In a city filled with James Beard winners and classic culinary institutes, you might not think that New Orleans had any more room for new restaurants. Think again!
Here's a list of the hottest new restaurants in New Orleans:
Emeril Lagasse expanded his New Orleans empire with the opening of his fourth restaurant, Meril. Named for his daughter, Meril joins his flagship Emeril's New Orleans, NOLA and Emeril’s Delmonico. The yawning Warehouse District space features a collection of dishes pulled from innumerable international cuisines, inspired in large part by Lagasse’s travels. There are Mexican-inspired pork rib tamales and street corn slathered in chili, lime and mayonnaise, and Asian-inspired spring rolls and steamed mussels in coconut milk. The menu includes Japanese robata-inspired grilled meats, including Korean short ribs served with kimchi cucumbers. There's strong Italian influence in the wood oven-fired flatbreads and pastas.
The restaurant is Lagasse’s most casual and affordable yet: Everything on the menu is less than $20, with a large portion of snacks and salads falling under $10. Meril also offers an assortment of cocktails based largely on local and seasonal ingredients featured in the kitchen, including herbs such as basil, lavender, mint and oregano. 424 Girord Street.
2. Petit Lion
Tucked inside the brand new Troubadour Hotel, this all-day New American restaurant from chef Phillip Lopez (Root, Part & Parcel) offers succinct menus of French-influenced bistro fare. Menu features dishes like a blue crab omelet for breakfast and moules frites, burgers and fried chicken for lunch and dinner. The chic space is decorated with metallic navy chairs, wood-topped tables and a horseshoe bar, underneath a ceiling lined with dramatic, copper shaded lights. It is a cozy and stylish spot for solo travelers.
The Troubadour is also home to The Monkey Board, a rooftop bar with 360 degree breathtaking views of New Orleans. The bar opened December 26th and offers cocktails, beer & food truck inspired eats. Petit Lion is a hot new spot, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a few drinks. 111 Gravier Street.
Maypop, the hotly-anticipated Southeast Asian meets Southern eatery, is now open inside the booming Paramount building in the Warehouse District. The "upscale sister" of Chef Michael Gulotto's Mid City MoPho, Maypop's menu is pretty wild and draws inspiration from Vietnamese, Cajun, Creole and Sicilian cuisines. Maypop serves a menu heavy on house-made fresh pastas and house-cured meats. Menu also includes friend PB&J, wok tossed ramen, smashed wood-roasted pumpkin with fresh herbs, house-cured coppa and fresh baked roti.
Maypop, a common name for a passionflower variety, features a full bar, and also offers a slightly more casual and fast lunch service as well. With an eye toward refinement, this meal is perfect for the solo traveller wanted to experience a luxurious meal that is unique and trendy. 611 O'Keefe Avenue.
Susan Spicer, the James Beard award winning chef behind local favorites Bayona and Mondo, opened her third restaurant, Rosdale, in October. This Mid City restaurant is a charming treat, located in a former police station right off City Park. Serving "West Bank Food", Spicer is putting a twist on local cooking while adding some of the international flavors for which she is known. The menu, served at both lunch and dinner, includes turtle soup with spinach dumplings, a warm mushroom salad with Manchego cheese, rosemary barbecue shrimp and a cochon de lait po-boy with a fried pickle on the side.
Rosedale also serves seven wines on tap. Sizes range from a 3-ounce half glass to a 1-liter carafe. The bar also features local beers and classic cocktails. If you eat at Rosedale, make sure to stop by the restroom, which is a converted jail cell! 801 Rosedale Drive.
5. Turkey and The Wolf
Currently being considered for the 2017 James Beard award for Best New Restaurant, Turkey and the Wolf is a playful option for inventive sandwiches & cocktails served in a quirky, colorful space. Turkey and the Wolf is located on Jackson Avenue in the Irish Channel and is run by Mason Hereford, a former chef at Coquette and his partner, Lauren Holton. The duo are "sandwich people" and Hereford offers a menu of about a half dozen sandwiches (not poboys) and a half dozen non-sandwich options. The sandwiches include chicken-fried steak made with Louisiana wagyu beef, fried bologna with potato chips and hot English mustard and house-smoked ham with cranberry sauce. On the "not sandwiches" section of the menu, you'll find baba ghanoush and a wedge salad with "everything bagel" seasoning,. The deviled eggs are topped with fried chicken skins dusted with a salt that includes Vietnamese chicken base.
Complementing the simple menu is Holton's boozy creations, with a full bar, beer, and wine. Adding to the quirkiness, the tables are set with mismatched plates and vintage salt and pepper shakers that Holton, Hereford, and Hereford's mom have been collecting for the past two years. 729 Jackson Avenue.
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