New Orleans has an exceptional restaurant scene – and it’s famous for its creole and cajun cuisine. But in Uptown you’ll be spoilt for choice, whether you go local, international, or a blend of both. We choose the best venues to check out.
The Uptown New Orleans neighborhood boasts a variety of restaurants, including Italian, French, Indian and Vietnamese, but they serve interesting dishes that often combine local flavors. The following 10 restaurants embody the culinary creativity on offer in this unique district of the Big Easy.
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Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, far from the tourist crowd, , Clancy’s dining room looks like a who’s who of the city who are here for the clubhouse feel and the creole-style, seafood-rich menu. Try smoked soft shell crab, pan-seared scallops, veal topped with crabmeat and shrimp remoulade.
Commander’s Palace has an exquisite and distinctive turquoise exterior that’s a beacon in the city’s Garden District. The menu is a mix of creole, such as gumbo and court-bouillon, with fresh takes on seafood, game and meat, such as champagne-poached crabmeat. Ask for a table in the Garden Room, where you will have a perfect view of the courtyard and street.
A sophisticated addition to the city, Saffron has taken Indian cuisine and reinvented it using New Orleans ingredients: curried seafood gumbo mingles the flavors of Louisiana and India and the oyster bed roast uses curry leaf to add a twist to a traditional southern dish. The roti sathi dips are paired with naan bread and suitable for vegetarians. The cocktail menu is just as innovative: try the Saffron Old Fashioned, with bourbon, mango chutney, demerara sugar and bitters, or the Dirty AF, made from vodka or gin with curry leaf, olive brine and dry vermouth.
Jacques-Imo’s is a funky yet casual spot, with a menu full of of Creole, Cajun and soul food. Try the crawfish or shrimp étouffée, fried chicken, stuffed catfish, boudin balls and alligator sausage cheesecake. You won’t go home hungry.
Gautreau’s menu perfectly matches its elegant setting. Dishes that invoke the mood include seared diver scallops with citrus-golden pepper emulsion, foie gras torchon, roasted duck with mole reduction and Louisiana shrimp in a parmesan broth. Don’t skip dessert – the homemade sorbet with fresh berries is to die for. If there is romance or a proposal brewing, this is the place to go.
Dining at Brigtsen’s feels as if you have been invited to dinner by your grandma, with Louisiana comfort food on the menu and the setting in a charming cottage. In chef Frank Brigtsen’s hands, cajun and creole cuisine is lovingly served. Choose from gumbo, shrimp remoulade, grilled redfish, crawfish mac-n-cheese, roast duck, veal sweetbreads, pan-roasted pork chop and barbecue shrimp.
La Crêpe Nanou
A favorite among New Orleans Uptown residents, La Crêpe Nanou resembles a Parisian bistro with typically Gallic romantic interiors. Famed for its savory or sweet crêpes, it makes a nice break from the city’s rich food. Other favorites include steamed mussels, speciality salads and traditional roast chicken.
Lilette offers a warm bistro ambiance, along with a French and Italian-inspired menu. Owner and chef John Harris’ favourites from this menu include roasted poulet breast, grilled hanger steak, Alaskan king crab claws and an Italian wedding soup. The restaurant also offers a good range of vegan options.
New Orleans-born chef Nick Lama learnt Italian cuisine from the best: his family. His restaurant Avo has a menu inspired by family recipes, with meatballs, lasagna and calamari fulfilling the classic spots, but also including new twists such as grilled octopus or redfish with pistachio, tomato, basil and grapefruit butter.
New Orleans’s Vietnamese community plays an important part in the city’s culinary scene, with a flurry of restaurants that opened after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Lilly’s Café is part of this movement, serving traditional Vietnamese food with a variety of phos, vermicelli bowls and rice dishes. The restaurant is casual in style with some family-style seating.
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