The Beach House's flame brandishers grill up hearty entrees, seafood spreads, gumbos, and meat-laden sandwiches comprising a menu teeming with local New Orleans flavors. A basket of fries ($3.49), which can come baptized with a splash of Cajun seasoning, prepares stomachs for the Tolstoy-size rib-eye steak, a 16-ounce slab of hand-cut beef ($14.99) that can sport an optional shawl of crawfish sauce for $1 more. Broiled shrimp butterfly stroking pools of barbeque sauce ($9.99), a crab-cake salad ($8.49) souses tongues with tastes of the sea, and an esophagus-warming cup of chicken and sausage gumbo ($3.99) and a roast-beef po boy ($7.99) lend mouths land-based flavor treks devoid of bland soil and shifty tectonic dishware.
At the tender age of 7, Andrea Apuzzo began honing his culinary skills at a bakery in his Italian hometown. "I was spoiled as a kid. We made our own olive oil and wine,” he says in a Gambit article. His breadth of knowledge expanded greatly when, at 14 years old, he embarked on a culinary adventure across Europe and South America. Now at the helm of his own restaurant, Chef Andrea applies the knowledge he learned amid the cream-hued rising loaves and on the chattering South American streets.
The dishes that fill tables at the eatery have been enjoyed by the likes of Queen Elizabeth, President Carter, Sophia Loren, Clint Eastwood, and one dog that figured out how to use a credit card. To share his abilities and experiments, the chef also publishes cookbooks, which detail formulas for the award-winning pastas, fresh seafood, and steaks. Chef Andrea's bistecca pizzaiola earned a place on Esquire's 2008 list of the 20 Best Steaks in America. "Like the best Italian dishes," the article says, "its simple parts add up to an unexpectedly powerful whole."
Captain Sal’s is a family-owned eating oasis serving up seaborne repasts and poultry-anchored feasts that are great for busy, on-the-move locals and tourists on lunch breaks from the Fodor’s-suggested all-bead scavenger hunt. Shrimp po’ boys are served on buns or french bread ($5.49–$6.99) and, like ketchup keg parties, go great with fries ($1.49–$2.99) or onion rings ($1.89–$3.99). Seafood gumbo warms souls chilled over by the sight of rat-tail haircuts ($4.49–$6.49), and chicken is available in four ($3.49 white; $4.49 dark), eight ($6.49 white; $8.49 dark) or 15-piece ($9.49 white; $11.99 dark) sets. Fitting for retired fishermen who still want to reap their craft’s edible benefits, Captain Sal’s provides subtly spiced seafood sublimity.
Innovative Cajun Cooking | James Beard Award–Winning Chef | NY Times–Lauded Eatery | Renovated Warehouse Location
Claim to Fame: When it opened just a few months after Hurricane Katrina, Cochon quickly became a cornerstone for the city to rebuild around. Located inside a renovated industrial building in the Warehouse District, the acclaimed restaurant fuses an unshakeable devotion to old traditions with an enthusiasm for innovation.
Who’s Cooking: James Beard Award–winning chef Donald Link, who grew up in Louisiana and drew inspiration from his grandparents’ Cajun cooking. Chef Link’s cookbook, Real Cajun, also won a James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook.
Bragging Rights: You don’t have to search long to find a major publication singing Cochon’s praises: the restaurant has been featured on the Travel Channel’s The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, in Esquire, and in the New York Times, which called the food here “head-shakingly good.”
While You’re Waiting: Wander next door to check out Cochon Butcher—an old-world-style meat market that offers sandwiches, small plates, house-cured sausages, and wine and beer.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Head over to the Central Business District and check out Chef Link’s flagship establishment, Herbsaint (701 Saint Charles Avenue). The Times-Picayune named this French-American bistro one of the Top 10 New Orleans Restaurants on numerous occasions.
Overlooking St. Charles Avenue, Mia's Balcony offers Mardi Gras revelers a central view of grand, glittering floats and shimmering beads. But the restaurant isn’t content to host a party once a year; on the other 364 days, visitors cheer on the college, professional, and sock-puppet football games broadcast over the patio's outdoor televisions, and a banquet room is available for private soirees. While watching a Saints or LSU game or just chatting, guests can share small plates of seared scallops on the half-shell or fish croquettes or dig into substantial entrees such as pepper-jelly lamb chops. On weekend mornings, the chefs prepare brunch dishes including creole omelets and veal grillades over grits.
Local artwork, exposed-brick walls, and fireplaces set an inviting scene indoors. Bartenders fill glasses with craft beers, wine, and potent cocktails such as the French 75, a champagne- and gin-based drink based on a vintage recipe.
O'Henrys has served baskets of complimentary salted peanuts to guests since its founding in 1982, and the floors remain whimsically festooned with shells to this day. Owner Rhonda Conley, with more than 20 years at O'Henry's under her belt, works to keep the tradition of the restaurant alive at both locations. Waiters crunch across dining rooms from midday to midnight, bearing plates of freshly ground filet mignon burgers, hearty steaks, and signature Monica cream sauce dishes. Outside, an outdoor balcony scattered with tabletops wraps around the restaurant. The eatery boasts private dining rooms for parties of up to 25 people. It also treats guests to a free new york strip steak if they can prove it's their birthday with a valid ID or by showing video tapes of them not celebrating their birthday the previous 364 days.