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photo of a smiling young man Bayona 430 Dauphine Street, French Quarter
Bayona is the home of Susan Spicer, one of New Orleans' 'best-known chefs'. She has set the bar in style, tastes, and aesthetics for New Orleans' cuisine for over 20 years. In nice weather, the Bayona courtyard is the perfect spot for great food and peaceful French Quarter outdoor dining. $$$

Commander's Palace 1403 Washington Avenue, Garden District
Fabulous, classic New Orleans food in an old Garden District Victorian mansion. With traditional items mixed with lighter choices, this may be the best of the old and the new. Their bread pudding soufflé could be the best dessert in New Orleans. Ask for the Garden Room. $$$

Emeril's 800 Tchoupitoulas Street, corner of Julia, Downtown
The first restaurant of Emeril Lagasse, who may be the best-known chef in the world. This is his home, his flagship, and his standard bearer. New Orleans inspired, creative, and extravagant. Service is attentive; décor is smart, edgy, modern, and artsy. Reservations are tough; occasionally you can get in from the bar. $$$

Galatoire's 209 Bourbon Street, French Quarter
Galatoire's is the quintessential New Orleans restaurant, a clear descendant of traditional 19th century Parisian bistros. No reservations downstairs, you have to wait in line on Bourbon Street with everyone else. Reservations are accepted upstairs. The seafood dishes are spectacular, and rich. $$$

Lüke 333 St. Charles Ave at the Hilton New Orleans, Downtown
John Besh is New Orleans' biggest new chef and this is one of his four restaurants in the area. They raise their own meat and produce, and the menu has a great range. $$

Restaurant August 301 Tchoupitoulas Street, Downtown
Hip, creative, and elegant. Beautiful presentations by John Besh with imaginative ingredients and a great wine list. Across the street from the Windsor Court. $$$

Stella! 1032 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 587-0091
Chef Scott Boswell creates exciting, new American cuisine influenced jointly by world flavors and his Louisiana roots. A beautiful restaurant with a menu that may be the best in town. Currently my favorite choice for fine dining. $$$

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