse  District. L Mon-Sat, D Thu-Sat. Authentic Cuban favorites such as Ropa Vieja and pressed Cuban Sandwiches along with great specials make this a popular lunch choice. $$

li’l dizzy’s 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997, Mid-City. B Mon-Sat, L Mon-Fri. Spot local and national politicos dining at this favored Creole soul restaurant known for homey classics like fried chicken and Trout Baquet. $

Lilette 3637 Magazine St., 895-1636, Uptown. L, D Tue-Sat. Chef John Harris’s innovative menu draws discerning diners to this highly-regarded bistro on Magazine Street. Desserts are wonderful as well. $$$

Lola’s 3314 Esplanade Ave., 488-6946, Mid-City. D daily. Garlicy Spanish dishes and great paella make this artsy Faubourg St. John boîte a hipster destination. $$

Lüke 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840, CBD. B, L, D daily. John Besh has partnered with Chef Jared Tees in bringing German cuisine back to New Orleans in grand style. The Pâtés de Champagne of Texas Wild Boar is a great way to start and traditional choucroute is offered in an authentic brasserie setting. $$$

MADRID 2723 Roosevelt Blvd., 469-5599, Kenner. D Mon-Sun. A taste of Spain in the suburbs. Paella is a house specialty along with hot and cold tapas, zippy garlic shrimp and cool glasses of sangria. $

MANDINA’S 3800 Canal St., 482-9179, Mid-City. L, D daily. Quintessential New Orleans neighborhood institution has finally reopened following an extensive renovation. Though the ambiance is more upscale, the same great food and seafood dishes make dining here a uniquely New Orleans experience. Note: Cash only. $$
Maple Street Café 7623 Maple St., 314-9003, Uptown. L, Mon-Sat, D, Mon-Sun. Casual dinner spot serving Mediterranean-inspired pastas and entrées, along with heartier fare such as duck and filet mignon. $$

THE MARIGNY BRASSERIE 640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472, Faubourg Marigny. L Mon-Fri, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Chic, neighborhood bistro with traditional dishes (Wedge of Lettuce salad, Oyster Loaf) and innovative cocktails (Cucumber Cosmo). Brunch means Grillades and Grits and a champagne jazz serenade. $$$

Martin Wine Cellar 714 Elmeer Ave., 896-7300, Metairie. L daily. Wine by the glass or bottle to go with daily lunch specials, towering burgers, hearty soups, salads and giant, deli-style sandwiches. $

Mat & Naddie’s 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600, Uptown. L Mon-Fri, D Thu, Fri, Sat., Mon. Cozy converted house along River Road serves up creative and eclectic regionally-inspired fare. Crab cakes with cucumber slaw makes for a good appetizer and when the weather is right the romantic patio is the place to sit. $$

MILA 817 Common St., 412-2580. B, D daily, L Sun-Fri. Latest offering from husband and wife chefs Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing focuses on the fusion and evolution of the cuisines of Mississippi and Louisiana. Signature dishes include Oysters Rockefeller “Deconstructed” and New Orleans-style Barbecue Lobster. $$$

Mona’s Café 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115, Marigny; 4126 Magazine St., 894-9800, Uptown; 1120 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-8174, Uptown; 2820 E. Causeway Approach (985) 624-2977, Mandeville. L, D daily. Middle Eastern specialties like smoky eggplant dip (baba ganouj) and tender-tangy beef or chicken shawarma, falafel and gyros, stuffed into pillowy pita bread or for platters. The comforting lentil soup with crunchy pita chips and desserts such as sticky sweet baklava, round out the menu. $

Morton’s, The Steakhouse The Shops at Canal Place, 365 Canal St., 566-0221, French Quarter. D daily. Quintessential Chicago steakhouse serves up top-quality slabs of meat along with jumbo seafood. Clubhouse atmosphere makes this chophouse a favorite of Saints players and businessmen alike. $$$

Mosca’s 4137 Highway 90 West, 436-9942, Avondale. D Tue-Sat. Italian institution near the Huey Long Bridge dishes out massive portions of great food family-style. Good bets are the Shrimp Mosca and Chicken à la Grande. Bring a big appetite and lots of friends. Note: Cash Only. $$

Mother’s 401 Poydras St., 523-9656, CBD/Warehouse District. B, L, D daily. Locals and tourists alike endure long queues and a confounding ordering system to enjoy iconic dishes such as the Ferdi poor boy and Jerry’s jambalaya. Come for a late lunch to avoid the rush. $$

MR. ED’S RESTAURANT 1001 Live Oak St., Metairie. 838-0022. L, D, Mon-Sat. Neighborhood restaurant specializes in seafood and Italian offerings such as stuffed eggplant and bell pepper. Fried seafood and sandwiches make it a good stop for lunch. $$

muggs café 3443 Esplanade Ave., 324-9482, Mid-City. B, L daily. This spot is known for their signature chicken salad, traditional New Orleans-style poor boys, a variety of homemade soups, fresh salads and delicious wraps. Don’t forget to check the daily specials. $

Muriel’s Jackson Square 801 Chartres St., 568-1885, French Quarter. L Fri & Sat, D daily, Br Sun. Enjoy pecan-crusted drum and other New Orleans classics while dining in the courtyard bar or any other room in this labyrinthine, rumored-to-be-haunted establishment. $$

Napoleon House 500 Chartres St., 524-9752, French Quarter. Late L Fri-Wed. Originally built in 1797 as a respite for Napoleon, this family-owned European-style café serves local favorites: gumbo, jambalaya, muffulettas and for sipping, a serious Sazerac or refreshing lemony Pimm’s Cup. $$

NEW CITY GRILLE 2700 Metairie Road, 828-8484, Metairie. L Mon-Fri, D daily. Old Metairie has a new neighborhood dining option whose menu runs the gamut from great burgers to grilled redfish garnished with lump crabmeat. $$$

New Orleans Grill Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 523-6000, CBD/Warehouse District. B, D daily, Br Sun. Fine Contemporary Creole dining destination in the well-appointed environs of the Windsor Court Hotel. Their Sunday Jazz Brunch offers live entertainment. $$$

NOLA 534 St. Louis St., 522-6652, French Quarter. L Sat, D daily. Emeril’s more affordable eatery, featuring cedar-plank-roasted redfish; private dining. $$

Nuvolari’s 246 Gerard St., (985) 626-5619, Mandeville. D daily. Dark woods and soft lighting highlight this Northshore Creole Continental-Italian fusion restaurant famous for crabmeat ravioli, veal dishes, seafood specialties and delectable desserts. $$

ONE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE 8132 Hampson St., 301-9061, Uptown. D Mon-Sat. Sleek black seating and herbaceous sage-colored walls, form a dining room where every seat is a view into the open kitchen and the chefs creating contemporary comfort food on a seasonally changing menu. The bar is also known for cranking out clever and cool cocktails. New Orleans Magazine’s Best New Restaurant 2005. $$

Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930, French Quarter. D daily. A sophisticated and casual wine bar serving bistro fare – seafood (bouillabaisse) and meats, soups, salads, a broad selection of cheeses, pâtés and a huge wine list. $

Palace Café 605 Canal St., 523-1661, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Spirited Dickie Brennan-owned brasserie with French-style sidewalk seating and house-created specialties of Chef Darrin Nesbit at lunch dinner and Jazz Brunch. Favorites here include crabmeat cheesecake, turtle soup, the Werlein salad with fried Louisiana oysters and pork ”debris” studded Palace Potato Pie. $$$

Parasol’s 2533 Constance St., 899-2054, Uptown. L, D daily. A neighborhood bar, unfussy but fine, with one of the best messy roast beef poor boys in town. The gumbo, cheeseburger poor boy and other sandwiches are also winners. Grab a local Abita beer or Barq’s root beer to wash it all down. $

Parkway bakery and tavern 532 Hagan Ave., 482-3047, Mid-City. L, D daily, closed Tues. An historic local eatery renowned for their roast beef and fried seafood poor boys. Music is live and free Thu-Sat evenings. $

pascal’s manale 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877, Uptown. L Mon-Fri, D daily. Vintage New Orleans neighborhood restaurant since 1913, and the place to go for the house-creation of barbecued shrimp. Their oyster bar serves icy cold, freshly shucked Louisiana oysters and the Italian specialties and steaks are also solid. $$

Paul’s Café 100 Pine St., (985) 386-9581, Ponchatoula. B, L daily. Best known for their strawberry daiquiris, Paul’s also cooks up satisfying egg breakfasts and lunches including all manners of sandwiches and poor boys $

The Pelican Club 312 Exchange Place, 523-1504, French Quarter. D daily. Tucked into a French Quarter alley, Pelican Club serves an eclectic mix of hip food, from the gorgeous Seafood “Martini” to Clay Pot Barbecued Shrimp and a Trio of Duck. Three dining rooms available. $$$

Peristyle 1041 Dumaine St., 593-9535, French Quarter. L Fri, D Tue-Sat. Chef Tom Wolfe’s eclectic French-inspired cuisine served in a historic, low-lit, comfy restaurant space. The menu changes seasonally and is always filled with surprises. Valet parking available. $$$

PJ’s coffee Multiple locations throughout Greater New Orleans: www.pjscoffee.com. The city’s first iced-coffee spot that pioneered the coffee house experience in New Orleans and introduced us all to velvet ices, drinkable granitas and delicious, locally made Ronald Reginald vanilla. There’s a wide assortment of pastries and bagels are offered as well as juices and fresh ground or whole bean coffees. $

Pontchartrain Bistro & Wine Bar Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St. Charles Ave., 524-0581, Uptown. D daily. Traditional French-Creole dishes in one of New Orleans’ most nostalgic hotels. $$$

PORT OF CALL 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120, French Quarter. L, D daily. It’s all about the big, meaty burgers and giant baked potatoes in this popular Quarter bar/restaurant, unless you’re cocktailing only and then it’s all about the Monsoons. $
Praline Connection 542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934, Faubourg Marigny. L, D daily. Down-home dishes of smothered pork chops, greens, beans and cornbread are on the menu at this homey Creole soul restaurant. $$

Queen of the ball 8116 Oak St., 430-5718, Uptown. L, D daily. Fruit-stuffed snowballs are the specialty of the house at this fun and funky Oak Street sweet shop. Wi-Fi and coffee drinks broaden its appeal. $

Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill 115 Bourbon St., 598-1200, French Quarter. L, D daily. Bright, fun and bustling, chef Greg Collier cooks up a broad menu of items from gorgeous Gulf fish to tender pork loin medallions. $$

Ralph’s On The Park 900 City Park Ave., 488-1000, Mid-City. D daily, L Fri, Br Sun. An exquisite modern interior, a view of City Park’s moss-draped oaks and beautiful contemporary Creole dishes such as Crystal Oysters, Deep Country Gumbo and Cast Iron Blackened Red Fish draped with blue crab butter sauce. The bar gets special notice for superior cocktails. $$$

RED MAPLE RESTAURANT 1036 Lafayette St., 367-0935, Gretna. L, D daily. This West Bank institution since 1963, is known for its seafood, steaks, a great wine list and some of the best bread pudding around. $

Reginelli’s Pizzeria 741 State St., 899-1414, Uptown;  3244 Magazine St., 895-7272, Uptown; 5608 Citrus Blvd., 818-0111, Harahan; 817 W. Esplanade Ave., 712-6868, Kenner. L, D daily. Pizzas, pastas, salads, fat calzones and lofty focaccia sandwiches are on tap at locations all over town. $$

Remoulade 309 Bourbon St., 523-0377, French Quarter. L, D Mon-Sat. Granite-topped tables and a magnificent antique mahogany bar are home to the eclectic menu of Famous Shrimp Arnaud, red beans and rice and poor boys as well as specialty burgers, grilled all-beef hot dogs and thin-crust pizza. $$

Restaurant August 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh creates inventive, seasonally inspired dishes featuring fresh local ingredients in an elegant atmosphere. $$$

RESTAURANT PATOIS 6078 Laurel St., 931-4117. D Wed-Sat, Br Sun. Provencal-inspired dishes feature interesting riffs employing fresh, local ingredients at this scene-y boîte tucked away in a residential Uptown neighborhood. $$

Rib Room Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis St., 529-7045, French Quarter. B, L, D daily, Br Sun. Old World elegance, high ceilings and views of Royal Street, house classic cocktails and Anthony Spizale’s broad menu of prime rib, stunning  seafood and on weekends, a massive Organic Brunch – the only one of it’s kind in the Omni Group. $$$

RioMar 800 S. Peters St., 525-3474, Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sun. Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American influences rule at this Warehouse District seafood shrine. The selection of ceviches is outstanding and their tapas lunch offering makes for a unique alternative to traditional Louisiana seafood preparations. $$

River 127 Wyndham New Orleans Hotel, 100 Iberville St., 566-7006, French Quarter. B, L, D daily. Continental cuisine with Louisiana flare in a dining room that overlooks the Mississippi River and French Quarter. Sunday Jazz/Champagne Brunch. $$$

ROCK-N-SAKE 823 Fulton St., 581-7253, CBD/Warehouse District. L Fri, D Tue-Sun. Enjoy fresh sushi along with contemporary takes on Japanese favorites in this hip, club-like setting in the Warehouse District. Open until midnight on weekends, this makes for a unique late-night destination. $$$

Rocky’s 3222 Magazine St., 891-5152, Uptown. L, D daily. Great gourmet pizzas (including a whole-wheat crust option), big salads and excellent sandwiches in a hot spot on Magazine Street. $$

Royal Blend Coffee and Tea House 621 Royal St., 523-2716, French Quarter; 204 Metairie Road, 835-7779, Metairie; 222 Carondelet St., 529-2005, CBD/Warehouse District. B, L daily. Known for their frozen Café Glace and a wide selection of coffees and teas, as well as pastries, daily specials and hearty breakfasts. $

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 3633 Veterans Blvd., 888-3600, Metairie. L Fri, D daily. Filet Mignon, Creamed Spinach and potatoes au gratin are the most popular dishes at this area steak institution but there are also great seafood choices and top-notch desserts. $$$

SAKE CAFé 2830 Magazine St., 894–0033, Uptown. L, D daily. Creative and traditional Japanese food in an ultramodern décor. Sushi and sashimi boats, wild rolls filled with the usual and not-so-usual suspects and a nice bar with a number of sakes from which to choose. $$

Saltwater grill & oyster bar  1340 S. Carrollton Ave., 324-6640, Uptown. L, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Off the Uptown streetcar line, this casual seafood restaurant specializes in fresh Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico seafood and shakes up a great margarita. $

Savvy gourmet 4519 Magazine St., 895- 2665, Uptown. L Tue-Sat, Br Sun. Cooking School, kitchenware store, kitchen design center, home of Slow Food and other foodie events as well as a delicious café serving Farmers’ Market fresh salad, sandwiches and plate lunches crafted by Chef Corbin Evans. $

Slice 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437, Uptown. L, D Mon-Sat. Right on the Avenue, order up slices or whole pizza pies done in several styles (thin and thick crust) as well as pastas, seafood, paninis and salads. $

Slim goody’s diner 3322 Magazine St., 891-3447, Uptown. B, L daily. In a bustling, heavily foot trafficked area of Magazine Street, this small but mighty diner cranks out great breakfasts with a New Orleans beat, burgers, fries, plate lunches and more. Patio seating available. $

Snug harbor 626 Frenchman St., 949-0696, Faubourg Marigny. D daily. The city’s premier jazz club serves great cocktails and a dining menu loaded with steaks, seafood and big meaty burgers served with loaded baked potatoes. $$

Stein’s Market and Deli  2207 Magazine St., 527-0771, Uptown. B, L Mon, Wed-Thurs, Sat-Sun. New York meets New Orleans on Magazine Street. The Reuben and Rachel sandwiches are the real deal and the half-sours and pickled tomatoes complete the genuine deli experience. $

Stella! 1032 Chartres St., 587-0091, French Quarter. D daily. Global cuisine with a Louisiana blush by native-son chef Scott Boswell. Dishes are always startling and inventive, lush and flavorful, from appetizer to dessert. The wine list is bold and the service “stellar.” Boswell was New Orleans Magazine’s 2005 Chef of the Year and Nolan Ventura, exec. pastry chef, was New Orleans Magazine’s Best Pastry Chef 2006. $$$

St. James CHeese Company 5004 Prytania St., Uptown, 899-4737. L Mon-Sat. Specialty shop offers the city’s best selection of fine cheeses and related accouterments. Great sandwiches and an arrangement with Wine Seller next door make this a popular lunch and early evening destination. $

Sucré 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311. Desserts nightly. Open late weekends. Inspired chocolates, elegant pastry and fabulous gelato draw rave reviews at this sophisticated new dessert destination. Beautiful packaging makes this a great place to shop for gifts. Catering available. $

Sugar park tavern 800 France St., 940-6226, Bywater. D daily. Tucked into the hip Bywater area, the pizza here has become a cult classic likened to the eponymous pies of New York. $

Sun ray grill 619 Pink St., 837-0055, Old Metairie. L Mon-Sat, D Mon-Sat; 1051 Annunciation St., 566-0021, CBD/Warehouse District. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat; 2600 Belle Chasse Highway, 391-0053, Gretna. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat; 3700 Orleans Ave., 324-9663, Mid-City. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. This clever local chain offers a globally influenced menu with standout burgers, steaks, sesame crusted Tuna, sandwiches salads and a swoon-worthy scallop soft taco at the Mid-City location. $$

SURREY’S CAFÉ AND JUICE BAR 1418 Magazine St., 524-3828. B, L Wed-Sun
. Laid-back café focuses on great breakfast and brunch dishes to accompany their fresh-squeezed juice offerings. Health-food lovers will like it here, along with fans of favorites such as peanut butter and banana pancakes. Note: Cash only. $

Sweet fire and ice 701 Veterans Blvd., 831-3437, Metairie.  L, D daily. Al Copeland’s boldest concept to date with ramped up favorites from Copeland’s Louisiana inspired menu and a dizzying array of seafood, chicken, beef, pasta, salads, incredible cheesecake desserts, more than 100 martinis and an oxygen bar. $$

Tan dinh 2005 Belle Chasse Highway, 361-8008, Gretna. B, L, D Wed-Mon. Roasted quail and the beef pho rule at this economical and excellent Vietnamese outpost. $

Theo’s Pizza 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554, Uptown. L, D daily. The thin, cracker-crisp crust pizzas are complemented by the broad assortment of toppings which include a lot of local ingredients. Unique renovation and cheap prices make this an economical choice along upscale Magazine Street. $

Tommy’s Cuisine 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103, CBD/ Warehouse. D Daily. Classic Creole-Italian cuisine is the name of the game at this upscale eatery in the fashionable Warehouse District. Good appetizers include the namesake Oysters Tommy, baked in the shell with Romano cheese, Pancetta and roasted red pepper. $$

Tony Angelo’s  6262 Fleur de Lis Drive, 488-0880. Lakeview. D, Tues-Sat. Creole-Italian favorite serves up excellent fare in the completely restored Lakeview location. Ask Tony to “Feed Me,” if you want a real multi-course dining experience. $$$

Tout de suite 347 Verret St., 362-2264, Algiers. B, L, D daily.  Neighborhood coffeehouse/café in historic Algiers Point offers a light menu of soups, salads and sandwiches for a quick meal or carryout. $

TOUCHÉ CAFé 515 Harrison Ave., 610-2169, Lakeview.  B, L Mon-Sat. Lakeview dining option specializing in making sandwiches. $

Trey Yuen 600 N. Causeway Blvd., (985) 626-4476, Mandeville. L Tue-Fri & Sun, D Tue-Sun; 2100 N. Morrison Blvd., 345-6789, Hammond. L Wed-Fri, D daily. Chinese cuisine meets with local seafood in dishes like their Szechuan Spicy Alligator and Tong Cho Crawfish; private rooms available. $$

Tujague’s 823 Decatur St., 525-8676, French Quarter. L, D daily. For over 150 years this landmark restaurant has been offering landmark Creole cuisine in the French Quarter. Favorites include a nightly six-course table d’hote menu featuring a unique Beef Brisket with Creole Sauce. $$$

Upperline 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822, Uptown. D Wed-Sun. Consummate hostess JoAnn Clevenger and talented Chef Ken Smith make for a winning combination at this nationally-heralded Uptown favorite. The oft-copied Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade originated here. $$$

uptown cajun 7708 Maple St., 304-7256, Uptown. L, D daily. Neighborhood eatery features a dependable menu of poor boys and platters. Appetizers include Cajun-inspired offerings such as Boudin Balls and fried pickles. Seven 50-inch plasma TVs and a good kids menu makes it a versatile choice. $$

Vega Tapas Café 2051 Metairie Road, 836-2007, Metairie. D Mon-Sun. Fun and innovative establishment offers fresh seafood, grilled meats and vegetarian dishes in a chic environment. Daily chef specials showcase unique ingredients and make this place a popular destination for dates as well as groups of friends. $$

Venezia 134 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7991, Mid-City. L Wed-Fri, D Wed-Sun. Casual neighborhood Italian destination known for its excellent thin-crust pizzas. Good lunch specials make this a popular choice as well. $$

VERA CRUZ 7537 Maple St., 866-1736, Uptown. L Fri-Sat, D daily. Vera Cruz’s convenient location, potent drinks and Caribbean influence make for a fun neighborhood Mexican