ew Orleans isn’t really known for its pizza. That being said, it is known for its food, and a city that invented an entirely new cuisine (Creole, cher) can definitely sling a ball of pizza dough or two. But whatever you do, don’t eat the pizza at Bourbon Street daiquiri shops. Try any of these places instead.
The best Big Apple-style pies you'll find in the Big Easy
You wouldn’t set yourself up for failure by putting the word “delicious” in your restaurant name unless you were really, really confident in your product. And Pizza Delicious’s massive, foldable slices deliver on the implicit promise in the pizzeria’s name. Get classic or vegan pizza by the slice or whole pie at this casual counter-serve joint in Bywater and wash it down with a pitcher of PBR.
Caviar-caliber pies at anchovy prices in a sleek hotel space
Yes, this John Besh-helmed, James Beard Award-winning restaurant is upscale, but its legendary happy hour boasts some of the cheapest (and most delicious) eats in New Orleans. The restaurant’s wood oven-fired gourmet pies all are half price from 3pm to 5pm daily, as are well drinks and select beers and wines. Just don’t slip up and order sparkling water when the preternaturally attractive server offers that option -- it’s expensive! Take note: PIZZA Domenica is a more casual Uptown sibling of the CBD original.
Fancy California-style pies in an industrial-chic warehouse
People of the crust-punk persuasion and their ilk are still pissed that a fancy pizza restaurant opened in this warehouse, which formerly housed a community bike shop and anarchist book collective. (“New Orleans is over,” sniffed a friend upon learning a neighboring squat was being converted into pricey lofts.) There’s not much of the collective to recognize in Paladar 511’s high wood-plank ceilings, crystal chandeliers and lath-wrapped counters, but these elements do make an appropriately bougie backdrop for New Orleans’ bougie-est pizza: thin-crusted, dinner plate-sized, California-style pies, including one with house-made lamb sausage and pine nuts.
Cheesy, greasy slices to satisfy late-night munchies
You know that saying about how there’s no such thing as bad sex or bad pizza? Well, file Vieux Carre Pizza in the same inadvisable-but-irresistible category as that one-night stand you met at Snake and Jake’s. You can grab pizza by the slice or whole pie until 4:30am on weekends (3am weekdays) at this casual French Quarter spot. Basic toppings range from pepperoni to chicken pesto, and the crust is Pizza Hut-thick, but you could do far, far worse when it comes to drunk food.
Homegrown pizza joint with dim lighting and cozy booth seating
When Slice opened in 2004, New Orleans’ pizza scene was limited, to say the least. Slice was one of the first local purveyors to sell pizza by... yep, the slice. It’s since been eclipsed by the newer, flashier pizza joints on this list, but with hand-tossed crusts, cayenne-laced tomato sauce, and Wisconsin mozzarella cheese, Slice pizzas can still give any artisanal pies a run for their money.
Dive bar with greasy, thin-crust pizza and cheap prices
Yes, there’s a corny miniature Statue of Liberty outside. Yes, there may be gruesome and disturbing nature documentaries showing on the flat-screen TV. But yes, New York Pizza turns out a pretty decent pie and has a cult following, thanks in part to the fact the $5 gets you both a slice and a pint of beer. Dinner doesn’t get better than that.
Chicago-style pies in a family-friendly setting
What do you do when the kids are screaming for pizza, but you just want to drink and watch the Saints game at a bar? Midway Pizza is what you do. Topped with house-made sauce, the deep-dish pizza is a crowd-pleaser, and there’s a killer list of local drafts, too.
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Missy Wilkinson is sick of hearing transplants bitch about NOLA’s pizza. SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR PIZZA OR SHE’LL EAT IT FOR YOU. Follow her on Instagram @nowlistenmissy
Mario Batali, one of America's most prominent chefs and restaurateurs, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from both his restaurant empire, B&B Hospitality Group, and ABC's The Chew following allegations of habitual sexual misconduct. In a report by Eater on Monday, four women accuse Batali of inappropriately touching them on multiple ocassions and interviews with dozens of current and former employees suggest a pattern of sexual harassment that spans at least 20 years.
The women -- three of whom worked a Batali restaurant in some capacity -- allege that Batali groped their breasts or grabbed them from behind, among other allegations. A fourth woman, a chef who has never worked for Batali, accused him of "rubbing her breasts with his bare hands" after someone spilled wine all over her shirt at an after-party for a wine auction in New Orleans 10 years ago, according to the report. "He just went to town, and I was so shocked,” she said.
A former server at Pó, a now-defunct West Village restaurant where Batali climbed to fame as the restaurant's chef, alleged that Batali grabbed her from behind and pressed his body against hers "like a linebacker, like a disgusting bear hug" on multiple occasions over the course of nearly two years in the '90s. In hours of interviews with Eater, she said the harassment would often occur in the cramped areas between the restaurant's dining room and kitchen. Steve Crane, who owned the restaurant with Batali, said he confronted Batali after receiving multiple complaints from staff about the chef's inappropriate behavior, but ultimately could not fire him because they were partners. The server alleged Batali would become more aggressive after these confrontations, per the report.
Another woman accused Batali of groping her shortly after she started working for him at a restaurant in the late '90s. Batali “put his hand on half of my butt and he squeezed it" in the restaurant's dining room, she said, according to the report. In a second incident years later, Batali allegedly forced her to climb over and straddle him twice by sitting with his legs propped up in a way that blocked her exit when she needed to leave to use the restroom. A fourth woman, who stopped working for Batali a few years before the incident, accused him of grabbing her breasts while he was drunk during an industry event in 2011.
All four women asked to remain anonymous in the report out of fear of retaliation. Several additional sources accused Batali of other inappropriate behavior, such as sexual innuendo during conversations at work. In fact, B&B Hospitality Group reprimanded him for his behavior as recently as October.
Batali did not deny the accusations, according to Eater. He has already been removed from the company's restaurants and operations for an indefinite leave of absence, the company said. He's also taken a leave of absence from his role as co-host on ABC's The Chew.
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt," he said in a statement, according to the report. "Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family."
"I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there."
He went on to state: "I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time -- my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans -- I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that."
One of the women included in the report said she's thankful for the "cultural reckoning" taking place with regards to the sexual misconduct of powerful men. The accusations against Batali emerge after several weeks of near-daily revelations of similar allegations against prominent men -- from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, among many others.
Anthony Bourdain, who has been vocal in the collective discussions around sexual harassment, tweeted shortly after the news of the allegations came out, saying, "It's Batali. And it's bad." Another celebrity chef, Tom Colicchio, retweeted Bourdain and said, "And no one should be surprised."
Sure, it’s great to spend your weekends watching Marvel movies and DVRing Vanderpump Rules on the DL. But sometimes, you want to do something a little more refined. A little more elegant. Perhaps, you’d like to partake in an activity with a little... culture.
If the last “art” exhibit you liked was a beauty influencer's Instagram, it might be time to break out of your routine and tour some of the cultural highlights of Southern California. Luckily, Los Angeles is surrounded by lovely locales that offer the chance to experience fine art, dance, film, and history, all while taking a break from the city. So, plan a weekend day away and visit one of these cultural gems just outside of LA.
he food scene in New Orleans took a decidedly global turn this year. While Creole and Cajun flavors are as much a part of the ever-evolving cuisine as they have been for 300 years, flavors from around the world asserted themselves in a big way in 2017. The Indian food from Saffron NOLA is nothing short of remarkable, the flavors of Southeast Asia boldly distinguished themselves in several of the year's best restaurants, and Mangú's mangú has created new Dominican food fans by the legions. Here are the best new restaurants of 2017, and may they carry you from the Delta to Germany, Vietnam, and beyond. There may even be a detour to Texas in there, if you like barbecue.
A refined collision of Southeast Asia and Southeast Louisiana Food & Wine's 2016 chef of the year, Michael Gulotta, parlayed the success of Mopho, his Vietnamese-Louisiana eatery focused on pho and banh mi, into a higher-end restaurant where his vision encompasses Vietnamese, Italian, and Gulf South flavor profiles. Maypop's menu is daring and beautifully executed. Noodles are made in-house and take their influences from both Italy and Southeast Asia; the chickpea capellini pasta with royal red shrimp in saffron curry is exceptional. If you like seafood, go for the fried Gulf oysters, which are served with an aioli made with tar-black soy mash aged in bourbon barrels. And if you don’t get the Maypop pie for dessert, you’re a fool.
Go no farther if you want authentic Dominican food
The West Bank, on the other side of the Mississippi River from New Orleans and Metairie, is home to some of the best under-the-radar international cuisine in the area. One such restaurant is Mangú, serving authentic Dominican fare to a wide variety of people who are now suddenly ravenous for mangú -- mashed green plantains (think mashed potatoes but with more flavor) served with meat or fish. The small but cheerfully decorated restaurant also serves other Dominican street foods like quipes (beef croquettes), and yaroa -- the Dominican equivalent of poutine that's stacked with fries or fried sweet plantains, pork, and melted cheese. In addition, the friendly service, great fruit-based drink menu (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and traditional desserts make this a great excursion across the bridge.
Southern cooking meets Asian street food
It’s not unusual to sit in this cozy spot decorated with bright island colors and smell (and sometimes see) smoke -- a lot of it. Don’t panic. It’s just chef Marcus Jacobs grilling seafood and meats over high temperatures in a tiny kitchen. Just relax and order an old-school cocktail while perusing the menu. Jacobs worked for the Link Group’s Herbsaint before traveling to Southeast Asia, then came back to New Orleans to open Marjie’s Grill. Local ingredients meet the flavors of the street food of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, so you get dishes like fried Des Allemandes catfish topped with crispy pig ears and a coriander herb salad, or fresh cracklin dusted with turmeric-chile spice. The shrimp are right off the boat, and the vegetables are prepared in creative, flavorful ways.
Casual outdoor biergarten with a transportive all-German menu
Founded by Berlin native and New Orleans resident Sven Vorkauf, this former pop-up (though it still uses its rig for festivals and events) recreates a German biergarten with traditional dishes (bratwurst, schnitzel, spätzle, pretzels) and an all-German beer, wine, and liqueur selection. The house-made brats and other sausages are phenomenal (and the Sunday dinner special of crispy braised pork shank is drool-inducing), and yeah, you’re gonna want to save some room for apple strudel.
High-end, approachable, perfectly paired bar food
The Stokehold is a collaboration between three chefs (Phillip Mariano, formerly of Domenica and Josephine Estelle; Jeremy Wolgamott, from High Hat Cafe; and Tim Bordes, purveyor of produce and meats for local farms) at Port Orleans, one of New Orleans’ newest breweries. The trio creates a dish that pairs with every beer available at the taproom, including combinations like a best bitter session ale and roasted bone marrow with fig vinaigrette, parsley, and toast; or Port Orleans’ flagship Storyville IPA with a crab roll made with butter-poached crab, tarragon, and Old Bay, served on a burnt rye and hop roll. With the New Orleans beer scene picking up major steam, a place like this is a no-brainer.
A rare BBQ wunderkind in the Big Easy
New Orleans doesn’t have a native BBQ tradition like other spots in the South. We sure do know how to smoke some pork, though, which is half the battle. Now the city has a nationally recognized annual BBQ festival, Hogs for the Cause, and several well-regarded BBQ joints like this one. The most recent venture is Central City BBQ, which marries co-owner Aaron Burgau’s fine dining experience with a down-home BBQ joint, which looks and tastes like it comes from a Central Texas roadhouse. (OK, maybe a little brighter and newer.) There’s a truly impressive number of enormous smokers out back, and while everything is tasty, the brisket burnt ends and corn spoonbread are the way to go.
Some of the best Indian fine dining you can get
In a city where there’s a dearth of quality Indian food, many lovers of the cuisine would cross the Mississippi River on Friday nights to eat the food put out by Saffron, a catering company on the West Bank. After several years, the much-anticipated Saffron restaurant opened in Uptown New Orleans in August to much acclaim, and right now it’s one of the toughest reservations in town. The Vilkhu family serves authentic but reimagined Indian food in a fine-dining format, with decidedly Indian flavors that are also influenced by New Orleans, France, China, Thailand, and Singapore. Saffron serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday, and each of the gorgeous and bright dishes is a delight. (Don’t overlook the cocktail menu, which successfully marries creativity and unusual ingredients like saffron, tamarind, and mango chutney.)
The sparest ramen menu around, and it delivers
Like most cities, New Orleans is still ramping up into the ramen trend (it’s hard for us to turn away from pho). Noodle & Pie paved the way before it closed earlier this year, and Kin picked up its torch. Now we have Nomiya, a tiny, no-frills, ramen bar that serves just two kinds of pork broth ramens: spicy (geki-kara) and not-spicy (the standard tonkotsu). Except for edamame, pork bun offerings, and anything you want to add to the ramen, that’s the whole menu. The two options are terrific, and they'll simplify most folks' decision-making, even if vegans and vegetarians have to wait for Nomiya's vegan broth to come out. (The chef and owner Hidetoshi “Elvis" Suzuki says he’s working on it, but it’s not there yet.)
An update on Cajun and Creole classics worthy of their legacy
DTB stands for Down the Bayou, and Chef Carl Schaubhut’s restaurant is probably the closest to traditional Louisiana flavors on this list. The playful twists on Cajun staples, like vegetarian mushroom boudin, andouille pâté, and frog leg confit indicate that tradition is more a loose guideline than a rule. Shaking up Cajun and Creole flavors to look at the cuisine in a whole new way is one trick, and using far-flung, global ingredients like vadouvan, pickled lemon, pipian verde, fermented pepper jelly, and chermoula is another. Both techniques yield impressive results, and the cocktail program, helmed by Lu Brow, is just as creative.
Quick-serve, healthy Hawaiian cuisine
This Hawaiian-style, raw fish-inspired eatery on Magazine Street opened in February to much fanfare and quickly made plans to expand all over the city. With a second location open in Metairie and another to open soon in the Central Business District, this build-a-bowl salad concept features raw chopped seafood including yellowfin, salmon, and octopus (also tofu) with add-ins like spring onions or cucumbers, toppings like pickled ginger, edamame, macadamia nuts, several types of tobiko, and Asian-flavor-spiked aioli, and sauces and marinades like tamari, ponzu, sesame oil, or chili paste.
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