Commence your weekend with starter such as crawfish-and-artichoke dip ($12) or a bacon-chocked steakhouse salad with green-peppercorn buttermilk dressing ($7). Entree salads include larger, decadent options like the McIlhenny, masa-fried oysters over greens with homemade buttermilk dressing and McIlhenny tabasco chipotle ($11), or a Southern fried-chicken salad with a Jack Daniel's mustard vinaigrette ($10.50). Get back on the meatwagon with the steakhouse bacon cheeseburger ($9.50) or the blackened prime rib, served with roasted-pepper and portobello-mushroom salad ($24), or dive below the surface of the plate for barbecue shrimp smothered in Abita Amber sauce ($16.50).
For more than 30 years, Star Steak and Lobster House's doorman Joey has been opening the restaurant's door to fill the French Quarter sidewalks with the aromas of aged USDA prime steaks and buttery lobster. After passing through the entryway, patrons can take their seats at sleek wooden tables to share Cajun gator sausage with creole sauce and housemade Louisiana crab cakes glazed with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce. Signature dinner entrees include slow-roasted prime rib and the Cajun filet mignon stuffed with crab, lobster, shrimp, and crawfish tails. To complement the food's lively flavors, every Wednesday through Sunday night bands perform jazz, blues, and classic rock tunes while bartenders mix black-cherry-peach mojitos and pour pint glasses of beer into other pint glasses until infinity is achieved.
Though Wow Cafe & Wingery has now found a foothold in more than 60 locations throughout the U.S., the chain still offers the same tasty soul food and wings as it did when it was founded by a trio of Louisianan brothers in 2001. The friendly sports pub still broadcasts the day’s games on various televisions, allowing guests to follow multiple sports or Jenga tournaments as they lick one of 17 delectable sauces from their fingers. In addition to these finger-food staples, guests can devour fajitas, burgers resting between slices of texas toast, and classic New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, catfish, and red beans. Spice-covered tongues cool off with signature drinks such as an italian mango bellini or Louisiana's Abita beer.
On a residential street near the river, a little white cottage with a hand-painted sign hosts heaping platters of crustaceans, catfish, rib-eye steaks, and creamy Southern sides. Creamy baked macaroni and potato salad escort fried redfish, frog legs, and soft-shell crab from a kitchen praised by Lonely Planet as "working in its own rarefied air," with each dish ceremonially blessed by a mermaid. Tuesday through Friday, lunch specials pack salads and po boys with oysters and shrimp. A glass of sangria from the bar offers a refreshingly fruity counterpoint to the flavors of the sea.
Pie, Pizza & Pastas offers ample amounts of specialty pies and Italian comfort fare to rev up empty stomach engines. Peruse the menu, and begin your night with tasty starters such as lobster ravioli ($8.99) or tomato-basil soup ($4.50 for cup, $5.99 for a bowl) before jumping into the full-meal fray of pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, and calzones. Build your own pie from more than 20 options, or try out gourmet pizzas such as the Carnivore, a meaty monster pie topped with pepperoni, bacon, black-forest ham, Italian sausage, and Canadian bacon ($13.99 for a small, $18.99 for a large). Noodle your way out of leftovers with penne ala vodka, a sweet-onion vodka sauce tossed with penne pasta and marinated chicken ($14.99), or wrap mitts around the eggplant capriccio, topped with marinara, black olives, mozzarella, and feta ($8.99). Domestic ($3) or imported beers ($3.50) are also available to slake thirsty throats.
The Grill's seafood-slinging menu draws on locally sourced ingredients to offer fresh dishes with Louisiana flair. Try out an appetizer of Louisiana catfish strips with green onion tartar sauce ($7) to hold your dinner at bay. For the main course, steer your mouth into a hearty entree of crab cakes with roasted corn maque choux ($12), or lead your hunger to wrack and ruin along the mighty reefs of the riverbend chicken, with crawfish tail and portobello sauté ($14). Order the grilled fish of the day and surprise your face with the freshest catch, served with lemon butter sauce, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus ($19). For a classic Louisiana dish that will fill you up and completely obliterate your cravings, order the shrimp and cheddar grits, with hickory bacon and green onion ($14).