Food & Drink

17 New Orleans Chefs You Should Know About

Published On 05/07/2015 Published On 05/07/2015
Courtesy of Link Restaurant Group
Brennan's Restaurant
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Courtesy of Kristen Essig/Meauxbar
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Courtesy of Aaron Burgau/Patois
Coquette
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Gautreau's Restaurant
Courtesy of Link Restaurant Group
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Alex Harrell
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Boucherie
Courtesy of Justin Devillier
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1. Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant 701 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

James Beard award-winning Herbsaint is the flagship restaurant of Chef Donald Link, who gained notoriety for some of his other restaurants such as Cochon Butcher and PĂŞche. This fine-dining establishment located in the Warehouse district mixes French and Italian flavors into its Southern dishes. Its selection of small plates create the perfect opportunity for sharing, and the elegant atmosphere paired with the impeccable service will have you coming back to try the whole menu.

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2. Cochon Restaurant 930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Warehouse District)

Cochon is French for "oinker," meaning you should pig out on all things pork at this rustic-chic warehouse, such as an oyster bacon sandwich and fried boudin with pickled peppers. Situated on the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Andrew Higgins, Cochon has James Beard Award-winner Donald Link at the helm, who serves up traditional Cajun dishes from his childhood with an upscale twist using fresh local pork, produce, and seafood. Though pig is the name of the game here, some plates do stray from the pork-centricity, like rabbit livers with pepper jelly.

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3. Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Cochon's generalist meat offshoot, Cochon Butcher, is a hybrid butcher shop, deli counter, and wine bar in the same warehouse building as its pork-centric sibling. There are house-cured meats, sausages, and terrines to take home, but you're really here for the sandwiches, precisely the Muffuletta, stacked with nearly an inch of pink-hued, salty meats (pastrami, mortadella, Genoa salami), creamy provolone, and olive salad. You can order it to-go, but if you're staying, make sure to pair with a side of pancetta mac & cheese.

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4. Brennan's 417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Located in the French Quarter, Brennan's is without a doubt one of the most important eateries in New Orleans. Dubbed the “old pink lady” due to its fanciful pink and green decor, the iconic restaurant serves a menu boasting upscale Cajun classics with a modern twist. Indulge in dishes like turtle soup, redfish amandine, and slow-baked Gulf fish with butter-poached crab, oysters, and shrimp. Breakfast at Brennan's is taken just as seriously as dinner, and dishes like Eggs Cardinal (crispy lobster and shrimp boudin with Creole mustard hollandaise) are richer than any other breakfast in the area. Top off your meal here with an order of the infamous bananas Foster.

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5. Bayona 430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112-3406 (French Quarter)

The flagship restaurant of Chef Susan Spicer is a French Quarter mainstay, drawing inspiration from various countries and flavor profiles to create a robust menu of high-end items like veal sweetbreads with lemon-caper, grilled escarole with golden beets, and fennel sausage-stuffed rabbit. Diners can pair their dinners with a white tablecloth setting, or opt for the popular outdoor courtyard, which eschews folded corners for casual metal tables and a breezy, leafy atmosphere.

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6. Mondo 900 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

Started by locally and nationally renown chef Susan Spicier, Lakeside's Mondo might seem standard -- unassuming facade and blank warm wood interior and all. It's the menu of thoughtfully prepared and globally inspired dishes that seems to maintain its regular evening crowds: apart from the traditional wood fired pizzas and burgers, consider items like the chicken liver whipped into a paté, and a Thai grilled Hanger steak served with snap pea rice. It's the kind of restaurant that's designed for the people, but also for the chef, whose eclectic predilections also seem to benefit the former crowd.

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7. Domenica 123 Baronne St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (Central Business District)

Named after the Italian word for 'Sunday,' this spot in the CBD's Roosevelt Hotel is meant to evoke feelings of dinner at your nonna's casa. The menu takes simple, rustic fare to the next level. The thick crusted pies here are the show-stoppers, especially the Tutto Carne with bacon, salami, and sausage, all topped with a farm egg.

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8. PIZZA domenica 4933 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

The pizza at Domenica, Alan Shaya's spot in the Roosevelt Hotel, was so good that he decided to dedicate an entire restaurant to it. The Uptown pizzeria focuses on Neapolitan pizzas topped with seasonal ingredients and house-cured meats. The menu features speciality pies, like the ode-to-NOLA muffaletta pizza, plus a few salads and appetizers, like top-notch garlic knots and house-smoked chicken wings.

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9. Shaya 4213 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

This Uptown spot doles out "modern Israeli cuisine," and is run by the same man behind the ever-popular Domenica and PIZZA Domenica, and there's just as much fanfare. A massive, custom, wood-fire pita oven dominates the kitchen, which cooks up modern versions of Mediterranean fare like hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves, not to mention a pomegranate-lacquered, fall-off-the-bone lamb dish that will blow your mind.

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10. Meauxbar 942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

This French Quarter resto/bar is an excellent place to dine AND drink, with a sophisticated cocktail program including their fan favorites Laurel Collins, Basil Smash, or a classic Vieux Carre.

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11. Borgne 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113 (Central Business District)

Named after a lake on the coast of Louisiana, Borgne serves up inspired seafood that does not disappoint. Stop by during happy hour (3-6pm) for half-price beer, wines by the glass, and bar food specials.

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12. Patois 6078 Laurel St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

At Patois, Chef Aaron Burgau plates traditional French fare with a local twist. You'll find boudin-stuffed Mississippi rabbit, sweet tea-brined short rib with Worcestershire sauce, and a changing roster of seasonal salads and soups on the menu. The space is airy and elegant with a Parisian bistro feel, and shows off an elegant bar area lit up like a vanity.

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13. Coquette 2800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Situated inside an 1880s Garden District building, Coquette serves a daily changing menu of innovative, locally sourced Southern cuisine alongside an extensive selection of wine, New Orleans-inspired cocktails, and craft beer. The refined bistro's dishes are consistently farm-driven, and there's a mix of small and large plates, as well an option for a five-course "blind" tasting based on the chef's daily ingredients.

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14. MoPho 514 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

This Mid-City eatery is run by former chef from John Besh's August, and the quality is apparent. It combines the flavors of the Gulf with the flavors of Vietnam making for a fresh exploration into classic Vietnamese dishes. The drink program is just as eclectic as the eats, with house cocktails and spiked boba teas. The space feels modern and trendy for a strip mall spot, with a blue and orange color palette and wooden accents. On Saturdays, they roast a full pig, meaning you should probably cancel your other weekend plans.

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15. Gautreau's 1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This popular French/American bistro dished up a hearty menu, where you'll find seared pork chop with mustard jus, black Angus filet smothered in bordelaise sauce, and Baileys ice cream for dessert.

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16. Peche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

At PSG, East Coast flavors meet Southern hospitality in the form of Cajun inspired charcoal grilled seafood delicacies, raw bar options, and oysters on the half. This Warehouse District space features a rustic, wood-lacquered dining room that's spacious and yet intimate; the perfect place to catch up with a group over a seafood tower "for the table."

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17. Purloo 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113

Purloo has been about roots long before transitioning from pop-up shop to restaurant. Chef Ryan Hughes' revamped Southern dishes like fried catfish pistolette and She-crab soup celebrate the history of Southern regional cuisine.

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18. Angeline 1032 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Chef Alex Harrell is behind this stately restaurant in the French Quarter, where he serves Southern plates inspired by Northern Mediterranean cooking. Combining Gulf Coast ingredients with French and Italian culinary techniques, he prepares elegant dishes that change with the seasons, such as Mississippi rabbit milanese, Gulf shrimp & country ham, and smoked lamb shoulder. The service exemplifies true Southern hospitality, so don't hesitate to ask the polished waitstaff for recommendations when it comes to the expertly curated wine and cocktail lists.

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19. Toups' Meatery 845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Toups, this Mid-City spot serves a carnivore-centric menu with bold Cajun flavor. Large entrees like the grilled Georgia quail with farm-fresh seasonal vegetables and saba satiate and surprise; light bites range from addictive cracklins and deviled eggs with smoked trout roe. Minimalist metal chairs and refurbished wood surfaces give Toups a cabin-like feel that enhances the relaxed, convivial vibe.

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20. Maurepas Foods 3200 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Maurepas plates fine American cuisine, whether it's soups, salads, sandwiches, hot plates or desserts. And if you care for an adult beverage, their house "Intoxicologist" can arrange it to your liking.

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21. Boucherie 8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

This Crescent City butcher and bistro serves up savory mains like smoked Wagyu beef brisket with Garlicky Parmesan fries and St. Louis-style Niman Ranch ribs with spicy boiled peanuts & crispy fried shallots.

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22. La Petite Grocery 4238 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Magazine St)

Converted from a historic grocery store, this bistro and bar features plates crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier. The menu includes all-time hits like blue crab beignets, turtle Bolognese, and a gruyere cheeseburger. La Petite Grocery is true Louisiana, as evidenced by its 19th century Creole architecture and craft cocktails like the double rye whiskey Bee Hive.

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23. Balise 640 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Balise celebrates the history of New Orleans as a port city with Creole and Cajun seafood dishes, including blue crab cocktail and fried flounder, as well as a variety of meaty meals to satisfy proud carnivores.