WANNA GRAB SOME GOOD GRUB during New Orleans’ Mardi Gras? If you want a super touristy, fancy dinner, go to Commander’s Palace. But stay away from Mother’s. Better yet, take our advice: As locals, these are places we just can’t get enough of.
Start with the artichoke hearts. Don’t feel bad when the waitress giggles as you order the giant seafood platter at Deanie’s for just two people. You will soon know why. This tower of fried seafood arrives at the table looking like a personal challenge from Poseidon. The platter’s menagerie of sea creatures are fried in a flavorful combination of yellow flour, buttermilk and seasonings.
Go for it.
The gumbo is off the chain (that’s still a saying, right?), and has chicken, sausage, okra and pure yummy-ness. If you are lucky, the restaurant might have some Doberge cake. It’s delicious. Get it, and forget the king cake.
This is the quick-eats cafe. The owners have a full restaurant close by called Cafe Amelie, but you might want to make reservations. It gets packed.
Italian food in New Orleans? What? Yes. Chef Nicolas outdid himself. Order the veal. It is tender, and the sauce is drool-worthy. Not feeling the veal? Everything is beyond delicious, including the cheesecake dessert.
If you don’t order the jumbo lump crab cake, you are losing in life. Don’t like crab cakes? Order it anyway. It has to be 99.99 percent crab, which is hard to find. Usually crab cakes are 50 percent crab (if you’re lucky).
The satsuma-glazed yellowfin tuna will knock your socks off.
It originally opened in 1946, and recently emerged from an extensive renovation that was spared no expense by new co-owners, Terry White and Ralph Brennan. Order the New Orleans barbecue lobster appetizer. It’s made with creole spiced butter, lemon confit and thyme, and comes with a toasted baguette. Hell yes. The star of your night will be the main course. Order the sweet potato pappardelle.
The pasta is cooked perfectly al dente. The roasted Mississippi shiitake, sheep’s milk cheese, garlic confit and brown butter sauce will make you want to lick the plate clean.
See that line forming on the street, blocking the sidewalk? Yup, that’s for Acme. Prepare to wait. It’s worth it. We promise.
Get the chargrilled oysters and a pound or two of crawfish.
What trip to New Orleans is complete without a delicious po’ boy? Parkway is the best. It doesn’t skimp on the oysters, shrimp or whatever you decide to stuff your bread with.
Our favorite? The french dip au jus po’boy. Every local we asked sent us to the same place.
It’s a bit out of the French Quarter, but we Ubered it and got there in about 10 minutes.