Eat Well in the Big Easy Cheryl’s Restaurant Picks Features
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Features  |   August 01, 2009
Eat Well in the Big Easy
Author Notes
  • Cheryl Russell, director of convention and meetings, can be reached at crussell@asha.org.
    Cheryl Russell, director of convention and meetings, can be reached at crussell@asha.org.×
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Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Features
Features   |   August 01, 2009
Eat Well in the Big Easy
The ASHA Leader, August 2009, Vol. 14, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR11.14102009.28
The ASHA Leader, August 2009, Vol. 14, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR11.14102009.28
New Orleans has more than 900 restaurants, many opening since Hurricane Katrina, so it is almost impossible to pull together recommendations without leaving out many wonderful eateries. New Orleans offers almost anything you could want—from the crazy and wild to the relaxed and quiet—and there are many fine restaurants beyond this list!
New Orleans weather in November is usually mild, about 60–75 degrees, perfect for enjoying the wonderful outdoor courtyards that many of the restaurants offer. The city seems as if it never sleeps, so dinner can be late and leisurely after your ASHA events.
Below are a few favorite restaurants, with several recommendations from my colleague, Tess Kirsh, ASHA’s associate director of credentialing for policy and education, who recently vacationed in New Orleans.
Emeril’s New Orleans
Warehouse District, 800 Tchoupitoulas St. (at Julia St.), 504-528-9393; www.emerils.com
This is the original Emeril’s restaurant and my favorite from when it first opened—before the Warehouse District was a “chic-hip” place. I had lunch here a few months ago and tried the turtle soup; it was delicious, as was the Emeril salad. Dinner entrees run $25–$40 and dress is business casual.
Café Du Monde
French Quarter, 1039 Decatur St. (across from Jackson Sq. and St. Louis Cathedral), 504-525-4544; www.cafedumonde.com
Café Du Monde is a must for anyone visiting New Orleans, although it serves only beignets, coffee—dark roasted and chicory—and a few select soft drinks. Established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market, the cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Warning: the powdered sugar that covers the beignets (a French-type doughnut) seems to land on whatever you wear!
Mother’s
401 Poydras St. at Tchoupitoulas St., 504-523-9656; www.mothersrestaurant.net
Mother’s is another “must-experience-to-appreciate” landmark in New Orleans. Don’t expect anyone to wait on you, and you might sit with others. This is a small establishment so most people order take-out. If you want to eat light, it would be best to skip Mother’s—it promises to fill you with true Louisiana food, ranging from pO’boys to jambalya. Very casual and inexpensive.
Cochon
Warehouse District, 930 Tchoupitoulas St. (about a half-mile from the Convention Center), 504-588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com
Cochon is French for pig, and this restaurant is the place to enjoy great Cajun-style pork. Upscale contemporary but casual and reasonably priced, Cochon’s offers dishes you don’t find at many other restaurants including catfish court bouillon, Louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage and cracklins, rabbit with dumplings, pickled greens, and black-eyed-pea-and-ham broth. Cochon’s has won many awards and is considered one of the best new restaurants to open in the last few years.
Arnaud’s Restaurant
French Quarter, 813 Rue Beniville (at Bourbon St.), 504-523-5433; www.arnauds.com
Established in 1918, Arnaud’s main dining room has mosaic floors (adds to the noise level) and beveled glass windows. Arnaud’s is fun and full of surprises. The menu features a variety of oyster dishes (from Rockefeller to its own Oysters Bienville, with shrimp, mushrooms, green onions, and herbs in a white wine sauce) and unusual items such as alligator sausage. Dinner is offered a la carte or fixed price with several courses. Business casual is appropriate. The restaurant operates the free Germaine Wells Mardi Gras museum; just ask to see the carnival gowns and costumes when you arrive. At Arnaud’s Jazz Bistro, you can enjoy a local jazz performance along with your meal.
Bayona
French Quarter, 430 Rue Dauphine (between Conti and St. Louis), 504-525-4455; www.bayona.com
Bayona is located in a 200-year-old cottage-style building that features a small, intimate dining room, a relaxed atmosphere, and wonderful food. Bayona has several dishes for vegetarians and vegans and can accommodate most dietary needs. One of my favorites is the crawfish-crusted redfish. Bayona also has a great little wine room with a diverse wine collection—some with high price tags. At this restaurant you need to have patience, slow down a bit, and enjoy—they don’t rush the service. Business casual attire; entrées run about $30.
Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant
Warehouse District, 701 St. Charles Ave. (at Girod St.), 504-524-4114; www.herbsaint.com
Herbsaint is owned by the chef/owner of Cochon and is more upscale and expensive. Chef Donald Link is a James Beard 2007 Best Chef Award-winner. He offers French food with a Southern influence. The restaurant offers small plates and a fresh fish of the day, which most likely is served with something unusual—like watermelon gazpacho. Business casual dress.
Commander’s Palace
Garden District, 1403 Washington Ave. (at Coliseum St.), 504-899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com
This New Orleans landmark opened in 1880 and is known not only for its food but also for the décor of its many large dining rooms. Zagat 2009 named Commander’s Palace as the most popular restaurant in New Orleans. The restaurant has trained some of the top chefs in the nation (including Emeril Lagasse). Be sure to save room for dessert; one of my favorites is the Creole bread pudding soufflé with warm whiskey cream. Commander’s Place is expensive (entrées run $30–$40) and dress is business casual.
Acme Oyster House
French Quarter, 724 Iberville St. (between Royal and Bourbon Sts.), 504-522-5973; www.acmeoyster.com
Not only does the Acme Oyster Bar have great seafood—it also has a “poet’s corner” with a warning that anyone sitting near the area is likely to be offended by something that is said. Inexpensive and casual.
GW Fins
French Quarter, 808 Bienville St. (at Bourbon St.), 504-581-3467; www.gwfins.com
This fine seafood restaurant offers a new menu each day with only fresh fish and ingredients. I liked the lobster dumplings and found the Alaskan halibut to be fresh and delicious. Dress is business casual; entrées begin at about $28 and up. The restaurant has an extensive wine list.
Additional Restaurants
The following are some of the more famous and legendary New Orleans restaurants. Be sure to find time to treat yourself and join your friends and colleagues in laissez les bon temps roulez, “let the good times roll.” To make reservations and read reviews, go to New Orleans restaurants.
Brennan’s
French Quarter, 417 Royal St., 504-525-9711; www.brennansneworleans.com
Galatoire’s
French Quarter, 209 Bourbon St., 504-525-2021; www.galatoires.com
Antoine’s Restaurant
French Quarter, 713 St. Louis St., 504-581-4422; www.antoines.com
Restaurant August
Central Business District, 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-299-9777; www.restaurantaugust.com
The Court of Two Sisters
French Quarter, 613 Royal St., 504-522-7273; www.courtoftwosisters.com
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August 2009
Volume 14, Issue 10