A Zagat-rated boutique restaurant named French Restaurant of the Year by New Orleans Magazine in 2009, Flaming Torch swaddles palates with menus of gourmet continental French cuisine. Chefs gather fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create brunch, lunch, and dinner menus that include imported-cheese plates, fish, pasta, and crepes that change daily. Diners pair entrees with a cadre of ever-rotating American and French wines. The intimate Victorian dining room, ideal for impressing a first date or bribing a traffic cop, is flush with natural light, dark-blue walls, wood accents, and crystal chandeliers.
Located in the Warehouse District, steps from the French Quarter's centuries-old streets, Tomas Bistro channels old-world traditions in a rustic former factory space. Chef Guy D. Sockrider's seasonal menus—which are crafted from local meats and Gulf seafood—marry classic Creole spices and French cooking techniques to create a fusion cuisine deeply rooted within New Orleans' unique history. The Zagat-rated bistro's warm walls, secluded patio, and well-stocked wine racks transcend the building's industrial origins, whisking patrons away to Parisian cafes without the stress of keeping the coat room stocked with magic carpets.
Chef Greg Picolo uses seasonal ingredients to whip up contemporary Creole cuisine with classic French and Italian touches for lunch and dinner. Evening appetizers include escargot and Louisiana crawfish bordelaise gnocchi ($15), as well as salads such as the house smoked salmon rillette topped with poached egg and toffika caviar, served with a caper remoulade ($12). Dinner entrees such as the roasted duck twirl duck confit, herb risotto, and sautéed spinach in a ballroom of seared foie gras and grilled peach jus ($36). Lunchers and brunchers can enjoy the B.L.T. salad, a melding of frisée lettuce, apple-smoked bacon, and hard-cooked egg served with a delicate creamy vinaigrette ($10 at lunch. The Bistro also boasts brunch specials on weekends and an extensive wine list to quench the palates of diners and housebroken lemurs.
As chefs simmer authentic New Orleans shrimp étouffée and watch gulf shrimp blacken, chicken and andouille-sausage gumbo bubbles in a pot nearby, filling the kitchen with a spicy aroma. Marigny Brasserie’s menu earned a "good to very good rating" across the board from Zagat, thanks in part to its menu of creole favorites and its wine list. Diners at the bar can peer over at a stained-glass inset of the Marigny Triangle, while those who choose to eat outside can catch a glimpse of Frenchmen Street in person. On some nights, guests can taste spicy shrimp while listening to musicians tune guitars and fill their maracas with fresh bees.
When Shakespeare imagined a den of witches, he saw them gathered around boiling pots, cackling and talking, casting raw morsels into their cauldrons from the ends of long, sharp sticks. Time revealed his vision to belong to something far less sinister: the bard simply foresaw the fondue restaurant. Today, hundreds of people gather at The Melting Pot’s more than 140 North American locations to cast romantic spells over one another as they share sweets, breads, vegetables, and meats doused in liquid chocolate, melted cheese, or flavored oil. They all wield double-pronged spears—or fondue forks—to suspend the tasty morsels of their choice in the ambrosial liquids before them, which are cleverly heated by stovetops built into each and every table in The Melting Pot's restaurants. The chefs prepare most platters in sizes best shared by two, making the venue ideal for date nights or reunions with twins who left 10 years ago to study the art of fondue.
At The Melting Pot of Baton Rouge, staffers use the restaurant to invest in their community as well. They host charity events, school fundraisers, and even run a program to reward straight-A students with a free fondue dinner.
Chef Christopher Case fills his stretch of Carey Street with the spicy, sizzling aroma of classic creole cuisine crafted from the region's freshly farmed and fished products. Trained in kitchen disciplines at Johnson & Wales University and the Delgado School of Culinary Arts, chef Case has crafted sauces and comestibles for such notable and demanding diners as Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain, and the Cookie Monster. His wealth of experience blends with a lasting love for his hometown's cuisine to showcase surprising, flavorful ingredients such as pompano, venison, and green tomatoes.
The restaurant itself welcomes guests into a cozy atmosphere, where pristine tablecloths provide a white backdrop for plates of colorful delta fare. Mirrors and bright wall sconces add depth and character to the intimate dining area.